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How to blur your Skype background before a call begins or during a call, and hide a messy or distracting room

  • You can blur your Skype background from the settings menu if you want to hide clutter or disguise the room behind you in a Skype call.
  • Skype also allows you to replace the background with a preset image or one of your own.
  • You can also blur the background before a call begins or while it's in progress. 
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

As people increasingly work remotely and take part in online meetings from home, a new kind of problem has started to occur: cluttered, messy or otherwise unprofessional backgrounds in conference calls. 

Like most web conference apps, Skype has risen to the challenge by letting you digitally blur the background in your calls. Even if your office's background isn't messy, blurring the background can keep other attendees focused by removing distractions from your video. 

How to blur your Skype background before a call begins

1. Before you begin a video call, click the three-dot menu icon to the right of your account avatar, which you'll find in the pane on the left.

2. In the dropdown menu, choose "Settings."

3. Click "Audio & Video" in the pane on the left. 

4. In the "Choose background effect" section, you have a choice of several backgrounds. You can replace your background with one of the provided images, upload your own background, or blur the backgrounds. Click "Blur." 

5. Close the Settings window. You're now ready to place a video call with a blurred background. 

How to blur your Skype background during a call

If you forgot to blur the background ahead of time and a call is already in progress, you can still blur the background. 

1. At the bottom right of the window, click "More."

2. In the pop-up menu, click "Choose background effect."

3. In the "Choose background effect" section of the Audio & Video Settings window, click "Blur." You can also choose one of the background images or upload your own.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to blur the background in photos on your iPhone, with or without Portrait Mode

  • How to cancel your Skype account's subscription, and stop paying a monthly fee for landline calls

  • How to use the Skype Translator tool to translate audio and messages on your computer or mobile device

  • How to change your profile's color on Skype in 5 simple steps

  • How to change your Skype profile picture on a computer or mobile device

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