Using a Virtual Background in Zoom

Since most of us don't have a fancy recording studio to host meetings from or maybe even the time to clean up the room we're in before joining a call, virtual backgrounds are a great way to add a neat, attractive look to your image.

If you have a Zoom account, you have access to virtual backgrounds. To use them, click on the "up" caret next to the camera icon and choose "Virtual Backgrounds".

Image of settings for using a virtual background in zoom

You'll be presented with a few pre-loaded graphics, but if you use the "+" button, you can choose any image saved to your computer to serve as a backdrop. You can probably make any image work, but for best results, Zoom recommends an image with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a minimum resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels.

It's even possible to use a video clip as your background. These should also be at least 1280x720 in size and saved as MP4 files.

To get you started, here are a few university-approved images showcasing some scenery from VCU's campuses in beautiful downtown RVA.

VCU Background Images (Log-in Required)

Please Note:
The "virtual backgrounds" feature requires certain system resources to work properly, and not every computer will be up to the task. Depending on your computer, you may need to have an actual greenscreen to get results, or you may be able to use only images but not videos, or only the "blurred background" option but no custom backgrounds. For more information, please see Zoom's explanation of system requirements.

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