Background Blur in Teams Meetings

BlurredVideo

Post upated on June 10, 2020 with news that Teams now supports PCs with AVX graphics (not AVX2) for background effects, including blur.

Hardware Support for Teams Background Blur

Announced in July 2018 along with the free version of Teams, users can blur the background of video calls. The feature is now generally available. However, the technology to perform face recognition to identify the person and understand where the background to be blurred begins and ends only runs on reasonably recent PC equipped with Advanced Vector Extension 2 (AVX) graphics. AVX is what Teams uses to blur the background after it figures out where the user is.

AVX is supported by PCs that have a post-Haswell chipset. Blurring works on my Surface Book 2, but doesn’t on my HP Envy 17 of 2014 vintage. Be aware that the CPU has some processing to do to locate a face and blur the background, so it can impact other work on the PC if you run a loaded system.

Formal advice about hardware support needed for blurring is available on this page, which notes: “The optional Blur my background video effect requires a processor with Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (AVX2) support. See Hardware decoder and encoder driver recommendations for a list of unsupported decoders and encoders.

However, in June 2020, Microsoft relaxed the requirement for AVX2 and Teams now supports background effects for PCs equipped with the earlier AVX graphics.

Background blur is supported in the Teams desktop client for Windows and Mac, but not in the Linux or browser clients.

For more information about the hardware requirements for blurring, see the note in hardware requirements for Microsoft Teams. More detailed information for Windows PC is in hardware decoder and encoder driver recommendations.

Blurring Your Background

To blur your background during a video call, select the Start video with blur option when you join a call or the Blur my background option from the […] meeting menu. If things go blurry, you know that your PC can do the business. If not, maybe it’s time for an upgrade if you think that blurring is a big business feature that justifies the expenditure.

To turn background blur off, select the Don’t blur background option from the […] meeting menu.

Background Blur in Teams for iOS

Updated: April 2020

Originally, background blur only worked in the Teams desktop client. It’s not available in the browser client. This month, Microsoft is releasing background blur for the Teams mobile client for iOS. This feature has appeared on my iPhone. You can join a meeting with blur enabled (Figure 1) or enable blurring during the meeting from the call menu. Note the small blur icon in the upper left-hand corner which controls turning blurring on or off.

Starting a meeting using the Teams for iOS client with background blur
Figure 1: Starting a meeting using the Teams for iOS client with background blur

Blur the Meeting

Blurring backgrounds is a nice feature, but sometimes I feel that it would be even better if I could blur some meeting attendees. But I’m grumpy at the best of times, so there’s no surprise there.

Read Chapter 16 of Office 365 for IT Pros for more information about Teams video meetings and the transition from Skype for Business Online, and Chapter 13 for more information about Teams in general.

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32 Replies to “Background Blur in Teams Meetings”

    1. You’ll have to log a support case to resolve this. It might be that the PC lacks a specific feature.

  1. CTRL + Shift + P during the video call in meeting just attempts a print. No blue option on my teams, Nvidia graphics card, win 10, Enterprise edition 0365 and Teams. I have this blur feature at work but not when working at home.

    1. Hi Mike, it’s an old post (from September 2018 – now updated) and I discovered that the Teams people changed the keystroke to avoid clashes with other commands. In any case, you can blur your background before starting a meeting or during a meeting (Blur my background from the meeting menu). If the hardware doesn’t support the extensions, you won’t see blurring…

      1. I have the same issue, the first day I plug in the camera I see “blur” option, after days I can’t see anymore

  2. it’s completely asinine that video settings cannot be set PRIOR to a meeting. And in ‘testing’ with the teams ‘bot’ doesn’t offer video settings. (or…what am I missing here??)

  3. Background blur in Teams for IOS worked on my iPad last friday, after the update 2.0.7, but does not work since then.

    1. I’m not sure if this feature is fully released for iOS. It might have been removed for update in the iOS client.

  4. Good a query in my office there are several users of Microsoft Teams I have updated it You have Tiene la versión 1.3.00.12058 (64 bits) (64 bits) of Microsoft Teams while the computer shows the option Show background effects but to other computers it does not appear or on the web as I could make that option appear to you, I hope you are well and have good news about you, thank you.

  5. Background effects aren’t available in the browser client I understand each machine has it installed in the cpu but the option of the effects does not appear

  6. Hi. Could you confirm which versions of iOS and Teams your running to get the blur option as I have multiple iPads and iPhones running teams 2.0.9 and still can’t see the blur option. Thanks.

    1. I’m running the latest version of iOS (whatever Apple release, I install) and a Testflight version (2.0.9). Remember that the client is only one part of the equation and the server side of the tenant must be upgraded too… (in this case, to enable the feature rather than to do the blurring)

      1. Thanks, thats useful to know as the same question is still unanswered on the forums.

  7. I us a computer , 8 years of age with a cor-I7 processor. The blurr works on Skype but not on Tams. Thats quite strange. Why can Skype accomodate this feature and Teams vcan not. I bought a microsoft lifecam business but that doesn’t help me much. I am quite disappointed about this.

    1. Hi Jan,

      Sometimes computers don’t work quite the way we would like them to. It’s hard for me to say why Teams isn’t supporting the background blur function for you when Skype does. The webcam doesn’t make any difference (I believe) because the functions that drive the ability to blur a background are in the operating system.

  8. Ok thanks anyway. I think that my computer is to old for this Teams-feature. It’s disappointing because they never informed me that the blurr option was for relatively new machines only. Thought tha a i7 processor (altough 8 years old) would do the trick.

    1. Unfortunately, it’s the AVX2 component that is needed. Any computer from the last 4 years or so should be OK (but not guaranteed).

    1. No, it’s a simple fact that the hardware required to do the blurring doesn’t exist in earlier generations of CPUs.

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