If you have a PowerPoint file and you are unable to hear the audio portion of the document, then here are some things to look at that might help.  Please note that these instructions where created with PowerPoint 2010 on a PC running Windows version 7 in mind.  Some of the procedures may not work with your version of PowerPoint or Windows.

Have you tried it on another computer?

Before you do any trouble-shooting, it might be best to check if the presentation runs on another computer.  If it runs on another computer then atleast you know it must simply be a setting on your computer.  If the audio in the presentation does not play on another computer either then it is possible that the presentation is broken in some way.  Reply to the sender and ask them if others have reported an issue with the presentation.

A few things to note

  • If you are trying to play the presentation on a work computer, then try to run it on a home computer.  Some work computers can be locked down that may prevent PowerPoint presentations from running properly.
  • A common mistake someone can make when adding sound to the presentation is to link the file, instead of embedding the file.  If the file is linked, then the receiver of the file must have access to the original location of the linked file.  So if the file is "linked" to the originator's computer c: drive, the receiver cannot play the sound file, because he/she has no access to the originator's c: drive.

Once you are sure the issue is not with the file, you are ready to trouble-shoot your issue

Reboot your computer

"Have you tried turning it off and on again" is a common catch phrase amongst "techies" but the reality is that sometimes a simple reboot of your computer is all you needed to do to fix most problems.

Check your system volume

  • On the taskbar, right-click or double click on the speaker icon beside the time (Bottom right) and open the sound "mixer".
  • Make sure all the volumes are set at a proper lever, and that nothing is muted.
  • Also, play something else with sound to make sure that your speaker are connected and working. (CNN videos is a great test)

Make sure you have started the presentation

When you receive a presentation from someone, sometimes it is not in the "show" format so you need to start the presentation by clicking on the little "slide show" button.  Otherwise you are in the edit mode and clicking/double-clicking on the Audio icon will not play the sound until you are actually watching the presentation.

Check the slide show volume in PowerPoint

  • Open the presentation file, but don't start the show yet.
  • On the Options tab, check to make sure the "slide show volume" is not set to Mute.

Can you play the sound when editing the presentation?

  • Open the presentation file, but don't start the show yet.
  • Right-click on the audio icon in the presentation and select Preview.  Can you hear it?

Check your PowerPoint Volume in the System Mixer

  • Open the presentation file and press F5 or the "slide show" button to start the presentation
  • While the presentation is playing, press Ctrl + T to show the taskbar
  • Right-click or double click on the speaker icon beside the time (Bottom right) and open the sound "mixer".
  • You should see a volume level associated with the PowerPoint app.  Make sure the volume is up and not muted.

Replace/Repair/Update Windows Media Player

Most websites will say PowerPoint sound issues are related to a problem with the Windows Media Player (the default player that is provided free with all Microsoft operating systems).  To fix these issues you have three main choices: Upgrade your Windows Media Player, Update your Windows Media Player or Repair your Windows Media Player.  You only need to do one of these options, not all three

Upgrade your Windows Media Player

  • Visit this page for the latest version of the Windows Media Player
    • Follow the instructions to “download the player”. 
    • If, during the process, the installation asks you, or mentions, that your device is not the primary source for all media types, please select yes, to have to take over that control.
    • When you are done, try your presentation again.

Update your Windows Media Player

  • Visit this page for instructions on how to update your Windows Media Player.
  • Visit this page to download the latest codecs for your Windows Media player

Repair your Windows Media Player by Restoring the Windows Defaults

  • Close PowerPoint if it is still open
  • Click on the Windows button (bottom left) and select Default Programs
  • Click on Default Programs and wait for the list to load.  (This can take a minute or two)
  • Click on Windows Media Player and see what it says about defaults.  If it says “This program has all it’s defaults” then this is not the issue.  If it says anything else, click on the Set this program as default
  • Answer whatever questions it asks and choose the default option each time.
  • Try running the presentation again

Run Office Repair Tool

  • Make sure all Office products including PowerPoint, Word and Outlook is closed.
  • Go into Control Panel and choose “Program and Features” (If you see only 8 icons, you need to change the view from “Category” to “small icons”
  • Select Microsoft Office Professional 20## and click Change
  • Choose Repair and click Continue

  • When it is done, close the window and try running the presentation again

If nothing helps, please contact Computer Services by phone, email or Online Request Form.