How to Use Microsoft's Free PowerPoint Viewers

View, create, and print PowerPoint files without Microsoft PowerPoint

You don't need Microsoft PowerPoint installed on your computer to open or edit a PowerPoint document. There are two Microsoft-approved ways to create, share, edit, print, and open PowerPoint files, and both are 100 percent free.

Microsoft used to let you open PowerPoint files without PowerPoint by using their free PowerPoint Viewer tool, but it was restricted to viewing only and is no longer available from their website. What you can use now is either a web-based version of PowerPoint or the PowerPoint mobile app.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint Online, PowerPoint for iPad, PowerPoint for iPhone, PowerPoint for Android, and PowerPoint Mobile for Windows phones and tablets.

Microsoft PowerPoint Online

PowerPoint Online is the web version of PowerPoint. It doesn't have all the features as the desktop edition but it still lets you edit existing files, create new ones, share presentations with others, and print off presentations. All of it works from your browser, so you don't have to download or install anything.

PowerPoint online free viewer

This version of PowerPoint is available if you have a Microsoft account (any email address that ends with hotmail.com, outlook.com, live.com, or msn.com) or an Microsoft 365 work or school account.

The easiest way to view or edit an existing PowerPoint file online is to drag it from your computer and drop it directly on the PowerPoint Online web page. You can also save it to your OneDrive account and then use the File menu to find it.

PowerPoint Online is compatible with all versions of PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Mobile Apps

Microsoft also provides PowerPoint to mobile users. There's an app for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows 10 devices.

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PowerPoint mobile app for Android

Similar to the online PowerPoint viewer, the app has you log in with your Microsoft account so that you can access all the files from your OneDrive account, the ones that are stored on your device, and PowerPoint files saved in other cloud storage services.

Other Free PowerPoint Viewers

The two options mentioned above are Microsoft's free methods for opening PowerPoint files, but third-party programs can be used, too.

Check out our lists of free presentation software, free online presentation makers, and free Microsoft Office alternatives for some additional choices that won't cost you a dime. You might be relieved at the variety that's available, especially if you're looking for a way to open and edit PowerPoint files in a program that doesn't resemble Microsoft PowerPoint so much.