Video and audio file formats supported in PowerPoint

Video and audio file formats supported in PowerPoint

If PowerPoint doesn’t let you insert a video or audio file, you can fix the problem in a few steps and a modest amount of time. The simplest way to fix this situation is to take these three steps, which are described in this article:

  1. Find and download a file converter.

  2. Convert your video or audio file to a common format that PowerPoint understands.

  3. Insert the converted video file in your slide.

If you got a message about QuickTime,    see QuickTime error messages below.

If you simply want help inserting an audio or video file, see one of these other articles:

Get a converter

A web search for "video converter" or "audio converter" will show you numerous converters, many of which are free, such as the RealPlayer Converter (for Windows) or the Any Video Converter (for Mac or Windows). Choose one and download it to your computer.

Open the converter on your computer. Tell the converter the directory location of the file you want to convert. (The converter will leave the original file untouched and create a new file in the format you prescribe. See the format options in the next section.)

Choose a common file format to avoid "codec" errors

File format is not the entire solution, but it is an important part. The other factor is a software program called a codec, which encodes a video or sound recording digitally. It is possible to have a media file in the right format, but encoded by a codec that PowerPoint doesn't understand. If your file is already in the correct format, it is likely that the codec used to digitize the file is not supported on Windows and PowerPoint. That's the reason for getting a converter: to update your file to an encoding named in one of the next two paragraphs:

Video recommendations:    In PowerPoint 2010, we recommend that you use .wmv files. In PowerPoint 2013 and later, and in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, for the best video playback experience, we recommend that you use .mp4 files encoded with H.264 video (a.k.a. MPEG-4 AVC) and AAC audio.

Audio recommendations:    In PowerPoint 2010, use .wav or .wma files. In newer versions of desktop PowerPoint, use .m4a files encoded with AAC audio.

These and other common file formats are listed in the tables below.

If you need to install a codec on your computer, fourcc.org is a good place to look for it.

Supported formats

Supported video file formats

File Format

Extension

Windows Video file (Some .avi files may require additional codecs)

.asf

Windows Video file (Some .avi files may require additional codecs)

.avi

MP4 Video file*

.mp4, .m4v, .mov

Movie file

.mpg or .mpeg

Adobe Flash Media**

.swf

Windows Media Video file

.wmv

*Only PowerPoint 2013 and later. The 32-bit version of PowerPoint 2010 can play an .mp4 or .mov file only if the computer has a QuickTime Player installed. (Read Download QuickTime for Windows, on the Apple site, for more information.)

**Adobe Flash isn’t available in Office on a Windows RT PC. Want to see what version of Office you're using?

Supported audio file formats

File format

Extension

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

*Only PowerPoint 2013 and later. The 32-bit version of PowerPoint 2010 can only play an .mp4 or .mov file if the computer has a QuickTime Player installed. (Read Download QuickTime for Windows, on the Apple site, for more information.)

Insert the file in your slide

Once you have a converted media file in a suitable format with the correct encoding, go back to the PowerPoint slide where you want to insert your video or audio file. On the ribbon, on the Insert tab of the Media group, choose the arrow under Audio or Video and then choose the appropriate command for inserting your file. (For complete details about inserting the media file, see Add audio to your PowerPoint presentation or Add and play a video file from your PC.)

QuickTime error messages

The 32-bit version of PowerPoint 2010 can only play an .mp4 or .mov file if the computer has a QuickTime Player installed. In this situation, you have two choices:

Additional information

Audio from the iTunes Store may not play back when shared

Music files purchased from the iTunes Store can only be played on authorized computers, and people whom you share presentations with might be unable to play iTunes files.

PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Supported video file formats in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

File Format

Extension

Windows Video file (Some .avi files may require additional codecs)

.avi

MP4 Video file

.mp4, .m4v, .mov

Movie file

.mpg or .mpeg

Supported audio file formats in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

File format

Extension

AIFF Audio file

.aiff

AU Audio file

.au

MP3 Audio file

.mp3

Waveform Audio file

.wav

Advanced Audio Coding - MPEG-4 Audio file

.m4a, .mp4

Windows Media files (.wmv, .wma) aren't supported on PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.

PowerPoint for Mac 2011

Supported video file formats in PowerPoint for Mac 2011

File Format

Extension

AVI movie

.avi, .vfw

DVI movie

.dv, .dif

MPEG movie

.mpg, .mpeg, .mpe, .m75, .m15

MPEG-2 video

.m2v

MPEG-2 Transport Stream

.ts

MPEG-4 movie

Apple MPEG-4 movie

.mp4, .mpg4

.m4v

QuickTime movie

.mov, .qt

Windows Media Video file*

.wmv

* Windows media format (.wmv) requires a plugin named Flip4Mac for playback on Mac OS X.

Supported audio file formats in PowerPoint for Mac 2011

File format

Extension

AC-3 Audio

Enhanced AC-3 audio

.ac3

.eac3, .ec3

Adaptive multi-rate audio

.amr

Apple Lossless Audio

.m4a

AU audio

.au, .snd

Audible.com audio

.aa, .aax

Audio Interchange File Format

.aif, .aiff, .aifc

QuickTime Movie Sound^

.mov, .moov, .qt

Core Audio File

.caf

MPEG Audio Layer-2

.mp2

MPEG Audio Layer-3

.mp3, .mpga

MPEG-4 Audio

.mp4, .mpg4, .m4a

Ringtone

.m4r

Windows Media Audio*

.wma, .asf

Windows Waveform Audio file

.wave, .wav, .bwf

^QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) files, which also have a file extension of .mov or .qt, don't play in a PowerPoint for Mac 2011 presentation.

*Windows media formats (.wav/.wma) require a plugin named Flip4Mac for playback on Mac OS X.

Insert the file in your slide

Once you have a converted media file in a suitable format with the correct encoding, go back to the PowerPoint 2016 for Mac slide where you want to insert your video or audio file. On the Insert tab of the ribbon, click Audio or Video. (For complete details about inserting the media file, see Add a video to your PowerPoint 2016 for Mac presentation or Add audio to your slide show in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac.)

Audio from the iTunes Store may not play back when shared

Music files purchased from the iTunes Store can only be played on authorized computers, and people with whom you share presentations might be unable to play iTunes files.

Supported video file formats

File Format

Extension

MP4 Video file

.mp4, .m4v, .mov

Movie file

.mpg or .mpeg

Supported audio file formats

File format

Extension

AIFF Audio file

.aiff

AU Audio file

.au

MP3 Audio file

.mp3

Advanced Audio Coding - MPEG-4 Audio file

.m4a, .mp4

Insert a video on your slide

Once you have a converted video file in a suitable format with the correct encoding, go back to the slide where you want to insert your video file in PowerPoint for iPad or PowerPoint for iPhone. For specific details about inserting the video file, see Add pictures or videos to a file by using your mobile device.

Supported video file formats

File Format

Extension

MP4 Video file

.mp4, .3gp, .ts

VP8, VP9

.webm, .mkv

Supported audio file formats

File format

Extension

MP3 Audio file

.mp3

Advanced Audio Coding - MPEG-4 Audio file

.m4a, .mp4, .3gp, .ts, .aac

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)

.mid, .xmf, .mxmf, .rtttl, .rtx, .ota, .imy

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)

.flac

Open source

.mkv, .ogg

Insert a video on your slide

Once you have a converted video file in a suitable format with the correct encoding, go back to the slide where you want to insert your video file in PowerPoint for Android. For specific details about inserting the video file, see Add pictures or videos to a file by using your mobile device.

You can play the following audio and video formats in PowerPoint Mobile and PowerPoint for Windows Phone 10, but you can't play YouTube videos.

Supported video file formats

File format

Extension

Windows Media file

.asf

Windows Video file (Some .avi files may require additional codecs)

.avi

MP4 Video file

.mp4, .m4v, .mov

Movie file

.mpg or .mpeg

Adobe Flash Media

.swf

Windows Media Video file

.wmv

Supported audio file formats

File format

Extension

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

Insert a video on your slide

Once you have a converted video file in a suitable format with the correct encoding, go back to the slide where you want to insert your video file in PowerPoint Mobile. For specific details about inserting the video file, see Add pictures or videos to a file by using your mobile device.

See also

File formats that are supported in PowerPoint

PowerPoint 2016 videos not playing on secondary monitor

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