How to Fix PowerPoint Sound and Photo Problems

Why does PowerPoint keep crashing?

PowerPoint sound and photo problems frequently plague presenters. These issues occur when you create a PowerPoint presentation at home or the office, and when you take it to another computer, there's no sound or images. Or worse, PowerPoint crashes mid-way through the presentation. There are a number of ways to prevent these scenarios.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Businessperson giving a presentation
Daniel Koebe / Getty Images

Causes of PowerPoint Sound and Photo Problems

If pictures don't show up or the audio doesn't play in PowerPoint, it's likely because the components required for the presentation aren't in the same place. There could also be compatibility issues with the media files and the device you're using. If PowerPoint crashes when inserting pictures and audio, it could be because the files are too big.

How to Fix PowerPoint Sound and Photo Problems

Here are some measures you can take to fix and prevent issues with image and audio files in PowerPoint:

  1. Put everything in one folder. It's a good idea to create a new folder for all your presentation components. Having these items in one place makes it easy to transfer a presentation from one computer to another without losing any images or sounds.

  2. Reduce the PowerPoint file size. Before inserting a photo on a slide, optimize the photos by cropping extraneous items out of the pictures. If the files are still too large, compress the photos in PowerPoint.

    To keep the file sizes manageable, don't insert photos directly from a digital camera or paste images from other sources.

  3. Disable Malewarebytes. PowerPoint has been known to conflict with Malewarebytes, a cross-platform antivirus program for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. If you use this program, disable it, and then install another malware removal tool.

  4. Update the graphics card driver. Some older Intel graphics cards in Windows PCs have a glitch that conflicts with PowerPoint, so make sure the latest drivers are installed.

  5. Run the Optimize Media Compatibility tool. Make sure the presentation is optimized for compatibility before sharing it with anyone or attempting to run the slideshow on another computer. See the section below for step-by-step instructions.

How to Run the Optimize Media Compatibility Tool

Running the Optimize Media Compatibility tool is always recommended before you begin a presentation:

  1. Open the presentation and go to File > Info.

  2. If the audio or video you added to the slideshow is in a format that might have compatibility issues, the Optimize Media Compatibility option appears.

    PowerPoint settings with the Optimize Compatibility button highlighted
  3. Select Optimize Media Compatibility and wait while PowerPoint improves any media that requires optimization.

  4. Select Close when the process is complete.