Troubleshooting Audio Problems With PowerPoint

You've got your presentation all set up, but for some reason, the music won't play for the colleague who received it in an email. Lack of music or audio is probably the most common problem that crops up with PowerPoint slideshows. Upgrading to the latest version of PowerPoint is the most effective way to resolve video or audio issues. If you're not able to upgrade, you'll have compatibility issues. That may not be the only problem you're facing, so troubleshoot the problem to find the right solution.

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

Optimize Media

The first and most straightforward troubleshooting step is to make sure your presentation is optimized for compatibility before sharing it with anyone else.

  1. Open the presentation.

  2. Go to File and select Info.

  3. 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.

    Optimize Media Compatibility in PowerPoint
  4. Select Optimize Media Compatibility and wait while PowerPoint improves any media that requires optimization.

  5. Select Close when the process is complete.

PowerPoint provides suggestions to optimize your content, such as embedding videos that are linked or upgrading file formats. If you are prompted to make changes, make the changes and then select Optimize Media Compatibility again.

Codecs Causing Media Problems

If you are still having audio problems with your PowerPoint presentation or receive an error message about codecs, the easiest explanation is that you don't have the proper codec installed. There are a couple of ways to resolve this issue.

  • Determine which codec you need and then install it to run the media correctly.
  • Download a third-party media decoder and encoder filter. Microsoft suggests ffdshow or DivX. These applications enable you to use a variety of formats.

Use audio with the .mp4 extension if you create a presentation in Windows but want o to deliver it on a Mac.

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