Enable gif backgrounds for Microsoft Teams

Brass Contributor

When you select a gif as a background effect, it just appears as a still picture and is not animated.

Please add support for gifs so that if you set a gif as your background effect, it is animated.


Thank you!

20 Replies

@ryanhall, Where are upi trying to add gif image?
You can go to UserVoice  and raise/vote for this.


where I add my custom background effects:

~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads


I will add the request there as well.

If you need it right now you can use OBS here is a guide for that.

@ngath  Too much work required; easier if Microsoft developers gives us this function in the next update.

@TMorg2000 At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, I would like to formally veto this request. We really don't need a bunch of irrelevant activity going on in the background while someone is talking or presenting.  One or two animated backgrounds might be quaint; a dozen backgrounds with zombies eating brains, Hooters dancing girls, Wizard of Oz flying monkeys, Godzilla attacks, Warcraft Victory parties, Las Vegas Slots, and extreme weather gifs would be seizure-inducing - even if it takes the edge of those monthly TSP reports that Lundberg keeps asking about. 

@TechWonk  Group policy could disable the function for your org.  Personally, I'd like seeing how others would use or misuse animated transparent GIF support. It reveals their character and lightens the mood. As our org has brought in many new hires and consultants during pandemic, it's would be plus.  OBS virtual webcam can be used as a work around, so if your end users are tech savvy, you might see Scooby Doo walking around the background. Hopefully, you'll smile instead of grumble. As for distractions, a ViP recently left his camera on while another ViP was talking during a virtual townhall, so the whole company got to watch how distracted he was and count how often he touched his face, LoL.

@ryanhall Ryanhall  what if you are a anteed and by the way i am a 3rd grader

@TechWonk I agree that this can be very distracting and possibly even unprofessional depending on your audience but this is best left up to the individual, small touches like this can greatly enhance presentations if used correctly.


While I agree that hordes of zombies may be too much for most meetings, if used correctly these have the potential to add a more polished finish -  I agree that a custom static image background can suffice for most purposes.

Say I am proposing a new coffee machine and would like small unintrusive video background showing the machine in operation which could help explain the idea or maybe my company logo with a simple shimmer effect.


There is a time and place for everything



Being a 365 Admin and **bleep** long as it can be disabled at any giving time I see no issues with it, not all meetings are 5-10-25-50 users :)


Still love you though!

I think it would be a terrible idea for conference stability and quality. Anything animated will drain bandwidth. Did you ever had someone in the conference with a wind moving tree in the background. Whenever the wind came up the persons video quality dripped and affected audio quality as well. Same for people that show windows with moving cars on a street in the background.
I support this idea! Google Meet already has this. I guess they found a way to make it stable and not drain bandwidth.
I support this idea as well and now that we are in another year of a pandemic and many people are doing what they can just to make it through the work day, this can be a nice little treat to create a smile and foster fun and competition among colleagues.

@TechWonk  Have you seen the memo... we're putting new cover sheets on the TPS reports rather than the TSP reports.


Having now spent 2 years with an endless succession of fake offices and apartments behind people, I'd rathe have a blurred background or flying monkeys or extreme weather or just about anything else.

You can indeed use GIFs as animated backgrounds.
1. Put any image you want to use in C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads.

2. If the image is a filename.gif file, rename it filename.jpg or filename.png

3. Copy the image and rename the copy filename_thumb.jpg or png

4. Restart Teams.

So all we're doing is to replace the .gif file extension (which Teams does not recognize) with a .png or .jpg extension (which it does recognize) and create a copy of the image for teams to use as the thumbnail.

MS could support gif files by just including gif in the recognized filetypes. The handling of gif files is obviously already there.


Slow, smooth and seamlessly looping animations are best as fast ones or ones that restart over and over again can be very distracting. I've used GIFs upwards of 25+Mb in size in meetings with 12-15 participants without any issues. 

@MikeDoverskog Worked like a charm - thank you.

@TechWonk What might or might not be right for your case, doesn't translate to what other people can and can't do.

@TechWonk This is a little closed-minded. Teams isn't just used in your organization, nor is it only available for business users. MS has made Teams available for free to anyone, not to mention it's used for education. Easier GIF and animated background support is analogous to emoji, sticker, and GIF support in chat.

@JBock   Nope!  I disagree.  A chat thread that is peppered with an occasional emoji or gif is completely different from having to manage a meeting - professional OR informal - with someone whose background look like I just ate a bag of magic mushrooms.  Combine that with the "Hollywood Squares" type of layout of Teams and it's an invitation to a world of spasms and seizures. 


That being said, it's not like I oppose it. Rather, there has to be some limits that are outlined by the meeting organizer in advance.  If someone wants to go all trippy and encourage everyone to have at'er with animated backgrounds - so be it.  BUT, I still believe it would be extraordinarily distracting.  To me, watching nine talking heads in front of animated fractals, strobing Escher drawings, and looping gifs of hockey fights for a half hour while attempting to make sense of an invoicing discrepancy just is not conducive to a focused meeting environment.  


Because, by your comment, a Teams meeting could look something like this:  



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