SOLVED

Blur Background on Mac OS

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Occasional Contributor

I am using a Macbook Pro to work remotely.  The blur background feature is helpful, but it appears to be absent in Teams for Mac.  I noticed the blur feature support page says it's not available on Linux yet but does not mention Mac.

 

I was quite sure they said Mac support was coming at last or the previous year MS Ignite conference.  Am I missing something?

 

I've tried with my internal Macbook camera and an external logitech, neither of which seem to work.  I have also downloaded the latest release of Teams for Mac.

 

If this is supposed to be available, what am I missing?


Thanks!

48 Replies
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While I would have preferred to not have to run a terminal command to figure this out, I believe I know why this isn't working.

 

My Macbook Pro does not support AVX 2.0.

 

sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features

machdep.cpu.features: FPU VME DE PSE TSC MSR PAE MCE CX8 APIC SEP MTRR PGE MCA CMOV PAT PSE36 CLFSH DS ACPI MMX FXSR SSE SSE2 SS HTT TM PBE SSE3 PCLMULQDQ DTES64 MON DSCPL VMX EST TM2 SSSE3 CX16 TPR PDCM SSE4.1 SSE4.2 x2APIC POPCNT AES PCID XSAVE OSXSAVE TSCTMR AVX1.0 RDRAND F16C

 

Let me know if you think this is not the case.

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@doug4772  Same here, iMac with no support for AVX 2.0.

 

But how can Background Blur work in Skype? Works quite normally there, whereas in teams, the feature is simply not enabled.

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@doug4772 That's weird. I used to have the background blur option avaiable on my iMac teams app, but it's gone now. I checked the terminal command line and do not show AVX2.0 either.

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@Davi_D Odd since they are deprecating Skype for Business in favor of Teams.

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@doug4772 

Press the CTRL+Shift+P combination. If things go blurry, during your video call, you know that your PC has this feature. The second option is to start your video from a meeting. Then, click on the Ellipsis icon from the meeting options and choose Blur My Background.

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Right, but my point is the blur is missing from the ellipsis and this is on a Mac.
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@manoelguedes I see the same thing on my 2013 Macbook Air.
The blur feature in Teams was present and worked a couple weeks ago but it disappeared after an update.
Looks like Microsoft chose to disable it if you only have AVX1.0. 

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@kathysgeek I'm sorry, however I don't believe taht's the reason. It is working for me on my MacBook Pro and it has only AVX1.0. Something else nedds to be there.

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@doug4772 

 

Just incase - did you check the hardware requirements?  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/hardware-requirements-for-the-teams-app 

If everything looks good there, try to update your Teams app.  Sometimes that has worked for people who didn't see it.

 

  • The optional Blur my background video effect requires a processor with Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (AVX2) support, supported on most late 2013 Mac devices and later. See Hardware decoder and encoder driver recommendations for a list of unsupported decoders and encoders.
  • Joining a meeting using proximity detection in a Microsoft Teams Room is not available on Mac OS.
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@Matu_ So it is working for you now?  It was not working in your 4-1-20 message -- right?

Would you mind sharing the output for the following terminal command?

sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features



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Doug and I likely have similar vintage (early 2013) macbooks that do not support AVX2.
The output of `sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features` is identical to what he posted earlier.

I reinstalled Teams on 4/16 without any change.

The strange thing is that the background blur used to work and now it does not.
If it never worked then I could accept the reason being the lack of AVX2.0 support.

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@Laurie Pottmeyer  I have the blur feature and it works, but none of the other backgrounds work. When I click on one of them, it just spins, hangs and never changes. Anyone know why this is?

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Honestly, I think it's the AVX1.0 hardware limitation. I was given a new macbook air, and it works fine. The mid-2012 macbook just didn't have the specs MS wanted and they disabled it.
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Best Response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)
Solution

@doug4772 

Both of my macs reported in "machdep.cpu.features" only AVX1.0. I executed this command

  sysctl - a | grep avx

On one mac (blur disabled) I got

  hw.optional.avx1_0: 1
  hw.optional.avx2_0: 0

 

On another mac (blur enabled) I got

  hw.optional.avx1_0: 1
  hw.optional.avx2_0: 1

 

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@Grandswiss Thanks for further confirmation that AVX2.0 is the discriminator.

Now if only we can get someone at Microsoft to discuss why they changed the code to require it when blur worked fine on AVX1.0 devices on the previous version of Teams.

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As @Grandswiss noted, the command sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features is not sufficient to check a given Mac's ability to support AVX 2.0.  That command returns only "AVX1.0", even if the CPU supports AVX 2.0.  You must use sysctl - a | grep avx and look at the hw.optional.avx2_0 line to see if it's supported or not.

 

The question is why AVX 2.0 is even needed...Zoom and many other developers do this on a wide range of machines without limiting it to newer processors, and MS previously support Background Blur on these AVX 1.0 machines (like previous-generation Mac Pros).  Smells like lazy developers.....

 

At the very least, MS should still support Background Blur on AVX 1.0 machines, and leave the fancier background images to AVX 2.0, even though I don't see that as necessary.

 

I'm hoping that MS did this to quickly get their fancier background processing out the door to better compete with Zoom, and that they'll eventually add AVX 1.0 machines back into the mix in a subsequent version as they get more time.

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@manoelguedes, I just saw your comment. I had the same experience--the blur working at one point, and then disappeared. Did you ever get that resolved? I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2013) with 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7. And the result I get from sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features is this:

 

machdep.cpu.features: FPU VME DE PSE TSC MSR PAE MCE CX8 APIC SEP MTRR PGE MCA CMOV PAT PSE36 CLFSH DS ACPI MMX FXSR SSE SSE2 SS HTT TM PBE SSE3 PCLMULQDQ DTES64 MON DSCPL VMX SMX EST TM2 SSSE3 CX16 TPR PDCM SSE4.1 SSE4.2 x2APIC POPCNT AES PCID XSAVE OSXSAVE TSCTMR AVX1.0 RDRAND F16C

 

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What’s the output of this command?
sysctl -a | grep avx2
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@Grandswiss, this is what I get:

 

sysctl: unknown oid '-'