4. Make sure the audio/video format is supported
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.
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
- Go to Tools > Options.
- Select the General tab.
- 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).
- 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
- Press the Win key + R.
- In the Run window, enter the following path: %temp%
- Select all the files with the TMP extension.
- Delete the files.
- 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.
FAQ: Learn more about PowerPoint audio and video
- What audio format does PowerPoint use?
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.
- What video format works on PowerPoint?
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.
- How do I get a video to play in PowerPoint?
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.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2016 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.