How to Change Background on Google Meet [Desktop & Mobile]

Last updated June 21, 2022

The pandemic has changed how the world works by accelerating the adoption of remote work. It’s fair to say that video and conference calls are now more popular than ever before, thanks to remote learning and working. Of course, with the change came emergent tools that have become commonplace in daily life. One of those tools is Google Meet.

Tools like Google Meet are excellent for everything from school classes to corporate meetings. These days, Google Meet has many features to make meetings and conference calls as convenient as possible. And the tech giant continues to add more features to its video calling tool to stay competitive with other similar apps on the market.

One feature that has been improved upon recently is the ability to blur or replace your background on this app. If you want to know how to change background on Google Meet, this guide can help you through every step!

What is Google Meet, and How Do You Use It?

Google Meet

Before we talk about how to change your background in Google Meet, let’s first talk about the app itself.

So what is Google Meet?

Google Meet is what you get when you combine Google Hangouts, an obsolete cross-platform app for messaging, and Google Chats. It is a video conferencing app that’s available entirely for free and is used by businesses, schools, and governments worldwide. These days, it’s one of the most popular video conferencing tools, along with Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

The Background Changing Features

The Google Meet background change allows you to blur your background on two levels — a light blur to hide distinguishing features while still giving a vague idea of your background and a more aggressive blur to turn everything behind you into indistinguishable blobs.

You can also change Google Meet background photos into whatever you prefer. A library is available for you to choose from, or you can upload your own images.

The mobile apps have also recently gotten an update. Now, not only can you change your background, but you can also add a style (change the coloring of your video) or a filter (AR filters and masks that can make you look like an animal, a pirate, and so on). Note, however, that you can only use one effect at a time.

Requirements to Be Able to Change Your Background

If you want to use the background replacement feature, you’ll need to meet some requirements.

Device/Platform Minimum Requirements
iOS iPhone 6s or newer, iOS 12 and up
Android Android version P and up, 3GB RAM, 4 CPU cores at 1.6GHz clock speed, using ARM64 chip architecture
Mac Feature only available through the Google Chrome browser
macOS, Windows, Linux Google Chrome browser version M84 and up
Chrome OS Google Chrome browser version M86 and up

How to Change Background on Google Meet Before Joining a Meeting

On Desktop

Here’s how to set background in Google Meet calls before you join a meeting.

  1. Open Google Meet in your browser.
  2. Create or sign in to your meeting.
  3. On the next page, you’ll get a chance to preview your audio and video. Click on the button in the bottom right corner of the camera preview.
Apply visual effects on google meet

4. Select your background from the window that pops up. Once you finish configuring your camera and audio, press X on the upper right corner of the Get Ready screen. Then, you can click “Join Now” to enter your meeting.

On Mobile

  1. Open your Google Meet app and sign in to your meeting.
  2. The next page will give you a chance to preview your video. Tap on the Visual Effects button.
Visual effects button on mobile

3. Select your background, style, or filter and tap Done. Then, you can join your meeting.

Google meet backgrounds

How to Change Background in Google Meet After Joining a Meeting

On Desktop

If you’re wondering how to change background in Google Meet in laptop and desktop computers, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Google Meet in your browser.
  2. Create or sign in to your meeting.
  3. On the bottom of your screen, look for the three dots (More Options) and click it.
More options button

4. Click on Apply Visual Effects.

5. Select your new background from the corresponding menu on the right-hand side of your screen.

Choose a new background on Google Meet

On Mobile

Here’s how to change the background in Meet after joining a meeting on mobile.

  1. Open your Google Meet app and create or sign in to your meeting.
  2. Look for your self-view, then tap on the visual effects icon in the bottom right corner.
Visual effects icon on google meet mobile

3. Select your background, style, or filter from the next screen, then tap the X when you finish to return to your meeting.

Tap the X to return to your Goole Meet meeting

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I change my background on Google Meet?

There are a few possible reasons why you can’t change Google Meet backgrounds. Here’s what you can do:

  • Check to ensure your device or machine meets the minimum requirements to use the feature.
  • Check if the meeting admin/host has disabled the feature.
  • Try creating a new meeting to see if it works there.
  • If you are using a browser, enable hardware acceleration.
  • Try clearing your browser’s cache and disabling any extensions

In some cases, you cannot change your background, such as if you have Google Workspace for Education.

How do I change my Google Meet background?

Changing backgrounds on Google Meet is simple, as long as your device meets the minimum requirements. The guides above clearly show how.

Does Google Meet have virtual backgrounds?

Yes! It used to be that you could only have virtual backgrounds on the desktop or browser version of Google Meet, but Google has recently implemented virtual backgrounds on the mobile app versions. You can choose from the existing gallery of backgrounds for Google Meet, or you can upload your own if you prefer.

Google even took it one step further and added a mobile-only feature: live styles and filters that can alter your video’s appearance. The styles can make your camera black and white or change its coloring. The filters, however, are more of a fun feature that you probably won’t use in professional settings. You’d be amazed at the types of fun filters available on the mobile app — some are so good and responsive! Technology has come a long way since the first dog filters on Snapchat.

If you’re wondering how to change virtual background in Google Meet, the process remains entirely the same — follow the steps in the guide above and choose or upload your background.

Conclusion

The addition of the background features on Google Meet helps make the service competitive in the global market, especially when other apps like Zoom exist. Plus, the feature is helpful overall since you can blur or replace your video’s background with a virtual one to hide a distracting or messy background behind you.

We hope that this guide on how to change background on Google Meet has helped you figure things out so you can banish your background woes forever. If you have any questions or more tips and tricks for improving your Google Meet experience, feel free to share them in the comments below!

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Chriselle Sy
Chriselle Sy
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Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, but she's a geek at heart. When she isn't busy writing, she spends her time streaming video games and learning new skills.