Fix: Powerpoint doesn’t play audio or video

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read

PowerPoint presentations combine a variety of media into slideshows. Most PowerPoint users will probably add at least a little audio and video to make the presentations more interesting. However, PowerPoint doesn’t support every media format. So if the application isn’t playing audio and video in a presentation, that’s probably due to incompatible media formats or not having the required codecs for them.

Select the Optimize Media Compatibility Option

  • Firstly, you should select the Optimize Media Compatibility option in PowerPoint. To do so, click the File tab and select Info.
  • If the presentation includes any media that might be incompatible with other devices, you can select an Optimize Media Compatibility option. So select that option to optimize the media compatibility.
  • Note that you’ll need to embed linked videos in the presentation to optimize them. To do so, click View Links and then select Break Links for each link to embed.

Convert the Video and Audio File Formats

Alternatively, you can convert the video and audio file formats to compatible PowerPoint alternatives and then add them to the presentation. Note that PowerPoint 2016 supports the following media file formats for presentations:


  • .asf
  • .avi
  • .mp4
  • .mpg or .mpeg
  • .swf
  • .wmv


  • .aiff
  • .au
  • .midi
  • .mp3
  • .m4a and .mp4
  • .wav
  • .wma

If the audio and video added to the presentation aren’t one of those file formats, you can convert them to supported formats with third-party software. You can also convert them with numerous Web tools. Click here to open the file convertor website in the shot directly below.


  • To convert video, click the Video converter drop-down menu. Or click the Audio converter drop-down menu on that same page.
  • Now choose an audio or video file format that PowerPoint supports from the menus and press the Go button.
  • Then a file conversion tool opens for the selected format. Click Choose file to select a PowerPoint presentation audio or video file.


  • Press the Convert file button to convert the video or audio file. Once converted, the file will automatically save to your default download folder.
  • Now you can add the new video and audio files to your PowerPoint presentation.

Install New Codecs

Is a video playing in a PowerPoint presentation without any sound? If so, that might have something to do with not having the required codecs on your system. These are needed for your media player to play video and audio. If you’re not sure if you have the codecs needed to play the media in PowerPoint, add CodecInstaller to Windows by clicking CodecInstaller 2.10.4 – full package on this page. Then open the software’s window in the snapshot below.


  • Click the Analyze File button on the menu to open the window directly below.


  • Click the … button and then select an audio and video file in the PowerPoint presentation that isn’t playing. The software will then give you the required codec details for it as below.


  • Now you’ll need to find a download source for the codec listed. You might find one by pressing the Install Codecs button to open the window below.


  • If the required codec is listed there, select it and press Download.
  • If it isn’t on that window, enter the codec into a search engine to find a download page for it.
  • Then you can add the media codec to Windows with its setup wizard.

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So those are a few ways for you to fix PowerPoint presentations that aren’t playing video and audio. Make sure the media file formats are compatible with PowerPoint and have the required codecs.

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