Google Meet finally catches up with Zoom, Teams with custom backgrounds

Google Meet
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Keeping your home office or workspace clear of clutter can be difficult which is why Zoom, Teams and other popular video conferencing software allow you to use a custom background.

After revealing that it would add the option to replace your background back in July, Google is now rolling out the option to do so in Google Meet for both paid customers and users with personal Google accounts.

Users will be able to choose from one of the search giant's own hand-picked images which include office space, landscapes and abstract backgrounds or they can choose their own image.

Custom backgrounds

In a blog post announcing the availability of custom backgrounds in Meet, Google explains that they can be used to show more of a user's personality as well as help hide their surroundings. The new feature, in addition to the ability to filter out disruptive background noise and blur your background, will also help ensure that meetings are more productive.

According to Google, virtual backgrounds will work directly within a user's browser and they do not require an extension or any additional software to use. At launch, the feature will work on ChromeOS and in the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac but it will also be coming to Meet's mobile apps for Android and iOS at a later date.

One thing to keep in mind is the fact that admins will have no control over this feature at launch so organizations should plan accordingly and come up with their own guidelines on the use of custom backgrounds.

The ability to use custom backgrounds in Meet is turned off by default but users can visit Google's Help Center to find out exactly how to change their background in Google Meet.

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Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.