How to Change Virtual Background in Google Meet

Jan 23, 2022 - 1 Comment

How to Change Your Background in Google Meet

Have you been using Google Meet for making video calls with your colleagues or friends? Want to customize your Google Meet experience a bit by changing your virtual background when you’re in a video chat?

Not everyone has the most ideal setting for video calls, whether it’s a busy home office or a less than tidiest room. If your room or workplace could be a distraction or unflattering, you can hide it with the help of custom backgrounds. You can change your background to literally any image you want if you’re having privacy concerns and don’t want other people in the meeting to figure out where you are. This is similar to using Zoom’s Virtual Backgrounds feature that has been available for quite some time now, except of course it’s with Google Meet.

How to Change Your Virtual Background in Google Meet

We’ll be covering the web client for Google Meet rather than the app here. Assuming you already know how to make and participate in video calls using Google Meet, let’s get started.

  1. If you’re already in an active meeting or video call, click on the triple-dot icon located at the bottom-right corner of your screen.

    How to Change Your Background in Google Meet
  2. This will give you access to more options as shown below. Here, click on “Change background” to get started.

    How to Change Your Background in Google Meet
  3. This will launch a side panel on the right side of your screen where you’ll have access to a bunch of stock backgrounds provided by Google. If you want to use a completely custom background, you can click on the “+” icon and upload any image file stored on your device. Alternatively, you also have the option to simply blur your current background.

    How to Change Your Background in Google Meet
  4. If you haven’t joined the meeting yet, you’ll still have the option to set a custom background before you even join it. In the “Ready to join?” page that shows up after you usually enter the invite code, you’ll find the video preview feed as shown below. Here, click on the Change Background option located at the bottom-right corner of the preview window.

    How to Change Your Background in Google Meet

There you go, you’ve learned how to hide your backgrounds with custom images while using Google Meet for online meetings.

Another option available is to blur your background if that’s good enough for you. To use the background blur capability, you’ll need an iPhone 6S or later running at least iOS 12 or later. For a while the changing virtual background feature was limited to Google Meet’s web client, but it should be available on apps now.

Google Meet doesn’t allow you to use videos as virtual backgrounds, which Zoom does, but those can be distracting as well so whether that’s good or bad is up to you to decide.

This feature isn’t perfect at all, and it works best with a green screen, or some uniform background, and uniform lighting. It’s similar to how streamers mask their backgrounds on services like Twitch. The green screen makes it easy to detect the difference between you and your actual background. Regardless, the feature works fine as long as you’re not moving around too much.

If you’ve been a Zoom user so far, but interested in trying out alternative video conference options, you might be interested in knowing that Google Meet can create meetings with up to 100 participants for a time duration of 60 minutes per meeting for free. This is a step up from the 40-minute limit offered by Zoom.

Are you using a virtual background in Google Meet? What do you think of these features available in most video conference apps? Do share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section down below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. Robert B says:

    Nice, but you are forced to use Chrome otherwise it won’t work. Setting a background with Zoom is way easier and better

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