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How to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint

We all know that Microsoft’s PowerPoint software has been a presentations staple for a few decades now. And whether you only used it in school once or twice, or you use it for work on a daily basis, there’s always something new to learn about the classic Microsoft platform. For example, did you know that you can embed YouTube videos in your PowerPoint presentations?




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

  • PC or laptop

Those custom animations and fanciful fonts are only going to hold your audience for so long, and nothing says “yay, a break from reading” like a two or three-minute YouTube clip. In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to add YouTube videos to PowerPoint slides, and answer a few frequently asked questions about this subject, too.

Embedding a YouTube video into PowerPoint

Step 1: Head to the slide where you want to embed a YouTube video by clicking it in the sidebar section, where all your slides are located. Now, click the exact area where you want to add the video, such as the title header or within the main body of text underneath.

Clicking an area in a PowerPoint slide where you can add a video to.
Microsoft/Digital Trends

Step 2: Click the Insert tab at the top. Select the Video icon. From the drop-down list that appears, choose Online Video.

Please note that if you're using PowerPoint 2019 or newer, you'll be able to insert online videos from YouTube by just copying and pasting the video URL into a slide.

The Online Video button in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Microsoft/Digital Trends

Step 3: Open the video you wish to embed on YouTube. Under the video player, click Share and then the Embed icon. Under the Embed Video title, click the Embed Code once, which will select the entire code section. Click the Copy button or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + C on Windows).

Copying the embed code for a YouTube video.
Google/Digital Trends

Step 4: Go back to your PowerPoint presentation window after you’ve copied the necessary code. Within the From a Video Embed Code section, paste the code into the adjacent field. Click the Enter button on your keyboard or click the small, grayed-out Arrow.

The area to insert embed code for a YouTube video in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Microsoft/Digital Trends

Customizing the embedded YouTube video

Step 1: You can customize how you want the video to play on your slide. Click the Playback tab and make any necessary adjustments, such as the video playing automatically or only letting it play when you click the video itself.

The Playback tab in Microsoft PowerPoint where you can customise the settings of an embed YouTube video.
Microsoft/Digital Trends

Step 2: You can also click the video frame, then right-click and select the Format Video tab for further modification tools, such as the video’s brightness, size, and more.

The Format Video window where you can customize specific settings of an embed YouTube video in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Microsoft/Digital Trends

Inserting a video file directly into PowerPoint

If you’d prefer to embed a video into your PowerPoint presentation with a video contained within your system, Microsoft provides an option to do so.

Step 1: Choose exactly where you want to add a video file. Click the Insert tab and select the Video icon. Click the Video on My PC field.

The Video On My PC button in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Microsoft/Digital Trends

Step 2: Navigate to the video you want to insert, then double-click it or click it once and select the Open button. Microsoft PowerPoint will embed the video with its own media player.

Please remember that if you do prefer the option to insert a video directly from your PC and you'll need to show the presentation via an external system, don't forget to save both the PowerPoint and video files onto your USB, external hard drive, etc. Otherwise, it won't be able to play the video. Moreover, add both of them into a single folder so they're interconnected to ensure playback.

A video inserted directly from your PC into a PowerPoint slide.
Microsoft/Digital Trends

How do I get a YouTube video to automatically play on PowerPoint?

If you want your YouTube to start playing the moment you open the slide it’s pasted to, the first thing you’ll need to do is make sure your slideshow is in Normal view. Next, click the YouTube video. Now click Playback > Start > Automatically.

You can also set up Play in Click Sequence, which automatically plays a slide’s YouTube video when you press the spacebar, right arrow key, or any other key that advances to the next slide.

Why isn’t my embedded video playing in PowerPoint?

There’s a couple of reasons your YouTube video may not be playing in PowerPoint. For starters, you should check to make sure the video you’re attempting to embed is compatible with PowerPoint. Popular formats like MP4, AVI, and WMV are supported. If your video isn’t in a PowerPoint-supported format, you could always convert it using programs like HandBrake.

If you’re playing an embedded YouTube video, the device you’re running PowerPoint on will need to be connected to the internet, too. If you know you’re going to be in a situation where you don’t have internet access, it’s probably a better idea to download the YouTube video to your computer first, and then place the video into your PowerPoint.

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Zak Islam
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Zak Islam was a freelance writer at Digital Trends covering the latest news in the technology world, particularly the…
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