Good news - Microsoft Teams is now allowing you to design your own virtual backgrounds

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

If you've ever thought that your Microsoft Teams virtual backgrounds could use a bit more flair and style, you're in luck.

The video conferencing service is now rolling out a new tool that will allow users to upgrade their existing backgrounds with more personalized and creative designs.

In its entry on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the update, simply labelled as "decorate your background", will allow users to, "create more personal and engaging backgrounds by applying advanced effects."

Microsoft Teams personalized backgrounds

Microsoft did not delve too much into the specifics of the update's capabilities, but we're guessing it means users will be able to edit and customize the existing Teams background to suit their liking.

The feature is rolling out now to users across both Windows desktop and Mac, but with one major hurdle - only Microsoft Teams Premium users will be able to access it.

Microsoft Teams Premium was initially launched in February 2023 as the company looked to offer an upgraded and more personal experience that included a number of AI-boosted plugins and features. 

This includes GPT 3.5, the AI language model developed by OpenAI, to automate certain mundane tasks surrounding meetings as part of its “intelligent recap” feature.

The company is currently offering Microsoft Teams Premium for $7 per user per month, a 30% discount off the $10 per user "standard price".

The update is the second feature in recent weeks that will only be available for Microsoft Teams Premium users, following the news that live translated call transcripts are also set to launch soon. Users will be able to view a live, translated transcript of their call, with a number of different languages being supported.

Microsoft Teams backgrounds have become a popular addition for many users looking to liven up their calls and meetings, with the company continuing to add new templates and options in recent months. This includes a recent selection of six new categories of backgrounds designed to "evoke different moods and actions", hopefully improving worker productivity on Microsoft Teams calls.

The video conferencing giant also recently announced it is working on a new tool that will group emojis, GIFs and stickers into a single location, making it simpler to find and share the reaction you desire.

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.