If you’re anything like me, you didn’t know what Zoom was before 3 weeks ago. I was familiar with virtual meetings and conference call/ video-chat platforms, sure. But zoom, to me, was the term we used when the dogs got hyper and ran around the living room at top speed for no discernable reason. And NOW, Zoom is my window to civilization; my portal to the great wide world of real live humans, besides the ones I’m responsible to feed. What a glorious gift!
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who thinks so and some major companies have released trademark backgrounds, available to download for FREE, all to enhance your video conferencing experience! We’ve compiled a list of our favorites for you below.
If you are new to this, changing your background might seem a bit complicated. Don’t worry, we’ve got you!
How to change your Zoom background
1. First, make sure you “Enable” Virtual Backgrounds by going to “Settings” at zoom.us in a web browser
2. Once enabled, open Zoom on your desktop or browser
3. Join or create a new meeting
4. Once in the meeting, look to the bottom left corner and see an option to “Stop Video.” Just don’t click it now 🙂 To the right is an upward arrow, “^,” click the arrow
5. When clicking the arrow, you will see an option to “Choose virtual background,” click that option
6. That will take you to a new window in “Settings” where you can choose from a default background or upload your own
7. To upload your own, click the “+” on the right of the video screen in the “Settings” window. This will give you the option to upload your own background into Zoom
8. Select your image and click Open
Pro Tips: To get the best virtual background, Zoom Support recommends upgrading high-quality pictures, locating a place in your house with uniform light and color, and don’t wear clothing that is the same color as your background.
You Can Even Apply a Touch-Up FIlter!
Surprised by a Zoom meeting time change and have no time to clean up first? Well, they made a filter, just for you! The “Touch Up My Appearance” option applies a soft focus to your video, smoothing tones and giving you a more polished look.
1. Open Zoom on your desktop or browser
2. On the homepage, click the gear icon to find the “Settings”
3. If you’re already in a meeting, find the “^” next to “Stop Video” and click “Video Settings”
4. Find “Touch Up My Appearance,” and check the box to turn on the filter
Now, for those virtual backgrounds!
Featuring an extensive library of generic backgrounds, Unsplash.com  is a great place to start. Unsplash is a library of free, high-quality stock images. You just need to create an account to get started, or log in with FaceBook.
Unsplash  has images for everything from a sprawling library
to famous landmarks like the Eiffel tower
Pro tip: select pictures that are horizontal because they fit a little better.
Even heavy hitters like Marvel are getting in on the background craze! Marvel tweeted out free backgrounds  from some of their iconic movies. All you have to do is right click and save the image to your computer. Some of our faves are
And Avengers Tower
A lot of television networks are offering free backgrounds, too! A recent tweet from Fox  included iconic backgrounds from some of their hit shows, including this classic!
As with the Marvel images, just right click and save to enjoy these fun backgrounds.
Video Game Backgrounds
Video game creators are throwing in some great images as well. Your kids will love these fun backgrounds as they attend all their zoom classes this semester.
Steven Madow Photography
This renowned photographer is offering some of his breathtaking work for free! Click here to browse his work  and choose your favorite background!
Zoommeetingbackgrounds.com  offers more than 30 free virtual backgrounds to use on Zoom. They are categorized into memes, funny, movie caps, landscapes, and videos.
Most relatable image ever!
Canva – Free Zoom Virtual Background Maker
This incredible tool lets you create your own background! Choose from their extensive library of free images and videos , and then customize them to your liking!
How cool are these!
Guidelines to Running Online
This group has collected over 50 images and put them in a convenient google docs folder ! My favorites are the Central Perk from the Friends set and this conference room from The Office!!!
Nickelodeon has released background s of a few of their most-loved shows, including Paw Patrol, Spongebob and even a throwback of Hey, Arnold!
This one is for the Harry Potter nerds! (me, this one is for ME!) Show off your house pride and click to download  one of these fun backgrounds!
50 points to Ravenclaw!
Need more Office backgrounds? Find them right here !
I just love these!
Family favorites in our house! Find iconic scenes from Coco, The Good Dinosaur and Monster’s Inc here!