How to overcome file saving errors in PowerPoint

Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
Software Managing Editor
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  • When working on PowerPoint presentations, there may come a time when you are suddenly faced with a file save error.
  • To save yourself some blushes, why not try Adobe Spark, which is available across most platforms and features cloud save and easy access to presentations?
  • Do you want to be a PowerPoint power user? It's easy: check out our awesome collection of PowerPoint Guides.
  • If you're having issues with software, then the best resource we recommend is our in-depth Tutorial Hub filled with detailed guides and quick fixes.
save powerpoint presentation

When working on big PowerPoint presentations, there may come a time when you are suddenly faced with a file save error.

This can be rather frustrating, so try following these steps that may help your solve this common issue.

How can I fix file saving errors in PowerPoint?

1. Use an alternative platform for presentations: Adobe Spark

If you’re someone who does often finds themselves presenting in front of a large audience, you’ll know that the most embarrassing thing that can happen is your presentation not working because it didn’t save correctly.

This is a nuisance with offline files such as presentations, which is why an alternative for creating impactful presentations which can be accessed across a multitude of platforms and worked from any internet-enabled device is needed.

Adobe Spark is just such an application. This web-based creation tool is perfect for creating professional-looking presentations, posters, flyers, Facebook and Instagram posts and banner art.

Here are some of the features to look forward to when taking the leap to Adobe Spark:

  • High-quality pictures and graphics
  • Thousands of easy to use templates
  • The ability to create multiple types of media from one platform
  • Cross-platform support, including mobile
  • Instant access to your creations from everywhere in the world

=> Start using Adobe Spark for free

2. Save the file as a new PowerPoint presentation


  1. Perform whatever editing you may need, and if an error pops up, press the Windows Start button
  2. Type in PowerPoint and open it again in a new window
  3. Select View and then Slide Sorter
  4. Switch back to the first presentation and select Slide Sorter as well
  5. Click on Edit and then choose Select All
  6. Go back to Edit and click on Copy
  7. Return to the second PowerPoint window
  8. Click on Edit, and select Paste
  9. Save the second PowerPoint document under a different name.

3. Remove ActiveMovie control added to Microsoft Visual Basic userform in PowerPoint

  1. Perform whatever editing you may need, and if an error pops up, press cancel and then select Tools
  2. Select Macro and choose Visual Basic Editor 
  3. Select user form with ActiveMovie control
  4. Go to the File menu and select Remove UserForm Name, and then choose No 
  5. Go back to the File menu
  6. Select Close and Return to Microsoft PowerPoint 

More so, the errors may be the result of faulty registries caused by an old PowerPoint install, so a quick repair or a fresh install may also be a valid solution.

4. Repair PowerPoint

  1. Click Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Right-click Repair Office Programs
  4. Select Change
  5. Do a quick repair
  6. Perform an online repair later

5. Perform a fresh new install of PowerPoint

  1. Remove your old Microsoft Office completely
  2. Go to the Microsoft Office product page
  3. Buy the Office package of your choice
  4. Log in using your Microsoft account credentials
  5. Select Install Now to save the installation file on your PC
  6. Double-click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions of the setup wizard

If all else fails, you may need to consider using a third-party PowerPoint file repair tool.

FAQ: File saving errors in PowerPoint

  • Why is my PowerPoint file not saving?

Check that PowerPoint is installed correctly and do a repair as shown in this guide. Additionally, check that you have write access to the drive you’re trying to save on.

  • Why can’t I save my PowerPoint as a PDF?

If PowerPoint gives you an error when saving as PDF, ensure you are going through the correct process: File > Save As > Browse >in the Save as type dropdown menu select PDF. If this doesn’t work, you can export your presentation to Microsoft Word and then save it as a PDF from there.

  • How do I save a PowerPoint file?

Once you’ve finished editing your document, go to File > Save (keyboard shortcut Ctrl + s) and select a location to save your file. Once you’ve saved the file, you will not be asked for a location unless you select File > Save As which will create a new file.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in September 2019 and was revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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