MS Teams Select Background outside of conference call

Occasional Visitor

Is there a way in MS Teams to change or 'try on' different backgrounds before or without starting a new meeting?

I have been able to upload backgrounds and test them during conference calls, but have not been able to view them outside of meetings.

17 Replies



Hi, you can setup a test meeting, and then when you go to join it, you will see the following options.


Screenshot 2020-09-10 at 19.15.00.png


Click on the third option which is;


Screenshot 2020-09-10 at 19.17.36.png

Then you'll see the available backgrounds appear in the right pane, and you can try them without joining.


could it be that in the current version, this is not possible anymore ?


These are the only options I have, even with the camera on.


This is annoying workaround. Instead better to have it in camera settings.
Hello, you're replying to an old post. The "pre-join" experience is already rolled out. Meaning you can choose audio and video settings before clicking on the join button.
Hi Christian. Refer to GuyDS response. They are the only options you get when making a test call.

What you are referring to are the options you get when going to an already set meeting, and even in the screens you mention, you can only see your background in reverse and not what it really going to look to the people you are meeting with.
I agree, it is very frustrating, then there is no way in changing background in the camera settings mode. If You new to the teams, there is no way you can find on how to preset background pic or blur. It should be on the top bar, one click option!
best response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)

If you go in Calendar, then in the top right corner you click 'Meet now's, if you go in 'Start meeting' you'll get the same preview as if you were joining a meeting with someone else.
How unusably counterintuitive! But I'm glad there exists SOME way to test video options outside of an actual meeting. Thanks for the tip, @Joeteuna_Smokes. Those options should exist somewhere outside of Calendar > Meet Now, for example, these should be available **within** every call (not just before), in device settings.
Agree! This is a VERY awkward work around. Backgrounds should be selectable at any time while setting up your video device. That's the way the competition does it. Only one of many ways that ZOOM outshines Teams.


How can I upload a background with text and to see it properly and not as a mirror?

At this time you can only see the mirror view
It is very counter-intuitive (and I'm on a Mac to be clear) but:
Find any meeting in the calendar and JOIN, and you get the pre-joining screen. DON'T press "JOIN NOW" but the settings should now be in front of you. Click the background icon as shown below, and bob's your uncle.

I sent a teams meeting invite to myself > started the meeting > added changes > previewed the changes and saved it .. too easy :)


I stumbled here looking for a way to set up backgrounds without starting a meeting. 

Regardless, you can take any image into MS Paint -> select all and then "flip it horizontally" and save it. This should "mirror" the words so it shows up ok in a background.

Joetuna_Smokes idea is the best i've seen
"If you go in Calendar, then in the top right corner you click 'Meet now's, if you go in 'Start meeting' you'll get the same preview as if you were joining a meeting with someone else." less steps than inviting yourself etc
This is why Microsoft will never be Apple. Counterintuitive design, layered ad infinitum.

@mroemen You are correct. It is poor design. If I use Zoom it is quite easy to change my virtual background outside of a call. Having to go to the Teams calendar and start a fake meeting is clunky and not intuitive at all.