Months after Zoom finally made it possible to blur out your real-life background without leaving the videoconferencing platform, mobile users still have so many questions about using the update on their devices. If you've taken your messy office out of focus during your video meetings, you might be wondering: Can you blur your Zoom background on your phone or tablet as well? Technically, yes, but it's going to work a little differently than on your laptop.
Before the tech company rolled out an in-platform "Blur" button back in February 2021 with its 5.5.0 operating system update, Zoom users had to blur out their IRL backdrops the old fashioned way: by using a third-party website to take your background out of focus and then uploading the doctored image to Zoom through the virtual backgrounds feature.
Unfortunately, there's a catch for mobile Zoom users. The company still only offers the in-app Blur button for Zoom Client version 5.5.0 or later for Windows or MacOS, meaning you're out of luck if you're trying to access the feature on your smartphone or tablet.
However, you can still technically blur your background on your next mobile Zoom call with a few extra steps. First, take a photo of your real-life background or download a virtual background you'd like to use. Next, find a third-party app (there are plenty of free options for both iOS and Android users) that lets you blur your background, then save your edited image to your mobile device.
Lastly, you'll need to upload your blurred image to the Virtual Backgrounds portal. Once it's uploaded, here's how you can get a Zoom blur effect on your phone:
- Make sure you're signed into your Zoom app.
- During your Zoom meeting, tap "More" in the controls, then select Virtual Backgrounds. Tap the "+" button to pull up your most recent images, then select the blurred background you just edited.
- Tap "Close" to return to the meeting with your new blurred background.
- You can turn it off at any time by selecting Virtual Backgrounds and tapping "None."
The feature generally works best and looks most realistic when you have a green screen or a background with a consistent color, so that's something to keep in mind when setting up for your meeting.
Unfortunately, mobile Zoom users have to take a few extra steps to take their backgrounds out of focus, but it wouldn't be surprising if the videoconferencing company rolls out an in-app Blur feature to iOS and Android users sometime in the future.