How to Use Custom Virtual Backgrounds in Skype Video Calls

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Skype has introduced support for custom backgrounds in video calls, following the recent popularity of an equivalent feature in Zoom.

The option to use custom backgrounds is part of the version 8.59.0.77 update for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Web, which began rolling out on April 16. As Skype's release notes describe the feature:
"Want to look like you're calling from the beach, or from space? Now you can, with custom backgrounds for your video calls."
Once you've received the update, follow these steps to use a custom background while on a call. The second set of steps in this article explain how to set up a custom background for all your calls.

How to Add a Custom Background to Your Skype Call
  1. Launch Skype and initiate a call.
  2. Once you're connected, click the More menu (the three dots) or hover over the video button.
  3. Click Choose background effect.
  4. Add a new image to customize your background effect, or select one you've previously added. You can also Blur the real background of the room you're in.
How to Set Up a Custom Background for All Your Skype Calls
  1. Launch Skype and click your profile picture.
  2. Click the Settings button (the cog icon), then click the Audio & Video button (the mic icon).
  3. Add a new image to customize your background effect, or select one you've previously added. You can also Blur the real background of the room you're in.
In addition to custom backgrounds, this latest Skype update also makes it easier to share files directly from your Mac to your Skype contacts and offers quicker access to call controls in the chat window. You can learn more about the update on the Skype website.

Article Link: How to Use Custom Virtual Backgrounds in Skype Video Calls
 

bergert

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2008
174
55
With iOS you need iPhone8 or later - I found out as on my 6s the option is not there.
- - Post merged: - -

Isn’t Skype dead and replaced by Teams? Or will Teams become the business one and Skype the personal one?
The teams web-site says its still in beta and does not support Safari - asks me to install the app.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,712
3,324
Isn’t Skype dead and replaced by Teams? Or will Teams become the business one and Skype the personal one?
That seems to be the split at the moment. Skype has a very large already installed user-base. If I need to conference with someone outside our organization, it’s generally been with Zoom or Skype.
 

incoherent_1

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2016
458
782
It's interesting that Zoom seems to get all the credit for being able to do custom backgrounds without a green screen (and even then it's associated with modern, powerful, hardware) - when iChat was doing it back in 2007!
Agreed. I’m baffled by everyone going gaga over Zoom. There have been better alternatives for ages.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,712
3,324
Agreed. I’m baffled by everyone going gaga over Zoom. There have been better alternatives for ages.
Such as? Zoom has by far the lowest barrier to entry for the widest number of users. It doesn’t require an account. It works on nearly any device, often without even an install (and if it does require an install, it’s as simplified as possible). I don’t have any particular love for zoom, but it has been illustrative to watch huge numbers of tech-illiterate family and co-workers have to get online, and universally, Zoom is the default choice if you need to get a number of people together quickly with minimal hassle.
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2017
2,884
6,070
Out there...way out there
Isn’t Skype dead and replaced by Teams? Or will Teams become the business one and Skype the personal one?
No. After purchasing Skype Microsoft renamed their Lync messenger to "Skype for Business". Later on (around the same time Slack took off) they gave the code a serious makeover and created Teams.

Skype continues to exist as a Consumer application.
 

ipponrg

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2008
1,989
1,645
It's interesting that Zoom seems to get all the credit for being able to do custom backgrounds without a green screen (and even then it's associated with modern, powerful, hardware) - when iChat was doing it back in 2007!
Probably because Zoom is more cross platform friendly. Imagine if Apple released some of these nice tools for more than just their proprietary ecosystem.
 

incoherent_1

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2016
458
782
Such as? Zoom has by far the lowest barrier to entry for the widest number of users. It doesn’t require an account. It works on nearly any device, often without even an install (and if it does require an install, it’s as simplified as possible). I don’t have any particular love for zoom, but it has been illustrative to watch huge numbers of tech-illiterate family and co-workers have to get online, and universally, Zoom is the default choice if you need to get a number of people together quickly with minimal hassle.
I've always found Skype superior and suitable to my needs (and not to mention been around for many years longer), but point taken about the barrier to entry! Somehow, I've managed to avoid having to hand-hold any relatives through installing it.
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,194
Germany.
Agreed. I’m baffled by everyone going gaga over Zoom. There have been better alternatives for ages.
Not across all major platforms. Zoom works in the browser, Android, iOS, macOS, Windows AND Linux. It also works well with dedicated video conference hardware (read: something that's not a mobile phone or computer). And it has a user interface that apparently appeals to many users (which I personally fail to understand, but the majority seems to like it).

Most of all: The thing is stable with decent video and audio quality even when you have dozens (plural!) of people in a conference - and that is exactly where Zoom actually mops the floor with the competition. With Zoom you can have an actually working virtual lecture hall, not just a simple chat with one or two people. In comparison, popular alternatives like Jitsi simply break down when you have ten people in the conference. Zoom "just works".
 

Jim Courtney

macrumors newbie
May 4, 2020
1
0
Isn’t Skype dead and replaced by Teams? Or will Teams become the business one and Skype the personal one?
Skype remains available as the consumer version; Teams is an evolution for Business customers and came via Skype for Business. The new Meet Now feature allows anyone instant access and other parties do not need to be on Skype or have a Skype account.
 
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