There can be any number of reasons to troubleshoot video playback in PowerPoint. You may end up with choppy video, or you may not be able to play video clips of some types on all versions of PowerPoint. We will look at such video issues in PowerPoint on this page, along with suggested solutions.
First of all, look at our PowerPoint-Friendly Video Formats page to understand the file formats (file types) that work with different PowerPoint versions.
Thereafter, follow these steps. Always, perform the initial troubleshooting steps before doing the later ones.
1. Test the Video Clip Outside of PowerPoint
It's possible that you received the PowerPoint presentation from someone else, and may want to extract the video clip from the PowerPoint file. To do so, right-click the video clip on your slide, so as to bring up the contextual menu that you see in Figure 1, below. Choose the Save Media as option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.
Figure 1: Save Media as
No Save Media As Option?
Some very old versions of PowerPoint may not have the Save Media as option in the right-click contextual menu. Newer versions such as PowerPoint 365 do include this option, and most perpetual versions from PowerPoint 2013 onwards also include this option.
Doing so brings up the Save Media As dialog box, shown in Figure 2, below. Navigate to, and give a name to the video clip you are saving. Do note that you cannot save it to a new file type. In our case, as seen in Figure 2, our original clip was a WMV file, so we can only save the clip as a WMV file.
Figure 2: Save Media As dialog box
Now, try playing the same video in another program such as Movies & TV, or even Windows Media Player. Try to use media programs that are part of the Microsoft Windows installation. If the same video that was choppy within PowerPoint plays perfectly well in these programs, then at least we have identified that there's no problem with the video file and we need to look for solutions elsewhere.
2. Is the Linked Video Missing?
If you received a PowerPoint presentation using PowerPoint 2007 or earlier versions, or if some presentations had linked rather than embedded videos, it is possible that you received just the PowerPoint presentation without the linked video file. In that case, no videos will play because the video does not exist! Try and reach out to the concerned person to see if they can send you the video file separately.
Do you know that you can use some simple VBA code to change linked video files to become embedded, as part of the presentation? Look at our VBA Code: Change Linked Videos to Embedded? page to learn more.
3. Reinsert Video
If you saved the video file or were able to get the video file separately, it's now time to reinsert the video clip in PowerPoint, by following these steps.
- First, save your PowerPoint presentation as a new file. To do so, choose the Save As option, and save with a new name. More details can be found here.
- Now work with the new copy of the presentation that you created. Navigate to the slide that contains the problem video and delete it.
- Now save the presentation and shut down PowerPoint altogether.
- Reopen PowerPoint and open the presentation. Navigate to the slide that used to contain the video, and insert the video clip again.
- Test and see if the video plays smoothly now.
4. Optimize Video
If your video is still not playing smoothly, you may try optimizing the video clip. Fortunately, this process can be done within PowerPoint:
- Use the copy of the PowerPoint presentation that you created in the preceding section. If you did not create a copy, access the File menu and choose the Save As option, and save with a new name. More details can be found here.
- Next, access the File menu again to bring up Backstage view, and then choose the Info tab, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Info tab of Backstage view
- Next, click on the Optimize Compatibility option, highlighted in red within Figure 3, above. Doing so brings up the Optimize Media Compatibility window that you can see in Figure 4, below. This process may be done even before you realize or may take some time. The time taken depends on the video file you inserted. When done, click the Close button.
Figure 4: Optimize Media Compatibility
- Save your PowerPoint presentation, and test the video playback. Sometimes, it may help to shut down PowerPoint and launch it again. If your playback still has issues, please check the next suggestion on this page.
5. Compress Video
While the Optimize option we explored in the preceding section is helpful to ensure that the video file is compatible with most devices and platforms, there's also a Compress option that can make your video files smaller in size, and thereby make them snappier to play because less system resources would be used. Follow these steps to learn more:
- Again, use the copy of the PowerPoint presentation that you created in the preceding section. If you did not create a copy, access the File menu and choose the Save As option, and save with a new name. More details can be found here.
- Next, access the File menu again to bring up Backstage view, and then choose the Info tab, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: Compress Media
- Next, click on the Compress Media option, highlighted in red within Figure 5, above. Doing so brings up a drop-down menu with several resolutions. We selected the HD (720p) option, shown highlighted in blue within Figure 5. When this process is completed, you will see the window shown in Figure 6, below. You can click the Close button.
Figure 6: Compression results
- Save your PowerPoint presentation, and test the video playback. If your playback still has issues, please check the next suggestion on this page.
Compression Levels and Undo Options
As you can see in Figure 5, shown previously on this page, there are three compression levels. These are:
Full HD (1080p): This is a great option if you need to present using a high-end projection system.
HD (720p): This is the best option for normal usage.
Standard (480p): Unless you have a compelling reason to use this option, stay away.
If you are unhappy with the video quality after compressing, you can bring up the same drop-down menu, and you will find an Undo option, highlighted in red within Figure 7, below. You can click on this option to restore your original video.
Figure 7: Undo to restore your original video
6. Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration
There used to be an option that you could turn on within PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office applications, but Microsoft has now removed this option altogether from the PowerPoint Options dialog box. You can turn this on via a Group policy, or achieve something similar by following these steps outside of PowerPoint using Windows 10 or 11:
- Make sure that PowerPoint is not running.
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard, and type Graphics settings. You'll see an option of the same name, as highlighted in red within Figure 8, below. Click on this option.
Figure 8: Search for Graphics settings
- You will summon the Graphics settings dialog box, shown in Figure 9, below. Make sure that the Choose an app dropdown list has the Desktop app option chosen, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 9. Next, click the Browse button, highlighted in blue within Figure 9.
Figure 9: Graphics settings
- Doing so will bring up the Open dialog box, shown in Figure 10, below. Navigate to the folder that contains the PowerPoint executable file, select it and click the Add button, highlighted in red within Figure 10.
Figure 10: Select the PowerPoint executable file
How Do I Find the PowerPoint Executable File?
To find the path to the PowerPoint executable file, PowerPnt.exe, you can access the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard, and then typing powerpnt. You'll see the shortcut to PowerPoint, as highlighted in red within Figure 11, below. Right-click on this option, and choose the Open file location option, shown highlighted in blue within Figure 11.
Figure 11: PowerPoint in the Start menu
Doing so will open an Explorer window that contains the PowerPoint executable file. Only, in this case, that's not true because we ended up with another shortcut, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 12, below. Now, right-click this shortcut, and choose the Properties option in the resultant contextual menu, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 12.
Figure 12: Properties for the PowerPoint shortcut
This action will summon the Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 13, below. Within the Shortcut tab of this dialog box, you'll see the Target box that contains the path to the PowerPoint executable, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 13.
Figure 13: Path to the PowerPoint executable
- You will now see that Microsoft PowerPoint is now listed within the Graphics Settings dialog box, as shown in Figure 14, below. Click the Options button, highlighted in red within Figure 14.
Figure 14: Microsoft PowerPoint within the Graphics Settings dialog box
- Doing so brings up the Graphics preference window, as shown in Figure 15, below. By default, the Let Windows decide option is selected.
Figure 15: Graphics preference window
- You can choose the Power saving option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 16, below. This option may be the equivalent of disabling hardware graphics acceleration.
Figure 16: Power saving option is selected
- Click the Save button. Reboot your system and see if video issues in PowerPoint are resolved.
14 07 01 - Video in PowerPoint - Advanced: Troubleshooting Video Playback in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)