Zoom: Virtual Backgrounds


U-M Zoom


How do I add a virtual background to my U-M Zoom meeting?


Enabling virtual backgrounds is possible on both Windows and Mac devices using the Zoom desktop app. If you don't have the desktop app installed, refer to Installing Zoom on Your Device for instructions.

To add a virtual background:

  1. Open the Zoom desktop app and click your profile picture in the top right corner.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Background & Effects from the left sidebar.
  4. You can now select a Zoom-created background to use or add your own background by clicking the plus icon (+) at the top right of the list of available backgrounds and selecting Add image.


  • The virtual background feature works best with a green screen and uniform lighting to allow Zoom to detect the difference between you and your background. However, the green screen is not required to use virtual backgrounds.
  • There are no size restrictions when adding your own virtual backgrounds, but we recommend cropping the image to match the aspect ratio of your camera before uploading it.
    • Example: If your camera is set to 16:9, an image of 1280 pixels by 720 px or 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels would work well.
  • ITS cannot make your virtual background in Zoom work differently than it does.
    • Your computer, your lighting, the computer's camera, your background, and more all affect how the virtual background works.
    • We can recommend that you have good, even lighting, no bright backlighting, and as plain a background as you can get. This may still not allow the background to function as desired.
  • You cannot use a virtual background while using Zoom on a Chromebook.

Additional Information

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.


Article ID: 1323
Wed 5/13/20 11:03 AM
Wed 11/15/23 2:41 PM