Fix your media file that won't play in PowerPoint.

For a complete list of supported video formats, see Video and audio file formats supported in PowerPoint.

Recommendations

Video:   We recommend that you use .mp4 files encoded with H.264 video (also known as MPEG-4 AVC) and AAC audio. This is your best bet for compatibility across both Windows and Mac versions of PowerPoint.

Audio:    We recommend that you use .use .m4a files encoded with AAC audio.

These names and formats sound complicated, but you can easily convert to and use these formats without having to know anything more than those names.

If PowerPoint doesn’t let you insert a video or audio file, convert it to the recommended format.

Missing codec?

If your media file is in a supported format, but won't play in PowerPoint, then you can either add a missing codec to your PC (described in the procedure below) or convert the media file to the recommended format. Converting your media file is easier than solving an individual codec mystery.

A codec is a small piece of software that decodes a digital media file so that it can be played as sound or video.

It's not easy to determine which codec you need for your media file. One solution is to install a package of numerous codecs on your computer. That greatly increases the likelihood that you'll have the necessary codec to play your the audio or video file that is giving you a problem. Follow the steps below to install a package of codecs on your PC.

Install a K-Lite Codec Pack on your computer:   

  1. Go online to K-Lite Codec Packs page on www.free-codecs.com.

    Four variations of the pack are offered. We recommend the Standard pack.

  2. Click Download for the second package in the list, the Standard package.

    The page may have advertisements for other products on it. Those advertisements may say "Start Download" or "Start Now." Those buttons are NOT related to the pack you want to install.

  3. If your browser prompts you, choose Save.

    The download of the pack begins. The file is copied to your PC slowly. It may take several minutes, depending on your internet connection. By default it will be copied to the "Downloads" folder on your computer. The name of the downloaded file is K-Lite_Codec_Pack_1365_Standard.exe or something similar.

  4. Double-click the downloaded file to begin the process of installing it on your PC.

    The package will give you the opportunity to choose installation options momentarily.

    There are several sets of options to choose in the setup process. If you find them confusing, it's reasonable to accept the default settings that are presented to you.

  5. Accept the Normal mode of installation unless you are experienced with media files and want to customize the installation.

  6. Click Next in the dialog box.

  7. Accept or adjust the Installation Preferences as you see fit. Then click Next.

  8. Accept the Decoding Method under Hardware Acceleration.

  9. Under Preferred Language, accept the default, or make changes as you see fit.

  10. After the Audio configuration settings, the dialog box will offer you additional software unrelated to codecs. You can click Decline for this extra offer, and the setup process for the codec pack will then continue.

  11. Finally, under Ready to Install, click the Install button.

The K-Lite Codec pack is now installed on your PC. You can see it on the Windows Start menu. But more importantly, its presence on your PC increases the likelihood that a media file in a PowerPoint presentation will play successfully.

Important:  Office 2010 is no longer supported. Upgrade to Microsoft 365 to work anywhere from any device and continue to receive support.

Upgrade now

Recommendations

Video:    We recommend that you use .wmv files.

Audio:    We recommend that you use .wav or .wma files.

QuickTime error message

The 32-bit version of PowerPoint 2010 can only play an .mp4 or .mov file if the computer has a QuickTime Player installed. In this situation, you have two choices:

  • Convert your .mp4 or .mov file to the recommended .wmv format. The next section, Wrong format? Convert and re-insert your file, walks you through the conversion process.

  • Keep your .mp4 or .mov file as is, and get QuickTime for Windows on your PC. (Click the Download button near the top of the page to begin the process of installing it.) . Having it on your PC will allow you to play an .mp4 or .mov file in PowerPoint 2010.

If PowerPoint doesn’t let you insert a video or audio file, convert it to the recommended format.

If your media file is in a supported format, but won't play in PowerPoint, then you can either add a missing codec to your PC (described in the procedure below) or convert the media file to the recommended format (described above in Wrong format? ...). Converting your media file is easier than solving an individual codec mystery.

A codec is a small piece of software that decodes a digital media file so that it can be played as sound or video.

It's not easy to determine which codec you need for your media file. One solution is to install a package of numerous codecs on your computer. That greatly increases the likelihood that you'll have the necessary codec to play your the audio or video file that is giving you a problem. Follow the steps below to install a package of codecs on your PC.

Install a K-Lite Codec Pack on your computer:   

  1. Go online to K-Lite Codec Packs page on www.free-codecs.com.

    Four variations of the pack are offered. We recommend the Standard pack.

  2. Click Download for the second package in the list, the Standard package.

    The page may have advertisements for other products on it. Those advertisements may say "Start Download" or "Start Now." Those buttons are NOT related to the pack you want to install.

  3. If your browser prompts you, choose Save.

    The download of the pack begins. The file is copied to your PC slowly. It may take several minutes, depending on your internet connection. By default it will be copied to the "Downloads" folder on your computer. The name of the downloaded file is K-Lite_Codec_Pack_1365_Standard.exe or something similar.

  4. Double-click the downloaded file to begin the process of installing it on your PC.

    The package will give you the opportunity to choose installation options momentarily.

    There are several sets of options to choose in the setup process. If you find them confusing, it's reasonable to accept the default settings that are presented to you.

  5. Accept the Normal mode of installation unless you are experienced with media files and want to customize the installation.

  6. Click Next in the dialog box.

  7. Accept or adjust the Installation Preferences as you see fit. Then click Next.

  8. Accept the Decoding Method under Hardware Acceleration.

  9. Under Preferred Language, accept the default, or make changes as you see fit.

  10. After the Audio configuration settings, the dialog box will offer you additional software unrelated to codecs. You can click Decline for this extra offer, and the setup process for the codec pack will then continue.

  11. Finally, under Ready to Install, click the Install button.

The K-Lite Codec pack is now installed on your PC. You can see it on the Windows Start menu. But more importantly, its presence on your PC increases the likelihood that a media file in a PowerPoint presentation will play successfully.

More help for working with videos

If you simply want help inserting an audio or video file, see one of these other articles:

See also

PowerPoint videos not playing on secondary monitor

Error message when you try to insert an MPEG-4 or QuickTime Movie file: "PowerPoint cannot insert a video from the selected file"

"PowerPoint cannot insert a video from the selected file" error when you try to insert an MPEG-2 video

Error message when you try to insert an MPEG-4 or QuickTime Movie file: "PowerPoint cannot insert a video from the selected file"

File formats supported in PowerPoint

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Insiders

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Any additional feedback? (Optional)

Thank you for your feedback!

×