How to blur the background on Skype so people don't see your messy office

  • Skype has a new feature that lets you blur the background so people don't see a messy office or room behind you.
  • The feature is available on Mac and PC but not on phones yet.
  • CNBC's Todd Haselton shows you how to blur the background on Skype.
Video chatting
anandaBGD | E+ | Getty Images
Video chatting

Microsoft introduced a new feature to Skype this week that allows you to blur your background so that people don't see the messy home or office behind you during a video call. It works on computers but not on phones, and I'll show you how to use it.

It's an optional feature, so you don't need to use it, but you can if you want to have a call and don't want people on the other end to see what's behind you. I'm in my home office right now, for example, which is doubling as a makeshift kitchen while I'm renovating.

That means I look like this without background blurring:

Background blur is off here, you can see a bunch of junk in the background while my office doubles as a makeshift kitchen.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Background blur is off here, you can see a bunch of junk in the background while my office doubles as a makeshift kitchen.

And like this with the new feature enabled:

Background blur is on, things look a bit cleaner.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Background blur is on, things look a bit cleaner.

It's not perfect — it appears to blur part of my sweater, too — but it does a good job cutting out some of the clutter and makes the call feel a bit more focused on me, not what's behind me. That matters; nobody wants to look at a bunch of junk in the background of your call.

Here's how to turn on background blurring on Skype:

  • Open Skype on your computer. (Both Mac and Windows are supported.)
  • Start a video call with someone.
  • Hover over the window with your video.
  • Choose "Blur my background."

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