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Strategy & Insights: Up Close

Top Zoom Backgrounds Available for FREE

Need a free virtual background for your next Zoom call? Easily hide the clutter, embarrassing family photos, and other unmentionables in your current working-from-home location by downloading one of these free backgrounds.

Almost everyone is using Zoom for video chats and teleconferencing while working from home. Zoom even has a setting that allows you to easily swap-out your actual real-life background for a virtual background. No green screen or special equipment is required.

Zoom does offer a few default backgrounds, but why go with boring when you can easily upgrade your background with a few clicks for FREE???? You can customize by background by downloading a free Zoom background and up your game considerably. Some office cultures have even adopted a competitive streak with trying to out-Zoom each other with who can show off the best background.

At ReelPaws, we even created custom ones showing our Chicago studio space, RP Studio. I found myself taking more calls in the bedroom as our home office door didn't have a lock. So, to prevent our two very young children from coming in unexpectedly during a business call, I was working and taking meetings from a desk in the bedroom. However, I didn't like that the bed was partially viewable behind me, ENTER: the virtual background. It was super easy to install and I liked the professional look it gave during client meetings.

We also scoured the internet to find the best sources of free virtual backgrounds so you don't have to, and here's what we recommend:

  • Good Housekeeping Find a background to fit your personality from popular TV shows, Pixar, or classy West Elm furniture behind you (sitting poolside, anyone?)

  • Pocket-lint More awesome free backgrounds, including work by famous artists, well-known locations from hit television shows and award-winning movies, as well as pop culture references...Tiger King anyone?

  • Ikea Show your love of clean lines and Scandinavian design with these free backgrounds offered by the wildly popular furniture company.

  • Modsy Choose from re-imagined Friends lofts, Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from Sex and the City, Seinfeld living rooms, even Claire's Oval Office from House of Cards, and more.


  1. Select and download the background from one of the above to your computer.

  2. Open up Zoom and go to Settings

  3. Under the Virtual Background tab in Settings, click the (+) button next to Choose Virtual Background to add your image

  4. Select the name of the file that you just downloaded to your computer

  5. Now you're ready to use it on your next Zoom call!

Alternatively, you can change your background while on a Zoom call

When on your next Zoom chat, you can change your background by:

  1. Select and download the background from one of the above to your computer

  2. Click on the arrow next to the start video/stop video button

  3. Select choose a virtual background

  4. Click the plus (+) button on the right and select the name of the file that you just downloaded to your computer

Now you're ready to impress your colleagues and clients with your awesome new Zoom self!

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