How to Fix Audio Playback Issues in PowerPoint Presentations

Having trouble with sound or music with a presentation? Try these tips

Although there are various reasons why music or other audio might not play correctly in a PowerPoint presentation, compatibility is the most common cause. Learn how to troubleshoot and resolve audio playback issues in PowerPoint.

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

Make Sure the File Format Is Supported

If you are not using one of the following supported audio file formats, consider converting it to a recommended format and then reinserting it in the presentation.

The following audio file formats are supported in PowerPoint:

  • AIFF Audio file, .aiff

  • AU Audio file, .au

  • MIDI file, .mid or .midi

  • MP3 Audio file, .mp3

  • Advanced Audio Coding — MPEG-4 Audio file, .m4a, .mp4

  • Windows Audio file, .wav

  • Windows Media Audio file, .wma

Optimize Media

Optimizing your audio media for compatibility is the best way to resolve audio playback issues when you share your PowerPoint presentation.

  1. Go to File.

  2. Select Info.

    PowerPoint File Info page
  3. Select Optimize Compatibility.

    If Optimize Compatibility appears, your media format may have compatibility issues on another device. If it doesn't appear, there are no compatibility issues and the presentation is ready to be shared.

    Optimize Media Compatibility PowerPoint
  4. Wait while PowerPoint optimizes your audio.

    PowerPoint Optimize Media Compatibility complete
  5. Select Close when the process is complete.

Compress Audio Files

Embedding audio files rather than linking to them will guarantee playback. This increases the size of your presentation, but compressing your audio files helps save space.

  1. Go to File.

  2. Choose Info.

  3. Select Compress Media.

    Compress Media in PowerPoint
  4. Choose the audio quality option you want to apply and wait while PowerPoint compresses your media files.

    PowerPoint Compress Media options
  5. Select Close when the process is complete.