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HP Tech@Work

Today's trends for tomorrow's business

Change Your Backgrounds in Zoom

Reading time: 4 minutes

Take your calls from the Millennium Falcon!

Chances are, if you’re working from home while social distancing, you’ve logged on to Zoom more than a few times in the past couple of months: The number of Zoom daily meeting participants topped a whopping 300 million in late April. And even if you aren’t using it for business, chances are you’re logging into virtual happy hours, birthday parties and other social events after your workday has wrapped up.
If you don’t have a spiffy home office, or you just don’t want your coworkers to see your unfolded laundry or family members wandering behind you, Zoom offers the option of changing your video background to something a little more fun—its default options include scenes like outer space or leaves of grass. But don’t let that stifle your creativity!

How to change your Zoom background

New to Zoom? Here’s a quick guide to uploading a new background (you can find all the details on the Zoom help pages):
  1. Sit in front of a solid background, like a blank wall. (If you’re fancy you can use an actual green screen). If you can’t do this, your Zoom background will still work, but it might glitch a little.
  2. Open up your Zoom client, open the Preferences menu, then open “Virtual Backgrounds”.
  3. Click the “+” icon next to “Choose Virtual Background”.
  4. A box will pop up that lets you upload an image from your desktop. You can choose a personal photo or an image you found online—just make sure it’s a horizontal picture so the ratio looks good.
  5. Select “Add Image” and upload your picture.
  6. You can also remove any images you upload by clicking the X located in the top left corner.

Most popular Zoom backgrounds

There are thousands of Zoom backgrounds to choose from—there’s even a whole Reddit community dedicated to new and funny ones—so whatever your interests are, there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for you. Here are some of the most popular Zoom backgrounds out there:

Movie Zoom Backgrounds

Star Wars Zoom Backgrounds: The most popular movie backgrounds are, of course, from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away. The official Star Warssite has released a pack of iconic images cherry-picked from all the movies (although we’re sure the classic images from inside the Millennium Falcon and flying at light speed are some of the biggest hits).
Harry Potter Zoom Backgrounds: OK, we’ve all taken those online quizzes to see which Hogwarts house we’d be in. Now it’s time to show off your house pride as a brave Gryffindor, smart Ravenclaw, party-loving Hufflepuff, or all-business Slytherin. And even if you haven’t, who wouldn’t want to hold a meeting inside Hogwarts?
Marvel Zoom Backgrounds: Your teammates already think you’re a superhero at work—don’t you deserve a background fit for an Avenger? Take your calls from Thor’s home planet of Asgard, Black Panther’s futuristic Wakanda, Tony Stark’s Avengers headquarters and more.

TV Zoom Backgrounds

The Simpsons Zoom Backgrounds: You’re probably working on your couch—why not make it the couch from The Simpsons instead? Or host your next virtual happy hour from Moe’s Tavern? In addition to The Simpsons, Fox Animation has released several backgrounds from their most popular shows, including Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and more.
Parks and Recreation Zoom Backgrounds: Are you more of a Ron Swanson or a Leslie Knope at work? Either way, why sit in your own kitchen for a breakfast meeting when you could transport yourself to Pawnee and sit in an office with a massive portrait of bacon and eggs?
The Office Zoom Backgrounds: If you can’t be in the office, why not sit in one of the most famous offices of all time? The “talking head” background in the Dunder Mifflin Scranton headquarters is the perfect backdrop for your next honest one-on-one with your boss.

Travel Zoom Backgrounds

Airbnb Zoom Backgrounds: Even though few of us will be globetrotting anytime soon, it’s fun to pretend we’re working from somewhere exotic and beautiful. Airbnb has created Zoom backgrounds of some of their most stunning properties, from a lush bamboo house in Bali to a sky lodge suite in Peru.
Afar Magazine Backgrounds: Oh, the places you’ll virtually go! The travel publication has pulled some of its most beautiful global shots that you can use for your next meeting backdrop, including a blue-and-white Greek coastal town, an Indian palace and a Japanese temple.
Gray Malin Backgrounds: Malin, who is known for his fine art photography, has created a handful of free Zoom backgrounds from his trademark panoramic shots: You can host your meeting on the Aspen slopes or floating above Central Park. (Try his “I am busy” balloons if want to send a subtle message to your coworkers.)

A Zoom video of you

So you didn’t hear this from us…but you can create a Zoom background that’s just a looped video of yourself, nodding along and looking interested in what your coworkers are saying, and step out of the frame. Instant productivity win! (Just don’t use this in a meeting where you might get asked a question, OK?)

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