Background Blur in Teams Meetings

BlurredVideo

Post updated on March 20, 2020 with information about blurring support in the Teams for iOS client.

Blurring Hardware for Modern PCs

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 (AVX2) graphics. AVX2 is what Teams uses to blur the background after it figures out where the user is.

AVX2 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.

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

Previously, background blur only works in the Teams desktop client. It’s not available in the browser client. Microsoft is currently preparing for widespread deployment of 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.

Advertisements

13 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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.