Skype gets custom backgrounds in calls, but Windows 10 version is left out

Skype on Windows 10
Skype on Windows 10 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Custom background support is rolling out to Skype on Windows, Mac, Linux, and the web.
  • The update also makes it easier to access call controls.
  • Custom backgrounds are not available on Skype for Windows 10 but are available on the desktop version of Skype that you can download on Windows.

A new update to Skype is rolling out to people this week. The update brings support for custom backgrounds within video calls on devices running Windows, macOS, Linux, and on the web. The update is not available for Skype for Windows 10 (Version 14) but is available on the desktop version of Skype that you can get on Windows 10. The update started rolling out on April 16, 2020 but is rolling out gradually throughout this week.

There are multiple ways to use Skype on Windows 10, and only some of them support custom background images within video calls. Microsoft's naming for its different Skype apps can be confusing, but if you want to use custom backgrounds on Windows, grab the desktop version of Skype.

Here's the complete changelog of the update currently rolling out:

  • This could be anywhere: Want to look like you're calling from the beach, or from space? Now you can, with custom backgrounds for your video calls. Learn more about backgrounds in Skype. Note: Background improvements are not available for Skype for Windows 10 (Version 14).
  • Share all the things, Part 2: Now you can share files directly from your Mac to your Skype contacts, as well.
  • Faster on the draw: You now have quicker access to call controls in the chat menu. Learn more about what you can do in a call.
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements. We've chased a few bugs out of the attic and done some spring cleaning.

Microsoft has a page that breaks down how to set up custom backgrounds within Skype and how to blur backgrounds within video calls.

Blurring a background or using a custom background image is particularly handy when you're working from home. You can blur the background to hide confidential material or a mess in your home office. Custom backgrounds can also make it feel like people on calls aren't sitting in impromptu offices do to being stuck at home.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at