What is a Virtual Background?

A virtual background is a display of an image (photos, PowerPoint, etc.) or video as your background.

Virtual backgrounds allow users to hide their background with a projected image or video.

With Zoom, you can set your PowerPoint presentation as this virtual background. And you get something like this:

Notice how my webcam video is projected directly onto my presentation.

How can I do this? Keep reading to learn more!


Prerequisites are accurate as of May 10, 2022.

Note: If a participant (viewer) is on a version lower than 5.2.0, they will view the slides as a normal screen share and the presenter’s video will not be imposed over the slides.

Sharing a presentation as your background

  1. Click on the Share Screen button located in your meeting controls
  2. Click Advanced
  3. Click PowerPoint as Virtual Background (as of May 10, 2022)

    Screen shot of Zoom's Screen Share 'Advanced' tab

  4. Browse, and select the PowerPoint presentation file

    Screenshot of a sub-menu showing a powerpoint file selected

  5. Click Open

Note: Unlike a screen share, the presentation cannot be open on your computer. Instead, Zoom imports the file and you will control the slides from within Zoom.

Once the presentation has been imported, the slides will be shown as your virtual background. If your video (camera) is on, by default it will be imposed over the slides.

Managing slides

Once the share has started, you can manage your video and slides from the meeting controls.

To navigate through your slides, use the next and previous buttons.

Screen shot of the Zoom meeting controls bar, with the slide controls section highlighted

Find more information on Sharing slides as a Virtual Background on Zoom’s website.

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