How to Make Video Play Automatically in PowerPoint

Adding videos to your PowerPoint presentations can be an effective way to engage your audience and reinforce your message. Rather than manually playing each video as you present, you can set your videos to start automatically as soon as their slide appears. This keeps your presentation moving smoothly without interruptions.

Enable Automatic Video Playback

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation and insert a video onto a slide. You can insert a video from your computer files or embed one from an online source like YouTube.
  2. Select the video and go to the “Playback” tab. This is found under the “Video Tools” section of the ribbon menu.
  3. Check the box for “Automatically” under the “Start” section. Now when you play your PowerPoint presentation, this video will start instantly when its slide appears without you having to click play.

Set Videos to Play in a Loop

You may also want your videos to play on repeat in an endless loop while their slide is displayed. This is great for short video clips you want to use as animated backdrops.

  1. After inserting your video, go back to the “Playback” tab.
  2. Check the box for “Loop until stopped.”

Now your video will continuously play in a loop until you advance to the next slide.

Adjust When Videos Start and Stop

Beyond just getting your videos to play automatically, you can also configure exactly when they start and stop during your presentations:

  • Start video after previous slide transition: This will hold off on playing the video until after the slide transition animation finishes. Helpful if you don’t want the video playing over a transition.
  • Stop video after slide transition: This will stop the video when moving to the next slide, before the next slide appears. The video won’t talk over your next slide.
  • Trim video start/end times: You can set exact start and end times for when to play your video if you only want a short segment to play.

Automatically Rewind Videos

If you have a video set to play in a continuous loop, you may want the video file to rewind to the beginning every time it finishes rather than awkwardly jumping back.

  1. On the “Playback” tab, check the box for “Rewind after playing.”
  2. You can also select “Rewind video when not in view” to rewind videos when you navigate to another slide.

Adjust Video Size and Position

As a final polish for automatically playing videos:

  • Resize videos: Drag a corner to resize or go to “Video Tools” > “Format” to set exact dimensions.
  • Reposition videos: Drag and drop videos anywhere on a slide, send videos forward/backward, and align them.
  • Add play icon overlay: Check this option in “Video Tools” > “Playback” to display a play icon that disappears once the video starts.

By taking advantage of PowerPoint’s video automation features, you can set videos to play instantly and loop continuously without any presenter involvement. This allows you to incorporate dynamic multimedia content into your slides without disrupting the flow of your presentations.

Troubleshooting Videos That Won’t Play Automatically

If you inserted a video that you want to play automatically but it fails to start when the slide appears, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Check compatibility with video format

PowerPoint supports common formats like MP4, MOV, AVI, and WMV. Unsupported formats may fail to play properly. Try converting the file.

Re-embed online videos

If using an online video from YouTube or Vimeo, reload the embed code to troubleshoot issues.

Enable hardware acceleration

In PowerPoint’s preferences, ensure the graphics acceleration option is enabled for optimal video performance.

Update graphics drivers

Outdated graphics card drivers can disrupt videos. Update your Windows or Mac drivers to the latest available versions.

Avoid high-resolution 4K videos

Higher resolution 4K videos can lag in PowerPoint. Use a 1080p or 720p version instead when possible.

Reboot your computer

As simple as it sounds, a fresh reboot can often resolve finicky video playback issues in presentations.

By taking the appropriate troubleshooting steps, you should be able to resolve any problems where PowerPoint fails to play videos automatically as expected on slide transitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What video formats work best in PowerPoint?

PowerPoint natively supports common video formats like MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV without needing additional software. For the widest compatibility, MP4 encoded with H.264 video and AAC audio is recommended.

Can I set all videos in my presentation to play automatically?

Yes! Rather than adjusting settings one video at a time, you can automatically configure all video clips inserted in your presentation to start playing instantly on their respective slides. Under the “Playback” tab, check the box for “Apply to all videos.” Any existing or newly added videos will now share the behavior.

Do hyperlinks in PowerPoint support automatic video playback?

Unfortunately PowerPoint does not support setting hyperlinked videos to play automatically. Videos inserted via hyperlinks will always require manually clicking to play when their slides appear. However, videos added directly to slides do allow full automation control.

Can I prevent videos from playing automatically when presenting?

If you configured videos to play automatically but need to present without them self-starting, you can disable video auto-play just for your current presentation session. Go to the “Slide Show” tab > “Set Up Slide Show” and uncheck “Play embedded media clips.” Videos will now only play when manually clicked.

What’s the maximum video size I can insert without performance issues?