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Blurry background/unexplained autofocusing on M1 MBP




On a 2021 14" M1 Macbook Pro running a fully patched instance of macOS 12.1, I have an issue where the background is blurry and if there is more than one person on camera, Zoom will randomly try to  focus on  that person in the background.


I have verified and/or tried the following already:


1.  Virtual background is turned off (and therefore, the blurred effect is disabled).  

2.  Playing around with various video settings including "HD, "Touch up my appearance", and "Adjust for low light".  Also tried the disabling the de-noise and hardware acceleration under advanced video settings. 

3.  Lighting  in room is confirmed as good.

4,  Zoom is updated to 5.9.1 (and apparently automatically updated to ensure compatibility with the M1 chip version).

5.  Basic Mac troubleshooting included macOS updates, restarting, Disk Utility.   (And one can no longer reset the NVRAM/SMC on M1 Macs anymore). 


Issue also occurs if external camera is used instead of built-in FaceTime HD camera. 


**By comparison, video in FaceTime and Photo Booth apps indicates the blurriness issue does NOT occur. Video is in crisp HD**


I also tried creating another user account on the Mac;  lo and behold, the issue does NOT occur.  


I've uninstalled Zoom, re-installed, and rebooted but issue persists.


This is clearly a local user account-specific issue. 


Am seeking advanced troubleshooting  tips without having to delete the Mac user account. 


The Zoom Uninstaller does a pretty good job of removing all related files in the these folders:


  • ~/Library/Caches
  • ~/Library/Logs
  • ~/Library/Cookies
  • ~/Library/Saved Application State

I've also configured Finder to show all hidden files but didn't spot any other Zoom-related files. 


Any additional suggestions are appreciated.









I have the same problem here...

I tried updating to Zoom v5.9.3 today but that didn't fix issue either


I have the same issue, M1 Mac.  Blurry video on facetime camera, second camera or even virtual camera.  I tried another zoom account, issue presist.


On virtual camera, if I have text, it would be unreadable.  Below is the screenshot, with OBS virtual cam, can see the blur clouding.  Same setup on Intel Mac Mini, no issue.   Zoom is on Version: 5.9.3 (4239) M1 version

Screenshot 2022-01-28 at 12.03.11 AM.png


FYI, updating to  macOS 12.2 did not resolve this issue.


I've also opened a ticket with Zoom support directly but have been very disappointed with their responses: 


  1. I've been asked twice to provide screen captures of video settings even though I felt I described the issue thoroughly already.
  2. I had to wait on average 24-48 hours for Zoom to respond.
  3. When responses arrive, they are at least 7-10 hours ahead of business hours in my time zone (PST).


As this was an issue I was troubleshooting for very a high-level VIP in my organization, I just created a new local user account on that user's Mac.   The video issue did not recur, thankfully.  


I wish Zoom support provided more advanced support on-the-fly rather than follow what seems like scripted response protocols. 











Problem: I had the same issue with a MacBook Pro M1 2021, with Zoom, Teams and another viewereven behaving differently.

Solution: In the Control Panel, choose video effects and un-toggle portrait mode - problem solved 🙂

Regards, Johan

This worked.


Awesome ... finally resolved the mistery! 



yeess! finally !!  thanks a lot! 


Quick learning I just had.

When you use Canon EOS WebCam Utility there are no Video Effects options in the Control Center when I was having calls in Zoom.

The solution was to switch to build-in camera in Zoom, then changing the video effect in the Control Center and then switching back to the Canon camera in Zoom.

For some reason, it remembers the settings.

Thank you! This is the solution i have been looking for!