How to take your Zoom background to the next level and escape quarantine madness

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How to change your Zoom background to something funny.
Image: ManOfMany

With COVID-19 quarantine orders forcing significant sections of the U.S. workforce to operate from home, there are many questions on American minds.

One of them, which we hope will bring a bit of respite and levity to the situation, is how to spruce up your Zoom calls with funny backgrounds. Since use of the video conferencing software has increased by 300 percent from last week, we know this is the information you need in your life right now.

So, buckle up, strap in, or secure that cockpit (depending on your background, of course), because this is going to get fun …

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Here are instructions on how to change your default Zoom background, and some eye-popping examples to spark your imagination.

How to Alter Your Zoom Background

By default, Zoom captures footage coming from a user’s web camera. However, the software can identify the person utilizing the program and separate them from their background. It’s this feature that lets people attend virtual meetings from Hogwarts, Dunder Mifflin, or outer space.

To change your Zoom background, open the application, click your profile, and access the Settings menu. From there, open the Virtual Background tab, and you can pick from a series of preloaded digital backdrops.

Click the “+” icon left of the words “Choose Virtual Background” to add a new image for use as a backdrop. Zoom recommends using photos that measure 1280 pixels by 720 or 1920 pixels by 1080. By following these instructions, you can now socially distract your co-workers by logging in from Maui or the bridge of the Death Star.

Quarantined workers interested in ensuring their meetings are as unproductive as possible can also use MOV and MP4 files as their backgrounds. Just click the Add Video option from the Choose Virtual Background drop-down list.

Work from home employees looking to push the envelope at their next meeting can also download Snapchat’s Snap Cam desktop app. The program allows users to change their appearance via the app’s Lenses feature, and it’s interoperable with popular remote conferencing programs.

So, if you’ve ever wanted to attend an important business meeting or class as a potato or a giant baby, technology can make your weirdest dreams come true. After downloading the program and choosing a filter, open Zoom, and go to Settings. From there, click on the Video tab and change your Camera selection to Snap Cam.

Twitter’s Best Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

As the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns have worn on, Zoom users have gotten increasingly creative in their picks for virtual backgrounds. Here’s a rundown of some of the funniest and strangest examples from Twitter, and a few suggestions if you feel like spicing up your next videoconference. For more, take a look at #zoombackgrounds on Twitter.

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