Microsoft PowerPoint won’t play video: Causes and fixes

One of the most utilised features in Microsoft PowerPoint is its capability to play videos. You can imagine the benefits of such an aspect of PowerPoint, as it allows the user to implement videos into their work, presentations within presentations if you will.

Sometimes though, you may find yourself struggling as the application that is Microsoft PowerPoint will not play the video you have embedded within your work. Chances are, you will be using a video from YouTube, and that is the angle that we will be working with today. The idea we will be working with, is that it is entirely possible that you entered the wrong link into your presentation.

More often than not, people will copy and paste the URL of the video they wish to embed within their presentation. This will not serve to play the video, instead serving to take the user to the site where the video can be played. The creator of the presentation should instead look to embed the YouTube video.

Now, if you read this and have no real idea of what I mean, then don’t worry. Not only will we offer you a step by step guide, but we will then break the process down further with accompanying screenshots to best aid you throughout the walkthrough, which we hope to make as thorough as possible.

Step by step: Microsoft PowerPoint won’t play video – How to fix

  • Open YouTube and navigate to the video you wish to have in your presentation.
  • Once you are on the video, click the ‘Share’ button just below the playing video.
  • Here, most people opt to copy the link that they are shown. Do not do this. Instead, click ‘Embed’.
  • Next, you will see your video next to a long winded passage of code.
  • On this screen, in the bottom right corner, is a button reading ‘Copy’. Click this.
  • Now, open Microsoft PowerPoint and go to the slideshow you are working on.
  • Go to the ‘Insert’ subsection of tabs at the top of your application. Here, click the ‘Video’ option.
  • On the dropdown menu that opens, choose to click ‘Online Video’.
  • Here, insert the embedding link that you copied from the YouTube video.
  • Click ‘Insert’ to place the video into the presentation.
  • To ensure the process worked, go to the ‘Slide Show’ tab and preview the PowerPoint.
  • If successful, your video should load and play after pressing the spacebar of your computer.

So, your first step here will be to open YouTube. Do this, and find the video you wish to embed within your PowerPoint presentation. Once you are at the video, look to the bar of options just below the video, and click ‘Share’, which has been highlighted below should you need assistance.

Clicking ‘Share’ will open a small menu for you which you can use to share the video on a multitude of different social media apps. Also on this menu is a link to copy the video, which is where many get confused when trying to complete this process.

The copy link is of no use to you if you are trying to get a video to play in your presentation. By entering the copy link into your slideshow, clicking it will simply take you to the YouTube page. It is here that so many fall foul and ultimately struggle with the process, leading them to an article such as this one.

So, instead of clicking ‘Copy’, you will instead want to click ‘Embed’, as thus:

Clicking ‘Embed’ will, unsurprisingly, show you a long winded piece of code. This is the embedding link for the video, and is of immense importance for this process. In the bottom right corner of the pop up menu you will be on at this point, there will be a button that reads ‘Copy’. This is the button you will need to click.

Now, look to open your Microsoft PowerPoint application. Once you have opened the slideshow you have been working on, look to the top of your screen and select the ‘Insert’ subsection.

After clicking ‘Insert’, you will of course be shown a different array of options in that navigation bar space within PowerPoint. Looking to the far right of the bar, you should see an option simply titled ‘Video’.

Clicking this will make a very small drop down menu appear, on which will be only a handful of options. Of these choices, you will want to click ‘Online Videos’, which will navigate you to a place in which you can embed YouTube videos into your presentation.

Clicking ‘Online Videos’ will present a menu in which you can enter the copied embedding link of your YouTube video. This menu also lists the other sites that are compatible with such an action, as YouTube is not the sole one. 

Under the heading ‘Enter the address for the online video’ is where you will want to paste the link of your YouTube video. After pasting the link, the thumbnail of the video should supplant the previous information that once occupied that space. Your screen should look something like this, but obviously, with the video of your choice:

As you can see, the box that reads ‘Insert’ is highlighted, as that is what you need to click after entering the link into that box. After doing this, you should see the thumbnail of your video appear on a slide within your presentation.

By default, your video will be pasted as a fairly small size. As you will see in following screenshots though, this size can be edited to your leisure, and it will not impact the quality of the video as it plays. 

In order to test that you have successfully embedded your video, I would recommend you do the following. Look again to the navigation bar at the top of Microsoft PowerPoint, and click the ‘Slide Show’ tab.

From here, opt to preview your slideshow. The first option, ‘From Beginning’, is what you will most likely want to click. Or, conversely, you can opt to click ‘From Current Slide’, depending on the length of your presentation.

Now, with your presentation in preview and appearing as it would in the slideshow format, you should see something like this:

In order to have your video play, simply press the spacebar as you are presenting your slideshow, and it will play as seamlessly as any other YouTube video. Just like that, you will have videos playing in your presentations!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I hope you found it as helpful as you wanted it to be! As is the case with every blog post we write, if you have any questions whatsoever, be that asking for assistance or any other general queries, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

Michael Fontana

Michael Fontana has been the managing director of telecoms and MSP Optionbox for over a decade and has worked in various telecommunication roles over the last 20 years. Michael has been involved in many exciting projects, such as co-founding telecoms and IT businesses and has now built up a team of more than 15 staff, serving over 300 clients nationwide. With a wealth of experience in IT and a passion for technology, Michael is now helping BTP to produce the highest quality guides on the internet. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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