You may experience unexpected issues when designing a PowerPoint presentation, which can occur when your presentation is damaged. Let’s look at some step-by-step solutions that could help you partly or fully restore your presentation.

When you try to open or change a presentation that is damaged, you may receive one of the following error messages: ‘This is not a PowerPoint Presentation’; ‘PowerPoint cannot open the type of file represented by <file_name>.ppt’; ‘Part of the file is missing’; ‘General Protection Fault’; ‘Illegal Instruction’; ‘Invalid Page Fault’; ‘Low system resources’; ‘Out of memory’.

There are several ways to determine whether you have a damaged presentation. You can try to open the file on another computer that has PowerPoint installed to see whether the unexpected behaviour occurs there too. You can try to create a new file in PowerPoint and see whether the error occurs with the new file. The following section describes how to use existing presentations and how to create a new file in PowerPoint to determine whether the presentations have the same behaviour.

Solution 1: Open an existing presentation

  1. On the File menu, select Open.
  2. Select a different presentation, and then select Open.

If this presentation opens and seems to be undamaged, go to ‘General Solutions’ at the end of this article. Otherwise, go to ‘Create new presentation and open’.

Solution 2: Move presentation to another location

If you are trying to open the PPT file which is stored on an external hard drive or removable storage device, then copy the file to your computer’s internal hard drive and open it. If your broken presentation file is already located in the system hard drive then copy it to another drive (preferably external drive) and open. If your storage location where the PPT file is saved having an issue, then this step will solve your problem.

If you’re able to open the presentation file after moving it to the second drive, you should also try ‘Open and Repair’.

Solution 3: Create new presentation and open

  1. On the File menu, select New, and then Welcome to PowerPoint (or Introducing PowerPoint 2010).
  2. Select Create. This process creates a presentation that is based on the template.
  3. On the File menu, select Save.
  4. Type a name for the presentation, and then select Save.
  5. Exit PowerPoint.
  6. Reopen PowerPoint. In the File menu, select Open.
  7. Select the new presentation, and then select Open.

If you cannot open or save the new presentation, go to ‘General Solutions’.

Solution 4: Open PowerPoint in safe mode

Opening PowerPoint application in Safe Mode may solve your problem, as the app starts with less (no) features like add-ins, extensions, customizations, etc. in Safe Mode.

  • Go to the Start menu, press Windows + R together
  • Type powerpoint /safe and hit OK
  • Open your corrupt presentation file

If your presentation file opens or works normally in safe mode, then it looks like add-ins, extensions or custom settings you made in PowerPoint are affecting the functionality of the application.

Solution 5: Insert slides to a new presentation

This is one of the easiest as well promising techniques to deal with corrupt PowerPoint presentations. You can insert slides from the corrupt or damaged PowerPoint presentation into a new blank file, without opening the broken PPT.

  • Open a new blank PowerPoint file
  • In Home, click New Slide and choose Reuse Slides
  • Open your corrupt PowerPoint presentation by clicking the Browse button
  • All sides of your broken presentation will be shown on the right panel
  • Check the Keep source formatting button
  • Right click on a slide and choose to Insert All Slides
  • Save this recreated presentation file in a new location

If you cannot access the recreated file after adding slides to it from the corrupted presentation then, open the recreated file in PowerPoint. Choose Save As and give a new name. Go to Design, click on Browse for Themes… under Themes category. Open the recreated presentation file and hit Apply button.

Solution 6: Apply corrupt presentation as a template

If the presentation does not look the way that you expect after you try these steps, try to apply the damaged presentation as a template. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the File menu, select Save as.
    • In PowerPoint 2007 click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save as.
  2. Type a new name for the presentation, and then select Save. This will make a backup copy of the restored presentation that you can use in case the damaged presentation damages this new presentation.
  3. On the Design tab, select More in the Themes group, and then select Browse for Themes.
  4. Select the damaged presentation, and then select Apply. The slide master of the damaged presentation replaces the new slide master.

If you start to experience unexpected behaviour after you follow these steps, the template may have damaged the presentation. In this case, use the backup copy to re-create the master slide.

Solution 7: Open and Repair

Microsoft PowerPoint offers an inbuilt solution called Open and Repair to repair and recover PowerPoint slides in the file.

  • Open PowerPoint app, go to File menu and click the Open button
  • Browse and select your corrupt presentation file
  • Click the small arrow located beside Open button and select Open and Repair option
  • Wait for the completion of the repair process

This inbuilt PowerPoint repair process helps you to fix all presentation files that are slightly corrupted or damaged. If your PPT or PPTX file is severely corrupt or damaged, you may need to use PowerPoint file-repair software, like Remo Repair PowerPoint.

General Solutions, Part 1: Clean Restart

This procedure allows your computer to restart without startup add-ons. For a clean restart, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. Select Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter to start the System Configuration utility.
  3. On the General tab, select the Selective startup option, and then clear the Load startup items check box. (The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.)
  4. On the Services tab, select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then select Disable all.

General Solutions, Part 2: Check and Repair

This step lets Microsoft services continue to run. After you do a clean restart, you should check Office performance and then resume usual start-up.

Part 2:  This procedure will cause the Office program to check for issues and repair itself.

  1. Select the Start button and type Control Panel.
  2. Open the Control Panel, go to Uninstall or change a program (or Add or Remove Programs).
  3. Scroll through the list of programs and find your version of Microsoft Office. Right-click and then select Change.

We recommend you select the online repair option.

General Solutions, Part 3: Drag the presentation to the PowerPoint program file icon

  1. Right-click the Windows icon on the Taskbar, and then select Run.
  2. Type one of the following depending on your version of PowerPoint:


%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office

%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Office

  1. Select the Enter key.
  2. Locate the Powerpnt.exe icon in Windows Explorer.
  3. Drag the damaged presentation icon from one window to the Powerpnt.exe icon in the other window.

PowerPoint will try to open the presentation. If PowerPoint does not open the presentation, try Insert slides to a new presentation.

General Solutions, Part 4: Try to open the temporary file version of the presentation

When you edit a presentation, PowerPoint creates a temporary copy of the file. This temporary file is named PPT ####.tmp. The placeholder #### represents a random four-digit number.

This temporary file may be located in the same folder as the location to which the presentation is saved. Or it may be located in the temporary file folder.

Rename the file, and then try to open the file in PowerPoint

  1. Right-select the file, and then select Rename.
  2. Change the old file-name extension from .tmp to .pptx so that the file name resembles the following file name: PPT ####.pptx
  3. Start PowerPoint.
  4. On the File menu, select Open.
  5. Browse to the folder that contains the renamed file.
  6. Try to open the file in PowerPoint.

More than one file may correspond to the temporary file that was created the last time that you saved the presentation. In this case, you may have to open each file to see whether one is the temporary copy of the presentation.

If there are no temporary files, or if the temporary files display the same kind of damage or strange behavior, try making a copy of the corrupted presentation by taking the following steps:

  1. Right-click the presentation, and then select Copy.
  2. In the Windows Explorer window, right-select in a blank space, and then select Paste.

If you cannot copy the file, the file may be damaged, or the file may reside on a damaged part of the computer’s hard disk. In this case, try moving the presentation to another location first.

If you can copy the file, try to open the copy of the damaged presentation in PowerPoint. If you cannot open the copy of the damaged presentation, try repeating the previous solutions with the copied file.