Microsoft Teams — animated backgrounds

This morning I was playing around with Microsoft Teams and wondering if it would be possible to add a gif to my custom backgrounds.

When I was younger I could watch for hours to the Windows XP Plus! Aquarium by Sachs. All those beautifully colored fish that swam around on the good old 15" SVGA monitor. There were even folks that would just switch on their computer to have a virtual fish tank which looked really cool in the days. God, I’m getting old…

Okay, back to the subject. When looking at the supported file types in Microsoft Teams, only jpeg, jpg, png, and bmp files are allowed. So no option for animated GIF files.

Luckily it is also possible to create animated .png files so, let’s see if that is going to work and see if we can use that good old Windows XP screensaver as an animated background for the Microsoft teams meetings.

Creating an animated GIF

The easiest way to create a GIF is through the website makeagif.com where you have multiple options to add a source for creating the animated file. If you create a free account, you will be able to generate files of a higher quality!

I have chosen Youtube.com as my source for creating the file. The process of creating a GIF on the website is pretty straightforward and within minutes you have created an awesome GIF file.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find a good source of the classic Plus! Aquarium by Sachs so I used an alternative ;-)

Adding the Animated file to Microsoft Teams

  • Download the animated GIF file from your source location. I have published mine [here]
  • Change the file extension of the downloaded file into.png
    So if the file you downloaded was called myfish.gif rename it to myfish.png and rename a second copy to myfish_thumb.png
  • Copy the animated png files into the Microsoft Teams custom backgrounds folder. For Windows users, this folder can be found by opening the following file path: %AppData%\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
  • If you are a Mac user copy the animated png files to Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads

Testing the new background

  • Open Microsoft Teams and click on the meet now button on the top right.
  • Switch on the camera and select the background filters
  • Select the new animated .png file and you are set to go!

Happy coding!

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Rogier Dijkman

Founder SecureHats | Principal Consultant Cloud Security at Nedscaper | Marathoner | passionate about Microsoft Security