Red Green Repeat Adventures of a Spec Driven Junkie

How to: Have Custom Backgrounds in Microsoft Teams


  1. Have Microsoft Teams version >=
  2. Copy images to folder
    • macOS: /users/<your login id>/Library/Application\ Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
    • Windows: %AppData%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
    • on Linux: ~/.config/Microsoft/Microsoft\ Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
  3. Profit!

Share how to have your own custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams by walking through specific instructions on where to copy image files so Microsoft Teams will use them as your backgrounds.

By the end you will learn how to have your own custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams and have two sources for great backgrounds.

This article will take you less than three minutes to read.

Ceremonial Banner (Palepai Maju) source and more information


Everyone is using video conferencing all of the sudden. One stand out video conferencing system, Zoom, has a fun feature that allows one to create their own custom backgrounds.

When I was doing a zoom call with my MBA Alumni from Goethe Business School, someone asked: “Why don’t we use Microsoft Teams for the next call?”

I immediately replied: “because zoom allows custom backgrounds!”

Their reply was: “You can have custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams, you just need to put it in a special folder!”


What the?! How did I miss this feature? Or not even think about looking it up??

Quick search brought up the answer: This may be a near-future feature for Microsoft Teams.

It seems the Microsoft Teams team deployed the feature and it’s user accessible, just not exposed in a user-friendly manner.

How to: Custom Backgrounds

These are the steps to get custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams:

  1. Check you have the supported version of Microsoft Teams installed
  2. Install backgrounds to the proper folder
  3. Select the background on a video call

Version Check

Microsoft Teams supports custom backgrounds from version 1.3 and above. To find out the current version of Microsoft Teams installed:

  1. Open Microsoft Teams
  2. Click your profile photo in the top right
  3. Select: “About” -> “Version”
  4. Look for a SMALL notification bar that will contain text:
    • You have Microsoft Teams Version It was last updated on 5/1/20.

Updating Microsoft Teams

  1. Open Microsoft Teams
  2. Click your profile photo in the top right
  3. Select: “Check for Updates”
  4. Wait… (or work, your preference)
  5. Restart Microsoft Teams if SMALL notification bar has message:
    • Microsoft Teams has updated, please restart

Install Backgrounds

To have own custom backgrounds in Microsoft Teams, place images in the following folder on your system:

  • macOS: /users/<your login id>/Library/Application\ Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
    • or type the following in Spotlight: ~/Library/Application\ Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
  • Windows: %AppData%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
  • Linux: ~/.config/Microsoft/Microsoft\ Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads

source for macOS and Windows


In Microsoft Teams, select: Background Effects and the new backgrounds will be at the bottom of the list!

Cool Backgrounds?

With May 4th coming, Star Wars theme backgrounds would be great to have:

If you’re a Seinfeld, or Star Trek, or Game of Thrones, or Pixar, or anything fan:


I got an answer to my random comment about Microsoft Teams not supporting a feature of Zoom, well, looks like I was wrong about it and Microsoft Teams does, just in a super seekrit way. :-)

May the 4th be with you ;-)