Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have been hunting for the best Microsoft Teams backgrounds out there.
There are a number of reasons to use the Teams backgrounds feature; some people are just looking to add some personality to their video calls, while others might be worried about the state of their home office.
The beauty of Teams backgrounds is that they come in all manner of flavors, so there's a Teams background for every scenario, occasion and season.
- What is Teams? This guide answers all the important questions
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- Here's our guide on how to use Microsoft Teams
Although there are stock options available, you'll have to do some digging to uncover the best Teams backgrounds. To give you a helping hand, however, we’ve rounded up a great selection of free virtual backgrounds for personal and business use.
If you’re a fan of the BBC, you’ll be happy to learn that the broadcaster is offering its own video call backgrounds. There are some stunning wildlife shots, including a cute sea turtle, and 100 empty sets from the BBC Archive. Should you fancy a spin in the Tardis or a drink down the Old Vic, you're in luck.
With an archive of more than 200 million stock images, Getty is one of the world’s largest visual media companies. It too is offering virtual backgrounds for remote workers. Hand-picked and aimed at brightening up your Teams calls, they include Jurassic dinosaurs, the Egyptian pyramids and red carpet photographers.
Free stock image website Pexels has over 500 engaging video conference backgrounds, which include everything from offices and colleagues working together to friends hanging out and people celebrating their birthday. They’re free, high-res and easy to download onto any device.
The BBC isn’t the only media giant to release its own backgrounds for video calls; Disney is looking to “brighten up your next video call” with a series of Pixar backgrounds. They include scenes from iconic movies like Toy Story, Finding Memo, Monsters Inc and The Incredibles. It’s like living your childhood all over again!
If you’re a fan of cartoons, it’s definitely worth checking out Fox’s selection of backgrounds. The American broadcasting giant is offering a range of backgrounds taken from shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy, and they’re completely free.
According to Marvel, video calls with your home background are “typical, mundane, and not at all dangerous”. So, with more people using their computers for work and fun, it’s released cinematic shots of its most iconic locations. For instance, you can download a high-res background of Wakanda. Again, you don’t have to pay a penny.
A bit of a Star Wars fanatic? Then you’ll be thrilled to learn that you can download free high-res backgrounds from the iconic movies. Whether your call is personal or professional, we’ve all dreamed of travelling the galaxies. Backgrounds include The Millennium Falcon, Death Star, Cloud City and Jakku.
Although the pandemic has curtailed many of our travel plans, that doesn’t mean you can’t look like you’re somewhere nice while on video call. In fact, Airbnb is aiming to “transport you outdoors” through its virtual background collection. It’s full of stunning shots, including a Balian treehouse and vintage home in Hollywood.
Space lovers will rejoice at the fact that NASA is allowing people to download free galactic backgrounds to be used on video calls, including the launch of a Mars parachute, aerial shots of various parts of the world (including the Dnieper River in Ukraine), a glimpse of Jupiter and other wonders of space.
Since the start of the pandemic, lots of people have been going on virtual dates and catch-ups. Of course, the background of your bedroom or living room isn’t quite as impressive as the great outdoors or a fancy bar. But dating app Hinge has your back with some free backgrounds.
ITV’s Coronation Street
Fancy a pint down the Rover’s Return? It’s sort-of possible thanks to these free Coronation Street backgrounds from ITV. They feature iconic scenes from the soap, such as The Kabin, Roy’s Rolls and various homes of the show’s characters.
Lego is another high profile company that has its own background images for video calls. Looking to make video calls fun, it’s released high-res images of its toy characters travelling the galaxies, sailing on pirate ships, hanging out in the jungle and many more. They’re great for anyone who has children.
Walking around Ikea truly is an adventure and sometimes feels like being on a film set. Now you can feature its famed designs on your video calls. The furniture giant has a vast collection of video call backgrounds, including offices, celebrations, views, romantic dates and spaces.
Canva, a graphic design platform, offers a range of free backgrounds and animations. Whether it’s a custom business card, a classroom blackboard, swirling stars, a city backdrop or cute dogs, there are loads of fun and professional templates to choose from. You can even create your own virtual background if you can’t find something for you and are feeling creative.
Shutterstock is another popular graphics website providing free backgrounds to customize calls. There are 50 static backgrounds available as part of a downloadable pack, ranging from office shots for professional business calls to stunning geographic photos that make you look like you’re in a far away destination rather than lounging in your PJs at home.
Unsplash is probably the best resource for premium stock images that don’t cost a penny, covering everything from business to architecture. You can easily use them as backgrounds for video calls, and there are thousands of options available. If you don’t want to spend hours searching for the perfect picture, it’s definitely worth browsing Unsplash’s dedicated Work From Home page.
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