How to Add Audio to Google Slides

Capture audience attention with sound effects and voice clips

What to Know

  • Insert a link to a SoundCloud file: Copy the file's URL. In Google Slides, choose the slide where you want the sound, then select Insert > Link.
  • Embed YouTube audio: Note the start and end timestamps and select Share > Copy. Choose a slide, select Insert > Video, paste the URL.
  • Convert your MP3 and WAV audio files to MP4 and then add the file the slide.

This article explains how to insert audio into Google Slides from a streaming service, from a YouTube video, or from a sound file you converted to MP4 format.

Insert Audio Into Google Slides Using a Music Streaming Service

If you found a sound file on the web you want to use in your presentation, insert a link to the file on the slide you want the audio to play. You’ll find links to sound files on music streaming services such as YouTube Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music.

When playing audio from a music streaming service, you’ll need to start and stop the audio during your presentation, and the computer you use must be connected to the internet.

Insert a link from a SoundCloud file into a Google Slides Presentation

  1. Open SoundCloud in a browser window and go to the page containing the soundtrack you want to use.

    If the music is copyrighted, you must have permission to use it. If it has a Creative Commons license, you must give credit to the musician. If it’s in the Public Domain, you can use it freely.

  2. Select Share.

    Soundcloud Share button
  3. Copy the URL of the soundtrack.

    Saving a link in Soundcloud
  4. Open the Google Slides presentation where you want to play the sound file.

  5. Select the slide where the sound file will play.

  6. Select an icon or text on the slide for the link.

  7. Go to Insert > Link.

    Insert link in Soundcloud
  8. Paste the link in the Link text box and select Apply.

    Apply link in Google Slides
  9. To test the audio file and make sure it plays, select Present.

    Google Slides Present
  10. Select the text or image containing the link.

    A screenshot showing how to play a link to an audio file during a Google Slides slideshow
  11. A new browser window opens with the page for the SoundCloud audio file.

    A screenshot showing the sound file accessed during a Google Slides presentation
  12. Select Play.

    Soundcloud play button
  13. Minimize the browser window to return to your presentation.

  14. When you want to end the audio, return to the web page for the soundtrack and select Pause

    Soundcloud Pause button

Add Audio to Google Slides Using a YouTube Video

Another way to use sound in a Google Slides presentation is to embed a YouTube video. You don’t have to show your audience the video, and can instead hide the video so they’ll only hear the audio.

  1. Go to YouTube.

  2. Go to the page containing the video you want to use.

    Play the video and note the start and end timestamps for the portion of the video you want to use in your presentation.

  3. Select Share.

    YouTube Share
  4. Select Copy to copy the link to the Clipboard.

    Copy YouTube link
  5. Open the presentation that will contain the audio file.

  6. Select the slide that will play the file.

  7. Go to Insert > Video.

    Insert > Video in Google Slides
  8. In the Insert video dialog box, select By URL.

  9. Paste the URL for the YouTube video and choose Select.

    Insert video > Select in Google Slides
  10. A thumbnail image of the video appears on the slide.

  11. Resize and move the video so it's out of the way.

  12. Select the video.

  13. Select Format options.

    Google Slides Format
  14. In the Format options pane, expand the Video playback list.

  15. Enter the Start at and End at timestamps you want to use when playing the video.

  16. Select Autoplay when presenting.

    "Autoplay when presenting" option in Google Slides
  17. Close the Format options panel when you’re finished.

    Closing Format options in Google Slides
  18. Select Present to start the slideshow from the current slide.

  19. The video will start automatically, and you’ll hear the audio.

How to Hide the Video Icon on the Slide

There are a few ways to hide the video icon on the slide.

  • Resize the video so it's as small as possible and move it to a location that's not distracting.
  • Hide the video behind a picture.
  • Draw a shape over the video and choose a fill color matching the slide background color.

How to Add Your Audio Files to Google Slides

If you’d rather use your own audio file, or another audio file you have permission to use, in your presentation, convert your MP3 and WAV audio files to MP4 video format. Then, when your audio file is converted to a video, it’s easy to insert audio into Google Slides.

Before you begin, record your own audio or download a free audio file. Then, use your favorite free audio converter software program to convert those audio files to video format. There are several online converters, but a free and easy converter is Audio Converter. 

To convert audio to MP4 using

  1. Go to the website.

  2. Select Add your files.

    Add your files at
  3. Go to the folder containing the audio file, choose the file, and select Open. You’re returned to the web page and the file is added to the list.

  4. Add more files, if needed.

  5. Select the Convert to dropdown arrow, point at Video, and select MP4.

    Convert to MP4 at
  6. Select Convert and wait while the file converts to MP4 format.

  7. When the conversion is complete, select Download All.

    Download All button
  8. The file downloads to your computer using your browser’s default download method.

  9. The file is in ZIP format. Extract the file to a folder on your computer.

Insert Audio Into Slides Using Google Drive

When you save your audio file that was converted to MP4 format to your Google Drive, it’s easy to insert audio in Google Slides.

  1. Sign in to your Google Drive account.

  2. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the file.

  3. Select New.

  4. Select File upload.

    File upload to Google Drive
  5. Navigate to the folder containing the converted audio file, choose the file, and select Open.

  6. Open the presentation that will include the audio.

  7. Select the slide where you want to play the audio.

  8. Go to Insert and select Video.

    Insert Video in Google Slides
  9. Select My Drive.

    Insert video from My Drive
  10. Choose the converted audio file.

  11. Choose Select.

  12. Select the video icon.

    Resize and move the video so it doesn’t cover important information on the slide.

  13. Select Format options.

    Format in Google Slides
  14. Select Video playback to expand the list.

  15. Select Autoplay when presenting.

    Autoplay when presenting option in Google Slides
  16. Select Present to start the slideshow from the current slide and ensure that the audio plays automatically.

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