How to embed a video in PowerPoint

How to Embed a Video in PowerPoint from YouTube, PC, or Mac

Videos can transform a plain PowerPoint presentation into a dynamic and memorable experience. They help you explain complex concepts visually, add a touch of emotion, and cater to different learning styles. Whether you choose online videos, YouTube videos, or files from your computer, this guide will show you how to embed a video in PowerPoint in a few easy steps.

How to embed a video in PowerPoint

For this guide, we’ll use screenshots from the free web-based version of Microsoft PowerPoint. Similar steps can be taken for other versions of PowerPoint, so long as they support the mentioned methods and web video links.

Insert video in PowerPoint

💡 Read more about embedding videos in the various versions of PowerPoint on Microsoft’s website.

Option 1: Embed a video from your device

This option works across all Microsoft PowerPoint versions — for Windows, PC, or Mac. Insert videos directly from your device for guaranteed playback and complete control over your presentation delivery.

  1. Click ‘Insert’ on the main tab/panel.
  2. Select ‘Video’ → ‘This Device’.
  3. Find the folder and double-click the file to insert the video.
Embed video from Windows or Mac

💡Pro tip: Not all Vimeo videos are downloadable, but look for the download button—it means you can embed the video directly.

How to download a video from Vimeo

Option 2: Embed a YouTube video (or from online)

You can embed videos directly from YouTube, SlideShare, Vimeo, Stream, and Flip.

  1. Find the video you want, and copy the URL from the browser’s address bar. Alternatively, copy the video embed code (if available).
  2. Go back to PowerPoint and navigate to the slide you want to insert the video.
  3. From the ‘Insert’ tab, select ‘Video’‘Online Video.’
  4. Paste the video link or embed code. (from Step 1)
  5. Click the Insert button.

Finding the YouTube video link for embedding (3 ways)

#1: Copy the URL from the browser address bar:

Copy the URL of a YouTube video

#2: Under the YouTube video’s ‘Share’ options, then copy the video link.

How to copy YouTube video sharing link

#3: If you wish to use the embed code, go to ‘Share’‘Embed’. Click the ‘Copy’ button to copy the entire code.

How to copy YouTube video's embed code for PowerPoint

[Video] How to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint

How to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint

Note about using YouTube videos

Unlike videos embedded directly into your presentation file, online videos are hosted externally. You control them through the website’s video player, not PowerPoint’s built-in features (the video format tab will not be available).

Remember, a reliable internet connection is essential for smooth playback of online videos.


💡 Read more: Insert a video from YouTube or another site [Microsoft]

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Option 3: Insert a video from Microsoft’s creative content library

For users of PowerPoint for the Web: Microsoft 365 offers a selection of royalty-free stock videos (and images). You can find and insert videos from the online library.

  1. Click ‘Insert’ on the main tab/panel.
  2. Select ‘Video’‘Stock Videos’.
  3. Find the video you want and click ‘Insert.’
Microsoft 365 creative content library

💡 You’ll need a Premium Microsoft Office membership to unlock the entire stock library.


How to play embedded videos in PowerPoint

Ready to rehearse your PowerPoint presentation? Embedded videos won’t start automatically, so you have time to check that the audio settings are correct. When ready, click the ‘Play’ button on the video embed frame.

▶️ Play an uploaded video (from PC, Mac)

Uploaded videos have more playback options than linked web videos. This option also does not require the internet or a stable connection during the presentation. Click on the ‘Play’ icon to start the video.

How to play an uploaded video on PowerPoint

You’ll see this video playback tab with controls appear:

Video playback controls in PowerPoint

▶️ Play an embedded online video (from YouTube, Vimeo, etc)

You will need a stable internet connection during your PowerPoint presentation as the embedded video is directly streamed from the video platform. Click on the ‘Play’ icon to start the linked video.

How to play a YouTube video on PowerPoint

💡 Note: When embedding online or YouTube videos, you’ll primarily use the streaming site’s controls (play, pause, volume). PowerPoint’s advanced editing features won’t work on these web videos.

Tips for embedding videos in PowerPoint

While videos add a powerful element to your presentations, there are some downsides worth considering, such as the risk of technical glitches and a larger PowerPoint file size.

Use these tips to keep your PowerPoint presentation smooth:

  1. Purpose: Ensure each video serves a clear purpose and enhances your message rather than being a distraction. 
  2. Length: Keep videos short and focused to maintain your audience’s attention.
  3. Audio: Ensure the video’s audio is clear and at the right volume for your presentation.
  4. Manage video size: Large video files can make your presentation slow and challenging to share. Use online tools to compress media files without sacrificing significant quality.
  5. Prioritize reliability: If a smooth presentation is crucial, embed videos directly from your device to avoid internet dependency. Inserting a video from your device guarantees playback even without an internet connection.
  6. Test and rehearse: Review your presentation beforehand to ensure your videos play seamlessly.

Related article: Don’t Present Without These 16 PowerPoint Dos and Don’ts

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Summary

Videos are a fantastic addition to your presentation toolbox. Embedding videos into your PowerPoint slideshow makes them more engaging and memorable. Videos grab attention, explain complex ideas, and make your presentation more impactful. They offer a powerful way to complement your core message and keep things interesting.

This short tutorial covers three options: directly from your device or computer, using Microsoft’s stock video library, or pasting a video file link from online platforms like YouTube.

Keep your audience captivated with a variety of content: videos, images, well-crafted text, and engaging delivery. Remember to rehearse beforehand for a smooth, successful presentation!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the supported video formats?

Recommended: .mp4 (offers the best balance of compatibility, quality, and file size).

For older PowerPoint versions (2010 and earlier): Consider using .wmv for wider compatibility.

Other PowerPoint-supported video formats:

  • .mpg4
  • .m4v
  • .avi (may require additional codecs)
  • .mpeg or .mpg
  • .mov (for Mac users)

Why can’t I add a video to PowerPoint?

Common reasons and solutions:

  • Unsupported file format: Make sure your video file is in a PowerPoint-compatible format (.mp4 with H.264 video and AAC audio is the safest bet).
  • Outdated PowerPoint: Check and install available updates for your PowerPoint version.
  • Incorrect embed code: Double-check you’ve copied and pasted the embed code correctly (beginning from <iframe> and ending with </iframe>). If the issue persists, the video platform may not support embedding.
  • Older PowerPoint limitations (Windows only): If you’re using an older PowerPoint version on Windows, you might be restricted to embedding YouTube videos only. Consider updating PowerPoint or embedding the video file directly.
  • Internet Explorer issues (Windows only): While not strictly necessary, some older video functionality might rely on Internet Explorer components. Ensure you’re using a supported IE version.
  • Broken or removed video link: Verify that the linked video hasn’t been taken down or made private.

💡 Pro tip: Try Option 1 (Embed a video from your device) if the other methods don’t work.

For more info, read Why can’t I embed a video in PowerPoint? [Microsoft]


Can I use an older version of PowerPoint?

Yes, you can use earlier versions of PowerPoint or PowerPoint for the Web (free). However, remember that limited support is available, potential compatibility issues with newer file formats or online features exist, and new features are missing.

Consider upgrading to Microsoft 365 if you prioritize security and support, need the newest features, or work with collaborators using newer versions.

Related article: Step-by-Step: How To Convert PowerPoint to Google Slides

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