Christmas Background for Zoom, Microsoft Teams: How to Get Grinch, Elf and Home Alone Images

The Christmas holiday season is likely to be different for many families across the world this year as the ongoing COVID pandemic continues to disrupt travel and severely limit how many people can be sitting around the dinner table.

For those who are unable to see their loved ones in person this December, the next best option for many will be a festive video call via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, helping you to open some gifts, chat with relatives and eat dinner together, albeit virtually.

While far from ideal, using a festive background can help channel that Christmas spirit, transforming your surroundings by using a picture from your favourite holiday moviesbe it Die Hard, Elf or Home Alone—or a tribute to Santa himself.

Luckily, there's a lot of free backgrounds for you to choose from. Here are the best ways to download some custom Christmas holiday backgrounds—and how to use them.

Zoom

Zoom's virtual background feature lets you upload an image or video for your calls and it advises a minimum resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels for pictures and a minimum resolution of 480 by 360 pixels (360p) for footage, to ensure good quality.

The company offers a selection of Christmas backgrounds that will work for free, which are available on its website. Just follow the link and sort by the term "seasonal."

Alternatively, there are several websites offering royalty-free images, with a browse of each showing lots of festive options. Check out Pexels, Unsplash and Pixabay. Using the search term "Christmas background" we found had the best results.

Tired of stock images? Don't worry. The Hallmark Channel, which every Christmas fan will already know for their vast collection of movies, has a directory of high resolution images that are online for free on its website. Simply click download.

If movies are your vibe, then have a look at the Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Twitter account, which has released a handful of stills from famous festive flicks, including The Grinch, The Santa Clause and Home Alone, alongside some cartoony options. Everyone loves Elf, and there's backgrounds from that movie free via Wallpaperaccess.com.

pic.twitter.com/yetXD2M4tR

— 25 Days of Christmas (@25Days) November 30, 2020

For those desiring a classier touch, check out the website of the home furnishing retailer Williams-Sonoma, which has shared a selection of upmarket décor backgrounds.

Of course, the beauty of custom uploads is that you can technically use any picture you want that saved on your computer. So here's how to do just that on Zoom:

> Sign in to Zoom.
> Click your profile picture and click Settings.
> Select Virtual Background.
> Click on an image to select it as the virtual background or add an own image by tapping + and choosing if you want to upload an image or a video.

The full guide on how to use virtual backgrounds on Zoom is on the company website, it includes information about using images on mobile, and some troubleshooting.

Microsoft Teams

There's good news if you're using Microsoft Teams, and that's all of the above images will also work there. The set up is a little different, but you can upload the pictures by selecting the button Background effects, which will give you the option to blur your surroundings or upload whatever you would like to be your new background.

To upload a Christmas image, click on Add new and select whatever picture you would like to use from your computer. It has to be a JPG,PNG, or BMP format.

On December 9, Microsoft added a selection of new holiday-themed backgrounds and scenes to its software. They can be downloaded from the Microsoft website here.

Christmas Background - Unsplash
Unsplash has a wide variety of Christmas backgrounds that work perfectly on both Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Cris DiNoto/Unsplash