15 Zoom Backgrounds That’ll Make Your Next Call Way More Fun

woman laughing into laptop with virtual background

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April 18, 2024 at 7:53AM UTC
  • Enable Zoom's virtual background feature by heading to Settings, tapping on the Virtual Background option and choosing an image from their default library or uploading your own.
  • Customize your virtual background during a meeting by pressing the caret symbol (^) next to the Start/Stop Video button and clicking the Choose a Virtual Background option.
  • Download fun backdrops from Taco Bell, Cosmopolitan, Disney Parks, Pixar and Fairygodboss below!

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It's day who-knows-anymore of quarantine, and so far, I've traveled from my living room to my dining room and back, leaving a trail of Lysol wipes, coffee mugs and random cords around me. And while I may be perfectly comfortable with my wonderful mess, I know it might not paint me in the best light when I click into a virtual meeting in an hour and attempt to block the crowded counter behind me from view.

I have no plans to tidy up — well, not today anyway — and luckily, with Zoom's virtual background options, I don't have to. Instead, I can park myself on my couch, legs crossed, with my back up against the underwater paradise I just selected. Or maybe I'll decide I'm more in the mood to be seen lounging confidently in the center of the Grand Canyon. 
But what I definitely want to avoid is turning myself into a potato like this boss accidentally did for an entire conference call — and that's going to take a thorough understanding of Zoom's virtual background feature. So, if you're wondering how I'm going to add these fun backgrounds to my webcam, read on to find out.

What is Zoom's virtual background feature?

On Zoom, you can change your video background to a virtual one by choosing from their options or uploading an image of your own. Once selected, your video camera will replace your actual background with a landscape, texture or abstract image which can come in handy for situations like the one I found myself in above.

Enabling Zoom's virtual background on a desktop

The feature can be enabled for a particular user (you!), a group (say a team), an entire account or a Zoom Room. Check out our advice below on how to enable your virtual background on a case by case basis:

For yourself:

  • Sign in to Zoom.
  • Head over to Settings (this may also appear as Meeting Settings or My Meeting Settings).
  • Tap on the Virtual Background option on the left hand side of your window (enable the feature if needed).
  • Browse the selections beneath the Choose Virtual Background heading.
  • Add your own background image by clicking the [+] on the screen.

For a group:

  • Sign in to Zoom as an administrator (you must have permission to edit user groups).
  • Head over to Group Management.
  • Hit the name of the group, then the Settings tab.
  • Find the Virtual Background option and verify the setting.
  • Optional: To make this setting mandatory for all group members, click the lock icon, then Lock to confirm.

For an entire account:

  • Sign in to Zoom as an administrator (you must have permission to edit Account Settings).
  • Tap on Account Settings.
  • Find the Virtual Background option and verify the setting.
  • Optional: To make this setting mandatory for all group members, click the lock icon, then Lock to confirm.

For a Zoom Room:

  • Sign in to Zoom as an administrator.
  • Find the Zoom Rooms page and press Account Settings.
  • Select the Virtual Background with Greenscreen option.
  • Press Upload Image to add your own backgrounds to the library.

Enabling Zoom's virtual background on a mobile app

  • Sign in to Zoom.
  • Find the three dots at the bottom right of your screen and tap to open the More menu.
  • Choose a default background or upload one of your own.

Enabling Zoom's virtual background during a meeting

Even if you're mid-meeting, you have the option to change your virtual background. Here's how it's done:
  • Find the caret symbol (^) next to the Start/Stop Video button.
  • Hit Choose a Virtual Background.
  • If you're prompted to download the smart virtual background package, click Download to enable the feature without a green screen.
For additional help with Zoom virtual backgrounds, visit Zoom's Help Center.

What is mirror effect on Zoom?

The mirror effect allows you to view your video as a reflection of yourself. It will not mirror your video to other members, but it will change your view so that you're viewing yourself from your own camera.
Zoom may automatically mirror your screen, which will make your virtual background appear flipped. To undo, go to the Settings gear in the top right corner, hit Virtual Background, then uncheck the Mirror my video option on the bottom of the window.

15 virtual backgrounds to jazz up your conference call

Like Fairygodboss, companies like Cosmopolitan, Taco Bell, Disney Parks and Pixar think you deserve to escape the work from home scene for a while — and we've created plenty of virtual backgrounds to help you do it. Download some of our favorites below!

Spice it up with Taco Bell

Enjoy 15 minutes of fame with Cosmopolitan

Head to Neverland with Disney Parks

Travel to infinity and beyond with Pixar

Take your call to the next level with Fairygodboss


About the Career Expert:

Stephanie Nieves served as a SEO & editorial associate on the Fairygodboss team. Her words can also be found on MediumPayScale and The Muse.

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