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I can't open a PowerPoint presentation in 2010

Posted on: Aug, 2012 By: Art Holden
Today, we are looking at a troubleshooting tip which started as a question from one of our subscribers.  Here is the scenario that "John Smith" was experiencing, and we'll go over how to fix this particular problem.

John was on our website and decided to download a few templates to try out for his presentations.  He had never downloaded a template before, so he double checked that he had downloaded the proper file type, saved it in an easily found location, and attempted to open the file.  PowerPoint launched like normal, but suddenly it stalled, initiating a pop-up box stating  "Powerpoint found a problem with content ____________" and that it could try to repair the problem.

John knew our content was secure, so he clicked "Repair", at which point he received yet ANOTHER pop up box, this one worse than the first; stating PowerPoint can't repair the file!  How is he supposed to use our amazing templates which our artists have spend hundreds of hours creating just for the purpose of making John's presentation's more dynamic, eye catching and enjoyable?  Simple, he called us.

After a bit of discussion regarding the problem, we told John the solution to this pop up: Unblocking the file.  Unblocking may seem strange, as you say "I didn't lock the file in the first place." or "Unblock what?"  It turns out that Microsoft Office has the ability to block certain file types from unknown sources, preventing them from doing damage to your computer.  Unfortunately, this does not discriminate between our templates, which are perfectly safe, or templates from another source who may not have your best interest at heart.

To resolve the issue of opening an individual file, please follow these steps:

1)     Locate the file on your computer

2)     Right click the file and see the dropdown box which appears

3)     Look to the bottom of the dropdown box and select "Properties"

4)     In the "Properties" Window, you will see several tabs, the first of which should be "General".  Select this tab if it is not already selected.

5)    At the bottom of this window you will see "Attributes" and "Security".  Next to the word "Security" is a description stating "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer."  and a box labeled "Unblock".

6)     Click "Unblock" , then OK.

7)     Re-open the file by double clicking it, or opening it from PowerPoint's "File" menu.

Note:  Once you've Unblocked a file, the "Security" label under the General tab will disappear.  This is normal and to be expected.

By following the steps above, we were able to help John jump start his way into PowerPoint presentations hall of fame, and more importantly, help him be able to use our content to its full degree.

This is Kara Jones with a helpful PowerPoint tip, and remember, if you ever have additional questions, feel free to ask, otherwise, we won't know how to answer.


"Sally" called in yesterday with the same problem as John, but had already "Unblocked" the file.  We went through some troubleshooting and here is what we found:

If you have the "Protected View" enabled , or "File Block Settings" set incorrectly, your presentation can be blocked from being opened, pretty much forever, until you uncheck a few boxes.

Something you can check is going into your Trust Center, then "Protected View".  If the boxes are checked, you should be getting the "Enable Editing?" Prompt at the top of your PowerPoint screen when you open one of our templates.  If you uncheck "Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet" this will allow you to open the presentations right away.  Keep in mind that if you download from untrusted sources, this is not recommended.

Next, check your "File Block Settings"

If any of these boxes are checked under "Open", then that means those files will be blocked.  Literally, here is the text at the top of this screen:

"For each file type, you can select the Open and Save check boxes.  By selecting Open, PowerPoint blocks this file type, or opens it in Protected View.  By selecting Save, PowerPoint prevents saving in this file type."
So basically, check boxes in this case, prevent things from happening (as opposed to us being familiar with checkboxes enabling content).  Lower still on the page is the next group to really pay attention to, especially if you do have anything checked in the boxes.
"Open behavior for selected file types"
  • Do not open selected file types
  • Open selected file types in Protected View
  • Open selected file types in Protected view and allow editing
If you have "Do not open selected file types", then the files will be blocked and will not be allowed to open (resulting in that irritating warning).  So keep this in mind as well.

"Sally" got back up on her feet after removing the check boxes in the File Block Settings for PowerPoint presentations, and we were able to add to our troubleshooting tip as a result.

Thanks for reading!


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By: Art Holden
Art Holden has been involved in presentation and animation graphic content since 1990. He had the pleasure of creating one of the very first animation websites on the internet, Animation Factory. For 13 years he managed and created media for Animation Factory. He is now a part-owner and an employee working full time at PresenterMedia. His hobbies outside of work revolve around being involved in the bicycling community in Sioux Falls, SD. He never misses an opportunity to get on his bike and enjoy a ride.

Blog Comments (Sign In to Comment):

Jan 04, 2013 -
Thanks for this blog,This solved my problem.Thanks again!
Jan 05, 2013 -
I found an easy way to solve:open PP/Word/excel File-->options-->trust center-->settings-->Protected view unchoose three enable. log out & log in
Jan 10, 2013 -
Thank you so much! I am in school and was unable to print my lecture slides until I came across this site - it was a major help!
Jan 11, 2013 -
Kara Jones
I'm glad you were able to get your project printed!
Jan 24, 2013 -
Thanks. This helps me a lot!
Jan 25, 2013 -
Thank you so much for your help. Extremely helpful, much appreciated. Directions were so easy to follow!!
Jan 31, 2013 -
hey..! than q very much..! struggling from two days to open it..! than q very much..! helped allot..!
Jan 31, 2013 -
Kara Jones
I'm glad this helped you!
Feb 12, 2013 -
Shaik Rasool
Thank you. I was getting frustrated with office 2010. You were really very helpful.
Feb 12, 2013 -
Kara Jones
You're welcome!
Feb 26, 2013 -
Yaneth Gonzalez
Thank You very much for helping me with PowerPoint. I have a group presentation to give and I would have been in trouble if it wasn't for this awesome blog.
Feb 27, 2013 -
Never mind, I figured it out. You change the security setting in Office 2010. You can resolve it by the following steps: 1. Open word (or excel or powerpoint) 2. Select File 3. Select Options 4. select Trust center 5. select Trust center settings 6. select Protected view 7. Deselect all 3 options: Enable protected view for files originating from the internet Enbable protected view for files located in potentially unsafe locations Enable protected view for outlook attachments 8. Repeat these steps for excel and or powerpoint
Feb 27, 2013 -
Kara Jones
Tim: Thanks for your feedback! The steps you mentioned are in the update version of our blog on this topic.
Mar 09, 2013 -
Thanks a lot it solved my problem and gave me peace of mind.
Apr 08, 2013 -
Thank you so much for the useful information!!
Apr 11, 2013 -
Thank you SO much, that was very helpful!
Apr 15, 2013 -
My second error message said there was a problem accessing the file location and i did everything but still can't open the file
Apr 16, 2013 -
Kara Jones
Jacob: Thank you for your feedback. Are you on a corporate network by chance? Sometimes file locations are inaccessible if they download to a "default" location.
May 08, 2013 -
So gratefull for your topic. I encountered this problem, .ppsx file would not open since few days if sent/received in mail. Spent numerous hours trying to find a solution on the Web. Could this problem occured with a new upgrade by Windows ? Many many thanks for your precious help.
May 08, 2013 -
Kara Jones
What error are you receiving when trying to open it? Make sure your Trust Center Settings are allowing content to be downloaded from e-mail (second half of this article).
May 17, 2013 -
Tobi Chu
Thanks for this advice, but unfortunately it doesn't work for me. Tried every suggestion there is to resolve this issue and nothing resolves it. I have followed these instructions, checked the DCOM settings, tried setting my entire C drive as a trusted location in the Trust Center settings, and still won't open the file without trying to repair it. Please help!
May 18, 2013 -
Josh Hunt
That did it; thanks!
May 20, 2013 -
Kara Jones
Tobi: Did you check the file types that were allowed? Make sure you check through the whole list of items including both the protected settings, trust center settings, and the individual file block settings.
May 24, 2013 -
Hello. I am using Powerpoint 2013. This problem is occurring and I have done all the steps you wrote and the problem persists. When I try to open the file after doing everything the pop up still comes up and when I put repair it's blank.l I don't know what to do! :(
May 28, 2013 -
Kara Jones
Diana: PowerPoint 2013 might handle files differently than 2010, and it's possible your Windows Security settings. Here's the basics, just to make sure you didn't miss anything: 1) Download the ppt file, right click, go to Properties, and "Unblock" 2) Open PowerPoint, get into your PowerPoint Options, and then your Trust Center > File Block Settings ... If anything is checked, it'll prevent a PowerPoint file from opening properly. If the problem persists, you may want to contact the Microsoft support community for additional assistance.
Jun 11, 2013 -
Very nice post. I certainly love this site. Stick with it!
Jun 28, 2013 -
Howard Giovanini
Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.
Jul 08, 2013 -
Nice post about open a PowerPoint presentation in 2010. We have mentioned below some tips: 1. Open a presentation in PowerPoint. 2. Save the presentation. 3. Click the Home tab. 4. Click the drop-down arrow beside New Slide. 5. Click the Browse button and select Browse File. 6. Locate original PPT file and click the Open button. 7. At the bottom of the Reuse Slides, select the source formatting check box. 8. Right click the first slide in the Reuse Slides and select Insert All Slides. 9. Save the new presentation. If your not able to open PowerPoint then try some third party applications which help to repair & open corrupt PowerPoint file the tool called "Kernel for PowerPoint repair tool"
Jul 08, 2013 -
Kara Jones
Thanks John!
Jul 11, 2013 -
Thanks for this!! It work for me.
Jul 15, 2013 -
Thanks a lot! The Microsoft website doesn't have this content, you guys identified the very cause of the issue and solved successfully.
Jul 15, 2013 -
Kara Jones
Bernardo: Thank you for your feedback. I'm glad this helped you.
Aug 15, 2013 -
it does not work for me,i don't take any content from internet,after typing some equations,this message start display.After selecting option of repair ,file open but it does not display the equations.
Aug 15, 2013 -
Kara Jones
If it is happening when you create brand new files in PowerPoint, it's not a trust center setting issue, it's something to do with what you're typing into the program. Please see Microsoft help or other sources for assistance with this issue.
Aug 19, 2013 -
Thank you Eric, that did the trick for me too!
Aug 21, 2013 -
We have an unusual problem similar to this....whenever "Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet" is checked, we can not open Powerpoint files on our network drive. Anything stored locally works fine. Any suggestions?
Aug 22, 2013 -
Kara Jones
More than likely, it's because the setting is under the file block settings. Check your Trust Center Settings, then File Block, see if at the bottom there's "open" option, which either makes them open in protected view or not open at all.
Aug 27, 2013 -
thanks for this! now, i can open my downloaded ppt files! :) this means a lot!
Aug 27, 2013 -
Kara Jones
You're welcome!
Aug 28, 2013 -
George Shoane
After seeing the message: Protected View Office has detected a problem with this file. Editing it may harm your computer. Click for more details. Click on this, and will get: Info Edit Anyway Protected View etc Just click Edit Anyway to be able to edit the Powerpoint file.
Sep 03, 2013 -
Thank you sooooooooo much!
Sep 23, 2013 -
I just got a new laptop and downloaded word, excel, onenote, and powerpoint. I can open all of them except powerpoint. Its like it never even responds to the click. What do I do????
Sep 23, 2013 -
Kara Jones
If you can't open PowerPoint at all, then it's an issue with how your computer is either navigating to it (try going through your programs list manually) or maybe not a full version of PowerPoint (could be PowerPoint viewer for example).
Oct 02, 2013 -
Thank you so much for this! I've been unable to open any of the lecture slides my university lecturers have given me (which is naturally a big problem) because of the repair message. Thanks to this I can view all my lecture slides again! Thank you a thousand times!!!
Oct 06, 2013 -
My 2-year old computer came with Microsoft 2010 Starter Edition pre-installed. Recently, I am unable to open pps/ppt files. I installed Power Point Viewer but still can't open those files. When I try, I get a message "The Microsoft Office product necessary to open this file is not installed on your computer". It also gives me an "option" to purchase Office 2010. I tried Dell's Technical Support but the guy wanted to charge me $89 to fix the problem. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Oct 07, 2013 -
Kara Jones
ER: Thanks for your question. If you have PowerPoint viewer, all it can do is VIEW PowerPoint slideshows, it can't view PowerPoint Presentations (.PPT or .PPTX files), if you have the creator save it out as a PowerPoint show (.PPS I believe is the file extension), your PowerPoint viewer should be able to open it. Also, if the presentation does not have any animations, you could use Open Office Impress (I think Impress is the presentation creator of theirs) or Google Drive, or even Microsoft Skydrive.
Oct 09, 2013 -
YES! i´ve been struggling with this issue for so long! the guys at IT at school (i don´t know if it´s IT in english aswell :P ) said i would have to reistall everything to get it fixed but thanks to those three steps in this comment area it was fixed! :) thank you and God bless!
Oct 15, 2013 -
Kara Jones
I'm glad you're back up and running :)
Dec 11, 2013 -
Pamela C.
Thank You! I cannot thank you enough! I have already spent over $100 in various "fix-it" software, read numerous articles and finally found this! You have my gratitude!
Jan 11, 2014 -
Farwah Ali
Thank you so much, this was very helpful. It was such a relief to open my blocked slides, that I forced to publish this comment, thanking you. Again thanks a lot!
Jan 11, 2014 -
Farwah Ali
I was*
Feb 21, 2014 -
Sharon Harris
Feb 21, 2014 -
Thank you so much!! You solved in seconds, what I have been trying a week to get to do. Amazing! Thank you again
Feb 27, 2014 -
Thanks Eric, it works for me too!
Mar 05, 2014 -
It does not work for me. -_-!! I have tried every suggestion there is to resolve this issue and nothing resolves it. Please help!
Mar 10, 2014 -
hi,i am using microsft office(2010),while i am trying to open a particular ppt file,it says file is opening in protected view and stays in the same message for long time and it is not opening.I tried all the trusted settings but still i have the problem....pls help me!!!!!!
Mar 12, 2014 -
Nina Sally
Thanks!!!!!You saved my life or else i could hve scolded by my lecturer cause i couldnt print my slide :DD
Mar 24, 2014 -
If your file is truly corrupt, there are a number of things you can try to recover it. Firstly try a third-party recovery tool PowerPoint Repair Toolbox. You may download it on http://www.powerpoint.repairtoolbox.com/
Apr 01, 2014 -
Mike Weber
Hello. Please make sure you after you have downloaded the file that you are going into Power Point and using the "Insert, file" tab. If you click the download on the site it may open in protected view.
Jun 27, 2014 -
I am fairly certain trust setting is the problem I'm having. I can open some pptx files, but not others. Some of the files I can't open now I have opened in the past. Unfortunately, I didn't find your useful post until after I started a repair of MS Office 2010. But, that's certainly not your fault. Thanks for this great piece!
Aug 18, 2014 -
Thanks so much!! Was having a minor freak out because my economics 3 slides wouldn't open and I have a test this week. Reckon you may have saved my degree. Nice one, guys.
Aug 29, 2014 -
Thank you very much for this!! Very very helpful!
Sep 03, 2014 -
Thanks much for this extremely helpful tip!
Sep 10, 2014 -
Your the best! Thank you for this. I was about to give up and I found this article and now all is well! Again! Thank you
Sep 18, 2014 -
Thanks a lot. Very helpful.
Sep 23, 2014 -
Prakash K
Thanks a lot .. !
Sep 25, 2014 -
Merry Ralte
PowerPoint files stored in my computer are seminar slides that were required next day. Virus attack ruined all of my files and left with damaged file. I used Remo Repair PowerPoint software to get out of this shackle and I am grateful.
Oct 15, 2014 -
I tried these steps but I still couldn't open my file
Nov 03, 2014 -
Thanks boss!
Dec 04, 2014 -
thankyou so much !
Dec 09, 2014 -
Thank you! So simple!
Dec 17, 2014 -
Thank you so freaking much! Now I can finally open the PP:s from my school so that I can write my essay! Hurray! You are the best, seriously thank you so much!!!
Dec 24, 2014 -
P Ananda kumar
Thanks for ur help.
Dec 30, 2014 -
Harris Kagan
Excellent! thanks for sharing this!
Jan 13, 2015 -
Thank you so much! I was unable to open any PowerPoints from school. Finally!!! They open!
Jan 20, 2015 -
Merry Joseph
Unable to access a PowerPoint file on your computer? It might be corrupted due to a virus infection or any other unauthorized action. Use Remo Repair PPT in order to reliably get it fixed
Jan 21, 2015 -
Thank you so much. Very helpful.
Feb 09, 2015 -
Thank You very very very much. Good luck
Feb 18, 2015 -
Amazing way to describe a solution. Very helpful. Thanks Much!
Mar 06, 2015 -
Mar 23, 2015 -
Man you are a genius. Thank you so much..
Mar 27, 2015 -
Yosua Benny
Thanks you, God Bless
Apr 06, 2015 -
Robin Ooi
OMG...you just saved me hours of dabbling around with PowerPoint! Thank you so much!
May 08, 2015 -
Thanks you ! This problem made me mad :'( and It has sloven, now :D
Jun 17, 2015 -
Arafat Kabir Azad
I was in big trouble with this blocking problem. Great solution came from you. Thanks for the nice and helpful post. God bless you
Jun 26, 2015 -
I am trying to download a powerpoint from a website but it doesn't download, none of them do. Before they used to. can anyone help?
Jun 26, 2015 -
Ayishetu Omoragbon
Thank you so much. I have battled with this problem for so long that i no longer use my computer for reading power points documents. smiling all the way.
Jun 26, 2015 -
Mike Weber
Are you receiving some sort of error message? I have been using the site all day and it seems to be working properly. Make sure your browser is updated to the latest version and try clearing your cookies and cache.
Jun 28, 2015 -
Thank you so much! You just solved my problem.
Jun 29, 2015 -
mycaela precious
what if my powerpoint didn't open because of the license that can't be verified??how can i fix this kind of thing?
Jul 17, 2015 -
Thanks for sharing such a good thinking, piece of writing is good, thats why i have read it completely
Jul 20, 2015 -
My IT department guy cant fix this issue.. Thanks a Million.
Jul 24, 2015 -
Hi, I'm encountering a similar problem with one of my presentations which is saved a .pptm. Unfortunately, i can't see the unblock option also in "Properties". Can you please let me know is there any other workaround to open the file? BTW I'm using windows 7, 64 bit version. Thanks.
Jul 28, 2015 -
Frank Smith
If you are not able to open PPT file due to file corruption, then you can use any 3rd-party ppt recovery tool. It will easily repair corrupt or damaged PPT file and makes it accessible for the users.
Aug 13, 2015 -
i too had trouble opening ppts that i had downloaded. i followed your advice regarding "unblock" and hey presto!! it opened!! thank you very much
Aug 13, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
Glad we could help! - Billy
Aug 18, 2015 -
thanks you , very good solution
Sep 08, 2015 -
I can't be more thankful for this post. I had issues with downloaded pptx file for a year..finally found the solution. Thank you a lot!
Sep 09, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
Glad we could help!
Sep 22, 2015 -
just installed microsoft 2013 and was having this problem. could not open any files both for powerpoint or word. But i followed the instructions mentioned here and was able to open all my files. thanks you so much for the instructions. :)
Sep 23, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
Glad we could help!
Oct 13, 2015 -
awesome...thank u all
Oct 29, 2015 -
Thanks a lot! My problem with Powerpoint got resolved
Oct 30, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
Glad we could help!
Nov 01, 2015 -
God Bless you! This allowed me to open my profs slides! Thank God and you, Amen~! <3
Nov 11, 2015 -
I cannot open my .pptx file that was fine 2 days ago. Tried the steps above and not working. The file just appear one second on my PC then gone. Please help! Thanks
Nov 12, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
Hi Diana, Where you able to get your PowerPoint open? When you say 'gone' do you mean you can't find the file anymore? What version of PPT are you using?
Nov 17, 2015 -
Great! Thought I breeee another computer or Microsoft office! Simple but very effective trick! Thank you very much!
Nov 26, 2015 -
Can you let me know how to create a link in PowerPoint? Like: if any person clicks on this link open in brewers
Nov 30, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
Whether it's a image or text, you should be able to right click on it and select 'Hyperlink'. This will open a window and give you multiple options. Once the 'Hyperlink' is set it will open in the default browser for the computer it is running on.
Nov 30, 2015 -
Thanks so much
Dec 01, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
Glad we could help!
Dec 03, 2015 -
Thanks so much! This really helped me and I used the third suggestion by un-checking those boxes. Even my IT Help Desk couldn't solve it, but with your solution, I managed to solve it!
Dec 08, 2015 -
Thanks a lot.. I had presentation and u saved my day :)
Jan 18, 2016 -
Thanks so much!!
Apr 22, 2016 -
thank youuuu!
Aug 17, 2016 -
Thanks for your education.
Aug 17, 2016 -
Billy Schlotter
You're welcome! Glad we could help.
Sep 07, 2016 -
Tried all that and still my power point presentation still doesn't open
Sep 08, 2016 -
Billy Schlotter
Sorry to hear that. Is this a PresenterMedia PowerPoint template? If so which on is it?
Sep 22, 2016 -
Terence Lim
Had the same issue since yesterday night. You saved my PowerPoint project!
Oct 18, 2016 -
thank you for your solutions
Oct 23, 2017 -
Faith Foote
Same problem. No resolution. Not PresenterMedia.

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