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How to blur your background in a Zoom call

This simple trick can protect your privacy or hide a messy room from coworkers.

Image: iStock/fizkes

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Let’s say you have a Zoom meeting, but your normal work-from-home space is occupied, or worse, a mess. You have no time to clean it up, or find a neutral, privacy-maintaining space to set up, and panic sets in. Don’t worry–you have options built right into Zoom to hide the space behind you: background blurring.

This easily toggleable option can keep your space private, or render messy rooms indeterminably fuzzy, and it’s available in Zoom right now.

SEE: Zoom vs. Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx and Skype: Choosing the right video-conferencing apps for you (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to blur your Zoom background before a meeting

If you don’t want to use a virtual background during a Zoom call, there’s no reason you have to show off your personal space. With Zoom open, click on the gear in the upper-right of the window, which will open the Settings window.

With Settings open, click on Backgrounds And Filters. On the screen that appears simply click Blur and watch the world behind you dissolve into an amorphous haze (Figure A).

Figure A

zoom-blur-a.jpg

The Backgrounds And Filters menu in Zoom.

How to blur your Zoom background while in a meeting

If you decide you want to blur the background mid-call you’re in luck, as that’s a simple task as well.

From the main meeting screen, look to the bar on the bottom (you may need to move your mouse to make it appear), where you should see a button labeled Stop Video with a small up arrow in the corner. Click the arrow, and then click on Video Settings (Figure B)

Figure B

zoom-blur-b.jpg

Where to find the menu options to blur your background during a Zoom call.

The screen that appears is the same Settings menu from Figure A, so click on Backgrounds And Filters and select Blur just as shown in Figure B. Close the menu and you should see yourself with a blurred background in your current meeting.

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