30 May 2020
Video calling usage is on the rise. Almost every company and organization around the world is switching to video calling tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet to conduct digital meetings and conferences. Google Meet is the new entrant, and the search giant recently made Google Meet free for all. While you don’t need to download and install an app on your computer, you can use virtual backgrounds to make your surroundings appear a bit different than the rest of the participants.
While keeping things simple, Google Meet lacks several video calling functions such as screen recording, background blur, virtual background, Whiteboard, and more. To make up for some of them, you can use Google Meet Chrome extensions.
Using virtual backgrounds during meetings can be a serious distinguishing factor that can portray your persona differently. I don’t prefer participants peeking and noting random things in my background during video calls. Google has promised to bring background blur soon. Meanwhile, if you want to use virtual backgrounds, there are a few solutions.
In this post, we will guide you on two best ways to use a virtual background in Google Meets. Let’s get started.
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Use Virtual Backgrounds for Google Meet Extension
As I mentioned earlier, you can use extensions from the Chrome web store to power up Google Meet experience. To add virtual backgrounds during calls in Google Meet, we will use the Virtual Background extension. Follow the steps below to enable the function in Google Meet.
Step 1: Visit the Chrome Web Store and search for Virtual background in the search bar.
Step 2: You will find Virtual background for Google Meet at the top. Download and install the extension on Google Chrome browser. (You can also use this extension or any extension from the Chrome Web Store to other Chromium-based browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Opera, Brave, and more).
Step 3: After successful installation, navigate to Google Meet on the web to create meetings.
Step 4: Tap on start meeting and select Join now to start the video preview.
Step 5: Tap on the Virtual background extension above and enable the extension.
The extension will offer a bunch of ready-to-go backgrounds to use during meetings. Tap on the relevant one, and you will see a live virtual background during Google Meet meetings.
The experience is far from perfect — check the screenshot above. If you move your face a lot, then you will notice the video background distorting your video view during a meeting.
Google Meet is a popular video conferencing service for everything from important work meetings to hanging out with friends. Virtual backgrounds are a fun and useful feature. We’ll show you how to use virtual backgrounds in your next Google Meet video call.
Virtual backgrounds are a popular feature in Zoom, but Google Meet can do it, too. At the time of writing, the feature is limited to Google Meet on the web. You can choose from a variety of preloaded backgrounds or upload your own image.
To get started, you’ll need to be in a Google Meet meeting in a web browser such as Chrome. You can join a meeting or start your own.
Next, tap the three-dot menu icon in the bottom-right corner.
Select “Change Background” from the menu.
The Backgrounds menu will slide out from the right side of your screen. There are buttons for blurring your real-life background found at the top of the list.
Underneath those buttons are the preloaded virtual background images. Simply click one to use it.
To use your own photo, click the “+” button.
A file manager window will open for you to find an image located on your computer to use. We recommend using a JPG or PNG with a 1920x1080p resolution.
Now the image will be displayed as your background! Tap the “X” in the top-right corner to leave the Backgrounds menu.
That’s it! Use these tools to jazz up your work meetings or have some fun with friends.
Show off your personality with a Custom background image in Google Meet
Google Meet has been one of the most popular apps for having video meetings these past few months. But as much as people love the app, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they’ve felt the absence of one feature that’s a cult favorite with everyone rather profusely.
But Google Meet has finally bridged that gap and brought the Background Replace and Blur feature to all accounts. All users of Google Meet, regardless of their account type (free or paid), can now use the ‘Change Background‘ feature in meetings.
The feature is currently available only when using Google Meet on a browser or Chromebook but will soon make its way to the mobile app too. There are a couple of options to blur your background and a good set of preset images to replace your background present.
But what’s interesting is that Google has also rolled out the option to upload an image from your computer as your background with the initial launch of the feature. Where many other apps did not include the custom feature with the initial rollout, it was fitting that Google did not make its users wait any further, considering how long everyone had already been waiting.
Note: The custom background feature won’t be available for participants of meetings organized by Education customers.
How to Use a Custom Background in Google Meet
You can set a custom image from your computer as the background both before or during the meeting.
To select a custom image from your computer as the background image before a meeting, click the ‘Change background’ button on the bottom right corner of the Preview window of the Ready to Join page.
The menu for changing your background will appear at the bottom of the preview window. Click the ‘+’ icon that says ‘Use image from disk’ when you hover on it.
Tip: If you can’t appropriate custom images, head over to Google Meet Background Images website to browse and download backgrounds.
An ‘Open’ dialog box will appear. Select and open the image from your computer that you want to use as your background. You’ll be able to see the preview of the image as your background in the preview window. Click on ‘Join now’ to join the meeting with the current background. Or, click on the ‘+’ icon again to select another background from your disk.
You can also select a custom image as your background during the meeting. Click the ‘More Options’ icon (three-dot menu) on the right of the meeting toolbar. Then select ‘Change background’ from the menu.
The window to change your backgrounds will open on the right. Click the ‘+’ icon to select a custom image.
Meet stores the custom images you use so you can easily use them again in the future. They appear after the blur your background, but before any of the preset images from Google on the menu. To delete a custom image from Google Meet, hover on the image and click the ‘Delete’ icon.
Custom backgrounds are a fun way to choose a background in the meeting that reflects your personality better than the stock options from Google while also doing the job. Also, at launch, there won’t be any admin control available for this feature. But Google says it will introduce it later this year, so admins will be able to control whether or not organization users will be able to use custom backgrounds.