How to Add a Blurry Background to a Video

Many YouTubers and Instagram stars publish content with a blurred background behind their vertical videos, a popular technique when reposting on social media.

How to Add a Blurry Background to a Video

Want to make a TikTok compilation for Instagram? Or post an IGTV video to YouTube? Now that vertical video has become so popular, you may need to resize your video to fit the social media destination.

Savvy creators know how to make a vertical (9:16) video fit onto a landscape (16:9) canvas without cropping out content. Many YouTubers and Instagram stars publish content with a blurred background behind their vertical videos, a popular technique when reposting on social media.

The blurred background shows the action and salient colors of the video so that the whole screen is cohesive, but doesn't distract the viewer from the main content of the video. Instead of a static colored background, a blurred background moves also, reflecting the tone and color of the main video. Popularized by various video editing apps, this blur technique is simple to do for free online with a YouTube video editor called Kapwing.

Luckily, you can use Kapwing on any device: computer, laptop, iPhone, Android phone, or tablet. As long as you're connected to the internet, you can use Kapwing for free without needing to download an app.

Follow these five steps to easily add a blurry background to a video:

  1. Set the Output Size
  2. Upload Video
  3. Copy and Position Video
  4. Blur Video Background
  5. Process and Share

Step 1: Set the Output Size

Get started by going to and clicking "Start Editing" from the homepage. If you've used Kapwing before, choose to start with Studio.

Kapwing home page

Now, choose to start with a blank canvas. Kapwing's Studio defaults to 1:1, a blank square. In the right-hand panel, you'll see options to change the Output Size. Use the aspect ratio buttons to adjust the dimensions of the canvas area. Creators can also set a custom pixel size, if preferred.

In my case, I wanted to post a TikTok video on YouTube, so I set the size of the canvas to 16:9. You can also choose to set the size to 1:1 for Instagram, 4:5 for Facebook, or 5:4 for LinkedIn.

Step 2: Upload the Video

Now, it's time to upload the video that you want to add a blurry background to.

Vertical video on blank landscape canvas

You can drag a file onto the canvas from your computer or click the "Upload" button for more options. Paste the URL of a video to import it directly onto the canvas:

Kapwing supports most popular file types, including MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, GIF, and more. I imported my video directly from the TikTok URL (check out @Kapwing on TikTok). Once your video has uploaded, you'll be able to watch it fully through within Kapwing's preview.

Step 3: Copy and Position Video

Now, you'll need to duplicate the video layer: one layer for the foreground and one layer for the blurred background. Select the video layer in Kapwing and click the "Duplicate" button the side panel, or use the Cntl-C/Cntl-V keyboard shortcuts to copy/paste.

Note: Be sure to trim the video to the desired length before you duplicate the layer so that both the background and the foreground play synchronously.

Position the layers so that one appears in the foreground and one appears in the background. The foreground layer should be centered where it's easy for the viewer to see it. Follow the red "snap to" lines to center it perfectly in the middle of the canvas.

For the background video layer, drag and resize one of the video layers to take up the whole background. Use the purple sliders in the corners of the video to expand it and make it take up the whole canvas. Creators can center the background layer or choose part of the video to feature as the background.

Step 4: Blur Video Background

After the layers are in the correct position, it's time to add a blur. To blur the background, select the larger video layer and click the "Adjust" button in the side panel. This panel allows you to change the opacity, brightness, contrast, saturation, and blur of the background video layer.

With the last "Blur" selector, use the white slider to increase the video's blurriness. As you increase the blur, you can see how the video layer will be affected in the video review. Choose how blurry you want the background to be. I recommend a middle value, somewhere between 15 and 25.

Adjust video view in Kapwing -- Add Video blur

After you've set the right level of blurriness, click "Done Adjusting" to close the Adjust view and return to the main Studio.

Step 5: Process and Share

That's all you need to do to add a blurry background to your video! Click the Play button in the preview to watch the video through. If you're satisfied with the video preview, click the "Publish" button to process the final MP4.

Creators can use Kapwing's many other tools to add further edits to their video. Add a watermark overlay or transparent logo on the blurred part of the video so that other viewers attribute it to you (or so that you can attribute credit to the original creator). Insert background music using the "Audio" tab or stickers and emojis using "Images." Kapwing also has a "Subtitles" view for making SRT files and burning text directly into the video .

Once you click "Publish," Kapwing will take a few moments to process the final video. All of the processing happens in the cloud, so it won't heat up your computer. After the video is done processing, click "Download" to save it on your device, "Share" to get a short URL to send to your friends, or "Edit" to go back and make more changes to the appearance of your video. I published my final blurred background MP4 video and posted it on YouTube.

We hope that this helps you add blurry backgrounds to any video you like! This technique is great for reposting content from others, creating compilations, syndicating content from other social media channels, and seeding a fan edit Youtube channel. Since the blurred background gives a custom branded aesthetic, it sets your YouTube channel or account apart from those who just use a plain white or colored background.

Kapwing is a content creation product built for modern creators. Feel free to tag us with a #kapwing for an extra like and follow on any platform! We appreciate any shoutouts, feedback, ideas, and general user love