PowerPoint won’t play audio or video on Windows 10 [FIXED]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
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  • Many users reported that PowerPoint cannot play media, and in this guide, we’ll show you how to fix that.
  • The simplest way would be to try other software alternatives to PowerPoint.
  • If switching to an alternative software isn’t an option, you can always try to convert the media file that is giving you trouble.
  • Few users reported that changing the general settings in PowerPoint can help if PPT cannot play media, so be sure to try that.
PowerPoint won’t play audio video Windows
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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.

Fix: Unable to play audio or video in PowerPoint

  1. Set the Media Compatibility
  2. Use a different presentation software
  3. Check the codecs
  4. Make sure the video is supported 
  5. Convert your audio or video file
  6. Set the link value
  7. Clear the TEMP folder

What to do if you can’t play audio or video in PowerPoint

1. Set the Media Compatibility

  1. Go to the File menu, and select Info. 
  2. PowerPoint will detect if your media is incompatible with the program, and the Optimize Media Compatibility option will appear. So, select that option, and PowerPoint will optimize the embed media.
  3. Let the wizard scan the embed media. If the immediate solution is available, the wizard will resolve the problem automatically.

If PPT cannot play media, the first thing we’re going to try is setting the proper media compatibility settings in PowerPoint. This option will set everything in place, allowing you to play the embedded media seamlessly.

If the Optimize Media Compatibility option can’t resolve the problem, it’ll at least show you the culprit. Using that info, you’ll know what to do further. This brings us to our next three solutions…


2. Use a different presentation software

Adobe Spark

We know that everybody uses PowerPoint to create and play presentations but why not try a different tool. A great software to make presentations that stand-out is Adobe Spark.

It is a pretty powerful tool that includes modern features as well. For example, you can also use the tool to create Social Media posts for your favorite networks.

It shines with the large variety of professional typography to make your text stand-out and integrates with Dropbox, Google Photos or Adobe Creative Cloud to import any photos that you have and want to include in your presentation.

It’s a different approach, but one that just might work and help you be different and stand-out from the crowd.

Other great features:

  • An abundance of fonts
  • Thousands of photos available
  • Professional themes
  • Cloud-oriented
Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a professional presentation software that can easily handle any type of media out of the box.

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3. Check the codecs

check codecs powerpoint cannot play media

If sound won’t play in PowerPoint, it’s possible that you don’t have the right multimedia codecs installed on your computer.

So, check your codecs, if you have any installed already, make sure to update them. If not, install them.

If you’re not sure which codec pack to pick, check out our list of the best audio and video codecs for Windows.


4. Make sure the audio/video format is supported

check format powerpoint cannot play media

We’ve come to the probable core of the problem. In fact, if you’re unable to play video or audio in your PowerPoint presentation, there’s a huge chance you’re using an unsupported media format.

When it comes to audio, PowerPoint 2010 mainly uses WAV files! So, if you’re using an MP3 file in your presentation, you may encounter some problems.

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Things are slightly better in PowerPoint 2016. In addition to .wav files, this version also supports .m4a files encoded with AAC audio. Any other format is not guaranteed to work.

As for videos, the range of compatible formats is also quite limited. Microsoft recommends .wmv files for PowerPoint 2010, while the 2016 version adds up .mp4 files encoded with H.264 video and AAC audio.

Microsoft also notes that Flash videos might not work in the newer versions of PowerPoint (2013 and 2016).


5. Convert your audio or video file

As we said, even though PowerPoint may support the current format of your video or audio, it’s always the best idea to simply convert it to .wmv/.wma.

Fortunately, there are dozens of tools that can convert your media in no time. And since the choice is quite broad, we compiled a list of the best audio/video converters for Windows.

So if PowerPoint sound is not working, be sure to use a file converter to and covert it to a suitable model.


6. Set the link value

link value powerpoint cannot play media
  1. Go to Tools > Options.
  2. Select the General tab.
  3. Set the value for Links Sounds With File Size Greater Than to 500000 KB (or whichever size is larger than the file you’re trying to embed).
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

Although using .wma files is recommended, it might be impractical. Mostly because .wma files are larger than other formats. And since PowerPoint has a little thing called limited link value.

This option prevents you from including large files into your presentation. So, if your file exceeds the limit, you won’t be able to embed it.

So If PPT cannot play media, be sure to this little trick.


7. Clear the TEMP folder

  1. Press the Win key + R.
  2. In the Run window, enter the following path:  %temp% 
    run temp powerpoint cannot play media
  3. Select all the files with the TMP extension.
  4. Delete the files.
  5. Restart your computer.

Tons of temporary files are stored in your TEMP folder, and that may affect PowerPoint. So, if you’re sure you’re using the right formats and have all the necessary codecs installed, try with clearing this folder.

Hopefully, this should help you if PowerPoint sound is not working.

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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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Newer version of PowerPoint can use the following audio formats: .wav, .mp3., .wma, .midi, .aiff, .au, .mp4. The recommended format is an .m4a file encoded with AAC audio.

  • The recommended format is a .mp4 file with H.264 video and AAC audio. However, there’s support for the following also: .mpeg, .wmv, .avi, .asf or .swf. Check out our recommended converters to ensure maximum compatibility.

  • Go to Menu and select Insert. Choose Video and Movie from file. Select the file from your computer and then change the settings in the Video Format toolbar where you have options available to chose how and when it will play the file.

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