Video conferencing has become the norm since everyone started working from home, and Zoom and Google Meet are the two most-used platforms for making video calls. At one time the ability to add custom backgrounds in Zoom set them apart, but this is no longer the case, as Google has recently introduced the option to change the background on a Google Meet call. In fact, you can also blur the background. Here is how you can change or blur the background in Google Meet.
Before we begin
Before we start changing the background in Google Meet, the following are some requirements or things you should keep in mind to get the most out of this new feature.
- You can change the background or blur it on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS platforms. The steps mentioned below will work on all these platforms.
- The camera will turn on automatically when you select a call background.
- Without logging into a Google account, users can change their background only once.
- If a user is joining a Google Workspace for Education video call, they; cannot select background images.
- Changing the background may slow your device, so you need to enable Hardware Acceleration on the Google Chrome browser for Windows/Mac by going to “Settings -> Advanced -> System -> Use hardware acceleration.”
How to Change Background in Google Meet Call
1. Go to the Google Meet desktop site. You will be shown a preview of your video.
2. Click on the three-dot icon located at the bottom right of your screen.
3. From the list of options that appear, select; the “Change background” option.
4. Once you click on the “Change background” option, you will be shown two options to choose from: “slightly blur” and “completely blur” the background. These can be applied to the existing background.
5. N;ext to or below the blur options, there is a “+” button. Click on it to add a background from your computer.
Alternatively, you can select from the preloaded list of backgrounds. There are a total of 27 preloaded backgrounds to choose from.
6. Tap on any background, and it will automatically apply on your Google Meet video call.
5. Note that you can change the background while on a Google Meet call as well. Follow the same steps as mentioned above.
6. If you wish to remove the custom background from your screen, press the “Turn off backgrounds” button.
As mentioned above, you can change the background on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS machines only. Sadly, the option to change the background on the Android and iOS apps is not available. Meanwhile, you can also learn how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a video conference station.