Here's How To Easily Blur Your Background In Video Calls

A pro tip for those of us who need peace of mind from background distractions.
There's an easy way to blur your background if you use Google or Microsoft Teams for your work meetings.
There's an easy way to blur your background if you use Google or Microsoft Teams for your work meetings.

No matter how well you control the background that appears behind you in video calls for work, there will still be surprises. A toddler can cheerfully interrupt your live TV interview, a pet can jump onto your lap, or a roommate can walk by saying, “Oh, didn’t realize you were on a call.”

Most of these interruptions are harmless, but there are occasional high-stakes meetings in which you don’t want anything to distract from what you are saying.

Beyond turning your camera off or adding an image as a background, there’s an easy way to guarantee only your face will show for meetings: blurring.

How to blur your background on Google Meet and Microsoft Teams

Although you can blur your background manually on Zoom through a convoluted process on a photo-editing tool, there’s an easy fix that’s built into Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

On Microsoft Teams, which has had this option since 2018, you have the option to blur your background before you join the video meeting.

Before a meeting:
1. Select background effects.
2. Once you see your background options, pick blur.

During a meeting:
1. Select more actions.
2. Go to show background effects and then pick blur.

On Google Meet, the option is an addition that’s been available to all users since mid-September.

Blurring your background can be done in Google Meet by clicking the option on the bottom right of your self view.
Blurring your background can be done in Google Meet by clicking the option on the bottom right of your self view.

Before the meeting:
1. Go to meet.google.com and select your upcoming meeting.
2. Click the blur background option in the bottom right of your screen.

During a meeting:
1. Select the more option represented by the three dots at the bottom of your screen.
2. In the menu, choose turn on background blur.

Select the "blur" option to put your background out of focus.
Select the "blur" option to put your background out of focus.

When I tried the Google feature, my face remained in focus, but my clutter was a grayed-out blur behind me. Mission accomplished.