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March 27, 2020

How to change your Zoom background for virtual happy hour

Video chat has become a go-to while social distancing

Entertainment Happy Hour
How to change Zoom background Photo by Christin Hume/on Unsplash

Many are turning to video chat – particularly using Zoom – to stay connected while staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here's a step-by-step guide to changing your virtual background on Zoom and where to download wallpapers.

While staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19, many of us are turning to video chat to stay connected.

One popular video conferencing service being used is Zoom. Some may have used the service before for work, but during this time of social distancing, it's now frequently being used for virtual happy hour.

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And one of the best things about using Zoom to communicate with friends is that you can change your background by uploading an image.

Want to look like you're on an island somewhere and not your couch? No problem. Would you rather be inside your favorite sitcom instead of watching it from bed? You can do that. Need to hide how messy your apartment is with an image of a clean kitchen? Easy.

If you're using the Zoom app on your laptop or desktop, click on your profile in the top, right corner. Next, click on "Settings." Then on the menu to the left, click "Virtual Background." You can use the backgrounds provided or upload your own image.

How to change Zoom backgroundScreenshot/Zoom

Under 'Settings,' click on 'Virtual Background' to change your surroundings to whatever you would like for your video call.

If your computer cannot support a virtual background without a physical green screen, you will be urged to check the "I have a green screen" box. More information on the feature and its requirements are available from Zoom.

If you're already in a video chat and want to add a virtual background, click on the up arrow that is next to the video symbol on the bottom left and then click "Choose a virtual background..."

Now, as for what to make your background, there are plenty of options. There are food-related wallpapers, including a pepperoni pizza one, and beautiful home interiors filled with color-coordinated bookcases and stunning natural light. You can also download an image of Monica and Rachel's apartment from "Friends," or pretend to hang with Jessica from Netflix's "Love Is Blind."

You may be stuck at home, but (virtually) the world is at your fingertips.

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