You can apply a background to make your screen display more interesting. Or relevant. It’s like being a news anchor sitting in front of a green screen. Zoom’s selection of landscapes can add a bit of whimsy to your meetings too.

Want to portray a more professional appearance when doing video calls? You can even upload your company’s logo for use as a background

The feature is simple to use, and the camera on your handset or computer can apply the background even if you’re not sitting in front of a green screen. Here’s how:

Step 1: Launch Zoom on your computer

Step 2: Go to the cogs button on the upper right-hand corner of your display to launch the Settings menu.

Step 3: Select Virtual Background in the left menu pane.

Step 4: After you do that, you can choose from a number of built-in background, like a scene from the beach, a view of San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, or even the Aurora Borealis. A live preview will show how you will look in front of the background.

Step 5: To choose your own custom background, click on the + icon next to Choose Virtual Background. The option will let you upload your own custom video or photo for use as a virtual background. If you have a video of an aquarium, you can conduct your meeting in front of what would appear as a live fish tank, as an example. If you need inspiration for some fun animated backgrounds to use, Lightricks, the maker of popular photo editing app FaceTune, has uploaded some content to Dropbox that you can use.

Using a live background will reveal some artifacts around the edges, which can look choppy if you’re moving around a lot during video calls. Additionally, virtual backgrounds shouldn’t be used if you’re planning on demonstrating or pointing to things with your hands — hands get canceled out with the use of virtual backgrounds. The background will appear more smooth if you’re sitting in front of a green screen.


Want to look your best during your virtual meetings?  A feature that’s borrowed from the beauty mode from the selfie cameras on many popular smartphones, Zoom’s Touch Up My Appearance helps to smooth out your skin, remove the dark bags under your eyes, and help you look your best.

Best of all, the results look fairly natural, so you don’t look like an over-sharpened blob of pixels when viewed on the screens of fellow collaborators.

Step 1: Go to Zoom’s settings menu

Step 2: Click on the Video option in the left panel

Step 3: Under My Video, select the option for Touch Up My Appearance.

Pro tip: If you have the internet bandwidth at home, increase your stream by also selecting “Enable HD” under the Video option. Additionally, if you’re meeting with a large team, you can increase the gallery view of your video conferencing session by choosing “Display Up to 49 Participants Per Screen in Gallery View.” By default, Zoom only shows 25 participants per screen, but you can view more if you select this option and have fast enough internet at home.


Zoom offers more complexity than is immediately obvious – from changing your view layout to virtually holding your hand up in a meeting to be noticed, there are many ways to make meetings more productive. Learning and using shortcut keys are the answer to many of the questions you didn’t even know you were going o ask! To find and learn the shortcuts, log in to Zoom, then click on your profile photo in the upper-right corner, select Settings from the drop-down list, and click Keyboard Shortcuts. Enjoy!