woman smiling at laptop
From using a default image to uploading your own, there are a few options to choose from if you're looking to use a background image during your Zoom meetings. — Getty Images/GaudiLab

Since COVID-19 quarantines have been in effect across the country for the last couple of weeks, more companies have turned to Zoom and other video conferencing, webinar and web conferencing software to conduct meetings and keep their daily operations moving as smoothly as possible.

According to TrustRadius and Google Trends, impressions and usage for web conferencing software continues to increase as quarantine mandated timelines extend. Web conferencing software has seen a 445% increase in impressions since the beginning of the pandemic. Zoom’s app, in particular, is currently the most downloaded free app in Apple’s App Store. Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan confirmed in a statement that there has been “a large increase in the number of free users, meeting minutes and new video use cases.”

According to an analysis conducted by JPMorgan’s Sterling Auty, daily usage of the Zoom app has increased by more than 300% since the pandemic has forced most employees to work from home. While video conferencing software and apps have now become commonplace in this new working environment, understanding how to successfully use these tools can be a frustrating process for some. Of all the functions available on Zoom, one that has been the most challenging is figuring out how to change your default background or customize your background image.

Here are the steps to change your default background and upload a new background image in Zoom.

Changing your default background

  • Open Zoom on your desktop or browser and log into your account.
  • Join or create a new meeting.
  • Once in the meeting, click the upward arrow in the bottom left corner of the screen. Don’t click the “Stop Video” button in the same area of the screen.
  • Once you click the arrow, you’ll see an option to “Choose Virtual Background.” Select that option.
  • This will take you to a new Settings window. Here you can choose from a default background or upload your own.

Of all the functions available on Zoom, one that has been the most challenging is figuring out how to change your default background or customize your background image.

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Uploading a new background image

  • In the Settings window, click the plus icon on the right side of the screen to upload your own background image. Here are the image guidelines to follow for your background image:
    • Format:GIF, JPG/JPEG, or 24-bit PNG (no alpha). Any transparent areas of the PNG will be shown on a white background.
    • Minimum dimension: 960px
    • Maximum dimension: 1920px
    • Recommended dimensions: 1920px by 1080px (16:9 aspect ratio). If you don’t use an image with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you may see black bars on the sides of the image.
    • Maximum file size: 5 MB
  • Select your image and click “Open.”
  • To remove your uploaded image, click “Delete” or “Reset.” If your account has a default image, that image will replace your previously uploaded image.

[Read: Hosting a Virtual Event? Here's How to Do It Right]

Change the default background for all Zoom Rooms

To change the default background image for all of the Zoom Rooms in your account, follow these instructions:

  • Log into your Zoom account.
  • Click “Room Management” and then “Zoom Rooms.”
  • Click “Account Settings” at the top of the page.
  • On the Account Profile tab, click “Upload New Image” under Background Image for Zoom Rooms.
  • Select your image and click “Open.”

Additional tips for to keep in mind for achieving the best background

  • Use a solid color background, so the end result will be similar to a green screen effect.
  • Upload a high-quality picture so people aren’t distracted by a pixelated image.
  • Find a spot in your house with uniform lighting and color to set up your computer when using Zoom.
  • Don’t wear clothes that match your background to ensure you stand out.

[Read: The Show Must Go On — Virtually: 8 (Free) Business Conferences You Can Attend Online]

If you’re new to Zoom, be sure to visit the Zoom Support Center to learn more about all of the available tools and features.

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Published April 20, 2020