Microsoft Teams Animated Background now Available

Animated backgrounds have been available for a long time in Zoom. Until now they were not possible in Microsoft Teams. But with the latest update that is being rolled out now (Jun 2023), we use animated backgrounds in Microsoft Teams.

By default, we can only choose between 4 animated backgrounds in Teams which are provided by Microsoft. Uploading custom animated backgrounds isn’t possible at the moment, but there is a workaround for that.

In this article, we are going to take a look at how to use Teams animated background. And I will show you how you can use your own animated background in Microsoft Teams.

Using Teams Animated Backgrounds

The rollout of the Teams update with the animated backgrounds started mid-jun 2023. It’s first being rollout to the targeted release tenants and public preview, after which it will become generally available starting from the beginning of July. Roll-out should be completed by the end of July 2023.


Animated backgrounds is currently not available in the new preview version of Microsoft Teams.

So it’s possible that the feature hasn’t been made available yet in your tenant. But make sure that you check in Teams if you have the latest version:

  • Click on the 3 dots (Settings) next to your Profile icon
  • Click on Check for Update to make sure you have the latest version

The animated backgrounds in Teams are listed above the normal backgrounds in Teams. So to use the new backgrounds, you can either select Effects and Avatars > More Video effects in the pre-join screen or if you are already in a call:

  1. Click on More
  2. Effects and avatars
  3. Select one of the 4 video backgrounds

You can recognize the Teams animated backgrounds by the small video player icon in the lower left corner.

Hardware Requirements

Teams animated backgrounds are not available on low-end devices. It requires at least 8GB of ram and a CPU with 4 logical processors. Also good to know is that when you use animated backgrounds in combination with video filters, the background animation might slow down.

Using Custom Teams Animated Backgrounds

At the moment we can’t upload our own animated backgrounds to Microsoft Teams. I don’t know if this feature will be added later or not, but there is a workaround to use your own animated background in Teams.


Find some of the best and most funny animated backgrounds in this article.

The video files (mp4) that are used for the animation are stored in the same folder as the normal Teams backgrounds. Adding files in this folder won’t work, but we can replace one of the pre-defined mp4 files with our own. If you open the folder %appdata%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds, then you will see four mp4 files:

What we are going to do is rename an existing file, upload our own video file, and give it the name of the existing file:

  1. In explorer, navigate to %appdata%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds (just copy and paste the path in the address bar of Explorer)
  2. Rename one .mp4 files, for example, feelingDreamy2Animated.mp4
  3. Paste your custom animated background in the folder
  4. Rename it to feelingDreamy2Animated.mp4

You will now need to restart Teams for the background to become effective. Close Teams, and make sure that you also close it in the lower-right corner on the taskbar (or just log off and log on in Windows).

If you now open Teams and go to Effects and avatars, you will still see the same previews for the animated backgrounds. However, if we select Animated Feeling Dreamy 2, then you will see that your custom animation is loaded, instead of the default one, as you can see in the short video below:

Using GIF Files as Background

Another option is to use GIF files as backgrounds in Teams. GIF files are also not supported by default but again, with a workaround, we can add these to Teams as well. To do this we are going to copy the gif file to the backgrounds folder and rename the gif file to jpg.


Make sure that you have enabled Show File Extension in Explorer. You can do this onder View > Show
  1. Open the Explorer and navigate to %appdata%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads (just copy and paste the path in the address bar of Explorer)
  2. Paste the .gif file into the folder
  3. Rename the .gif file to .jpg
  4. Make a copy of the file and add _thumb to the file name
  5. Restart Teams and select your new background.

Disabling Animated Backgrounds

Teams Animated Backgrounds are enabled by default for all users. However, if you don’t want to use these backgrounds in your tenant, then you can disable it with a Teams policy.

  1. Open the Teams Admin Center
  2. Click on Meetings
  3. Choose Meeting Policies
  4. Select the Global org wide default policy
  5. Under Audio & Video, change the participants can use video effects to Only background blur and default backgrounds.

Wrapping Up

Animated backgrounds are a nice feature to have in Teams. Unfortunately, it’s not available yet in the preview version of Teams, but it will for sure come to the new Teams app as well. For now, we can’t easily upload our own animated backgrounds, but I think that will change soon enough.

When choosing an animated Teams background, make sure you pick one that is not too distracting if you want to keep it professional. You can find some of the best animated backgrounds in this article.

If you like this new feature, make sure you share this article! If you have any questions just drop a comment below.

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