How to avoid seeing yourself on video calls
Sometimes you can't turn your camera off but you still want to stay out of view.
If you would rather square off against 100,000 hungry Everglades mosquitoes on their home turf than see your own face on video, a “cameras must be on” mandate is enough to get you buzzing with anxiety. Sure, some people love to stare directly into their own eyes while someone else talks, but that’s not you.
Thankfully, most major video calling platforms offer the ability to remove your own video feed from view, while keeping it visible to all others on the call. And some, like Microsoft Teams, plan to add it soon.
How to remove your video feed from Google Meet
Google’s meetings app offers a straightforward removal process for anyone hoping to scrub their own face off the screen. When you’re on a call, hover over your video window to unveil three icons—one of which is the Remove tile button (four squares with a slash through them). Click it to send your video feed to the bottom right corner of your screen. Then hit the minimize icon (two diagonal arrows pointing at each other) to shrink it down even more. To restore it, click the maximize icon (the arrows point away from each other) and click the Add tile button to put yourself back among the other attendees. If you’re using the mobile Meet app, though, you can’t do any of this.
How to remove your video feed from Zoom
Zoom is everywhere, but you may not want your face to be equally ubiquitous. To get your video tile on the fast track out of sight, hover over it and click the three dots that appear to display the options menu. Then choose Hide Self View. To bring yourself back, click the View button in the top right corner of the window (it may also feature an icon that looks like a clapperboard), followed by Show Self View. On the mobile app, swipe all the way to the left to get to gallery view, then tap More, Meeting settings, and turn off the switch next to Show my video in gallery view.
[Related: The best Zoom add-ons and tricks for your video chats]
How to remove your video feed from Webex
Rather than view your video as one of the on-screen tiles while using Webex, you can break it out into a free-floating window. To do so, click the video options menu (three dots) within your video tile, followed by Show my self-view in a floating window. This won’t hide it, but if there are more than three people on the call you can get rid of your floating self-view by minimizing it. Just click the Minimize my self-view video button (a square with an arrow pointing down to the right) and you’re gone. To get yourself back on screen, maximize your self-view.
How to remove your video feed from FaceTime and Microsoft Teams
As of the time of writing, neither Microsoft Teams nor FaceTime lets you stop looking at yourself if your video feed is on. Microsoft, however, plans to update Teams later this month with a feature that—as TechRadar eloquently put it—“finally lets you hide from your own face.” There’s no word on whether Apple has similar plans for FaceTime, so if this is your app of choice, it might be mosquito time.