Working with Avatars in Microsoft Teams

Aug 24, 2023 | Microsoft Teams Hints and Tips

Sometimes when you are in a meeting you don’t really feel like turning on your camera but turning it totally off seems a bit impersonal.  Avatars are a halfway house.  Avatars have been around in many products for quite a while but have only recently become available in Microsoft Teams.  You can use them to perform many different reactions and the avatar can be customised to look just like you!!

Creating your avatar

Your Avatar can be designed to look like you by choosing a base avatar and then making modifications from here of hair, clothing, glasses and much more.  You can create up to 3 avatars and choose the most appropriate one for the meeting you are attending.  This can be done from within a meeting or when you initially join a meeting or from the Avatars App directly in Teams (you can search for this in the search bar at the top).  The example below if from within the Teams meeting.

  1. While in your meeting select More then Effects and Avatars
More button image

2. Click on the Avatars tab in the pane on the right

3. Click on Create my avatar.  This takes you into the avatar builder

Create my avatar image

4. Click on Get started

5. Choose a base avatar and click Use Avatar

6. Click Customise to update your avatar.  You can create up to 3 different versions using the ‘+’ button on the right

7. You can choose specific options for the body, face, hair, appearance and wardrobe as required.  Wherever you see a multi-coloured wheel you can adjust the colour

Colour adjuster

8. When you have finished just Close the Avatar builder

9. To edit the avatars at any time click on Edit my avatar in the avatars pane on the right

Using your avatar

Using your avatar requires your camera to be switched off.  You can turn the avatar on and off at any point during a meeting.

  1. Choose the avatar you want to use and click Apply avatars
  2. You can get your avatar to perform a wide range of Avatar reactions from the Avatar reactions section.  Show all gives the full list of options which are divided into Emotions, Greetings, Celebrations, activities, ASL, Misc and All
Avatar reactions image

3. Your top 5 can be Pinned so they are available more easily using the pin button

4. The back button takes to back to the main avatar screen

5. Avatar backgrounds can be added in much the same way they are added if your camera is on.  Apply avatars much be clicked to apply the change.

More avatar options image

6. The avatar mood can be changed

7. The avatar can be angled left, standard or right

8. There are also 3 levels of zoom that can be used.

9. For high-end machines custom backgrounds can also be added

10. The Avatar pane can be closed at any time but will need to remain open to perform any reaction

Choosing avatar settings when joining a meeting

You can choose to use one of your avatars before you join the meeting in the following way.

  1. The previously created avatars will remain saved for use in any future meetings.  To use them the camera must be switched off
Join meeting avatar settings image

2. Click on the Effects and avatars option when you are initially joining the meeting to select your preferred avatar and background

3. More avatar settings can be used to open the avatar pane to make more detailed changes.


Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about working with Avatars in Teams, there are some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Teams? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft 365 Courses I run.