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.