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.
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.
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:
Even if you're mid-meeting, you have the option to change your virtual background. Here's how it's done:
For additional help with Zoom virtual backgrounds, visit Zoom's Help Center.
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.
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!
Stephanie Nieves served as a SEO & editorial associate on the Fairygodboss team. Her words can also be found on Medium, PayScale and The Muse.