50 Free Zoom Video Backgrounds to Hide Your Mess

April 2, 2020
Authored by:
Richard Lau
Featuring:

Whether you are working from home or socializing with family and friends, it seems that everyone is now using Zoom Video to abide by the social distancing that is the new normal. Between cooking three meals a day, entertaining your pets, home-schooling your kids and sorting Marie Kondo style, the last thing on your mind is cleaning up before powering up Zoom for your video call.

Enter the Virtual Background feature of Zoom. These free Zoom backgrounds will spruce up your home office setting and set the stage for a professional remote work experience for all of your conference calls. 

If you haven’t used the Virtual Background setting on Zoom yet, it’s uber-easy to do. Go into Preferences/Settings of Zoom and click on “Virtual Background.” Zoom comes with some (pretty bad) default virtual backgrounds to use. That’s where we come in. We’re going to give you quick, free and easy backgrounds to use for Zoom. To add (using the + sign) a new background, you’ll simply download the background you want and then add it to your Zoom library. Choose one, or have fun and download them all. 

We’ve included a few living room ones, which will help establish that you are at home, but perhaps at a nicer home (or at least cleaner) than you actually have. And we’ve tossed in a couple of fun ones if you want to show off your non-moving model roommate. Who doesn’t want to have a chiselled roommate hanging out on the couch?

Top tips: 

  • Pick a background that matches your personal style, or alternatively, go for something that is completely the opposite and make people smile!
  • Dress for the occasion. Wear for a conference call the same outfit that you would wear to the office.
  • If you can, have a solid, one-color background behind you. What works best is if you have a light or white-colored wall or curtain behind you.

All of the background images that we have included here are tested to work with the Zoom Video Virtual Background feature. You'll notice that there are no watermarks, and that we have focused on providing realistic backgrounds. No shots of the beach, the Milky Way or sunsets here. You don't want your background to distract your colleague or potentially have a client think that you are unprofessional in any way.

Installation Tips:

For your computer or laptop: Scroll through the images here and simply click on one to download it to your computer. Then open Zoom and add it to the Virtual Backgrounds setting.

For your iPad: over the image, tap and hold your press and select "Add to Photos". Then go to your Zoom app and in the top right corner, click on the three dots / "More". Then tap on Virtual Background. A selection and mini menu will appear along the bottom of the screen. There are usually 3 default virtual backgrounds there. None of them are appropriate to communicate a work at home setting. Tap on the Plus (+) sign to add the background image you've downloaded from here. A "Photos" box will pop up. If you have a lot of photos on your iPad you might need to wait for a while for the preview images to load. Your most recent image/photo should appear in the bottom row. Tap on the background image you want to use, and then tap on "Done". There you go! Now tap on the X in the top corner to get back to the main Zoom page.

On your iPad or iPhone you'll want to click on the + on the right side of the bottom menu

For your iPhone: Yes, you can even use Virtual Backgrounds on your iPhone. Make sure the background image is saved to your Photos. Then launch the Zoom app, sign in and start a New Meeting. You'll be the only one in the meeting. Tap on "More" and then on Virtual Backgrounds. Tap on the Plus (+) sign to add the background image.

A "Photos" box will pop up. If you have a lot of photos on your iPhone you might need to wait for a while for the preview images to load. Your most recent image/photo should appear in the bottom row. Tap on the background image you want to use, and then tap on "Done". There you go! Leave the Meeting. Go into Settings (of the Zoom app) and click on Meetings. Scroll down to "Keep Virtual Background For" and make sure that "All meetings" is selected.

Set Up Tips:

  • Try and use natural light coming in from a window to light the front and/or side of your face. Do not have a window behind you as you will be backlit and your face will be dark and shaded.
  • If you can, have a solid, one-color background behind you. What works best is if you have a light or white-colored wall or curtain behind you.
  • If you can, try to match the primary color of the background image to the actual background color that will be behind you. Try them out and let us know on Instagram or Twitter, which Zoom background you like best.

Tips for Looking Your Best On Camera:

  • Face the camera --- you want the camera pointing directly at your face. Not from the side, or from below. Try to have the camera at the same height as your eyes. When someone has their laptop sitting on the couch cushion beside them the angle is unflattering, and unprofessional. Just don't do it!
  • Dress for the occasion. Wear for a conference call the same outfit that you would wear to the office.
  • Don't be a 'floating head'. Solve this by having your camera capture all of your face as well as your shoulders and some of your upper body. We see a lot of people leaning in too close to the camera - sometimes you can't even see their chin!
  • Check on your lighting. Natural light is best. But if you have a dark room, or are doing a call in the evening, position your lighting to be coming from the top, side or directly towards you. You really want to avoid having your light source come from below. Let's say you have a lamp on the floor and the light is shining on your face from below your chin -- you'll end up with an unflattering look that can be solved by simply moving your lamp.
  • Like your mother said, sit up straight! Consider using a pillow behind your back to support your lower back. Slouching, or laying in bed or on the couch is just not acceptable. If you don't have a desk handy, then stand up. It'll keep you focused and attentive.
  • Use Airpods or small bluetooth headphones. The benefit is three-fold. Firstly you will avoid hearing an echo or feedback. The microphone in your Airpods or headphones will pick up a more natural sound of your voice. And thirdly, you will look better than if you use a massive over-the-head set of wired headphones.
  • Wear an outfit this is a different color than the background you are sitting in front of. The Zoom software is working to differentiate you from the background you are in front of so you'll make it a lot easier for definitive capture of your whole face and body if you aren't blending in the background color of the wall behind you!
  • Just like a TV News Anchor, try to maintain virtual eye contact by looking directly into the camera lens, especially when others are talking. And of course, when you are talking. Looking at the camera communicates that you are listening to the person speaking. And looking at the camera when you are speaking helps you communicate your message to the person on the other side of the camera.

Here are 48 professional home office backgrounds that you can use for your Zoom Virtual Background. Plus two backgrounds that are just for your friends. You'll know them when you see them. Enjoy and think of us when you need a new logo designed for your next business project. Our automated logo maker will set you up with a new logo in minutes!

Photo by Joey Sforza on Unsplash
Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash
Photo by Roman Bozhko on Unsplash
Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash
Photo by Vladimir Mokry on Unsplash
Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Unsplash
https://unsplash.com/photos/CqVHT8g45R8/download?force=true
Photo by House Method on Unsplash
Photo by Rune Enstad on Unsplash
Photo by Kara Eads on Unsplash
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
Photo by Croissant on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Barrowman on Unsplash
Photo by Nathan Van Egmond on Unsplash
Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash
Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash
Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash
Photo by Greg Rivers on Unsplash
Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash
Photo by Aw Creative on Unsplash
Photo by Maiar Shalaby on Unsplash
Photo by Israa Hilles on Unsplash
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash
Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash
Photo by Victor Rodriguez on Unsplash
Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash
Photo by Rogério Toledo on Unsplash
Photo by Roxanne Joncas on Unsplash
Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash
Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash
Photo by Alberto Castillo Q. on Unsplash

This minimalist home office backdrop by Samantha Gades is one of our favorite Zoom Virtual Backgrounds that we highly recommend:

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash
Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash
Photo by Jolene Hardy on Unsplash

These next two background shots are of the same livingroom. Add realism to your background by interchanging these from day to day!

Photo by Devon Janse van Rensburg on Unsplash
Photo by James Barr on Unsplash
Photo by Alessandra Caretto on Unsplash
Photo by Loewe Technologies on Unsplash
Photo by Prudence Earl on Unsplash
Photo by Di_An_h on Unsplash
Photo by Di_An_h on Unsplash
Photo by Dario on Unsplash
Photo by Manja Vitolic on Unsplash
Photo by Zaji Kanamajina on Unsplash
Photo by deborah cortelazzi on Unsplash
Photo by Jason Pofahl on Unsplash

These last two are just for laughs. Not recommended for work conference calls, but rather for close friends who will share a laugh with you about your model roommates:

Photo by James Barr on Unsplash
Photo by Nader Arman on Unsplash
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