How to make a PowerPoint presentation open in slideshow mode

I learned this from investigating an e-mail forward I received during the Christmas holidays, but it’s a useful tip that others might like to hear.

When you’re giving a presentation, the last thing you need is more work, and I have seen numerous presenters struggle with the foreign laptop they’re on or try to get something up and running. Having your slides all ready to go on a thumb drive helps to make things go a little more smoothly and this tip will make your presentation automatically open up in slideshow mode.

It’s quite simple.

Let’s say your file is called presentation.ppt. To make it open in slideshow mode, you just have to change a single letter in the filename. Change the extension to pps instead of ppt (presentation.pps). When you open the file it will be in slideshow mode and you can begin talking, off to a smooth start in your presentation.


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  1. You can also make this choice when you save it, by using the file type drop-down menu and selecting Powerpoint Show (.pps)

    Comment by forbes on January 26, 2007 @ 4:08 am
  2. That’s true, I forgot to mention that.

    Comment by dan on January 26, 2007 @ 8:30 am
  3. I did not find the option that Dan mentioned. I am trying to email my powerpoint presentation to staff and would like them to be able to open the attachment and have the presentation start without having to look for the icon to click on. HELP!

    Comment by Cynthia on April 27, 2007 @ 8:39 am
  4. Actually, it was Forbes who mentioned the drop down box that I can not find.

    Comment by Cynthia on April 27, 2007 @ 8:41 am
  5. there is no “drop down menu”, you just literally CHANGE the filename (after closing the file right-click on the filename and change it to “filename.pps” instead of “filename.ppt”.

    Comment by isaac pisors on March 18, 2008 @ 1:11 pm
  6. Forbes was talking about when you’re saving the file. If you go to File -> Save As you get a dialog that has a “Save as Type” drop down menu. In this menu you can select PowerPoint Show (*.pps) to have the same affect. Both methods work.

    Comment by dan on March 18, 2008 @ 1:57 pm
  7. It was very helpful. Thanks for that!



    Comment by Mohammad Ali on October 16, 2008 @ 7:03 am
  8. Thank you so much for the information for slideshow ….. I am thrilled that this worked…. thanks again

    Comment by Monique on June 30, 2009 @ 6:27 am
  9. @Monique You’re very welcome. Thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by Dan on June 30, 2009 @ 8:23 am
  10. I’ve made a PPT with 5 videos and 3 sound files and have saved it as a PPS. I plan on burning it to a CD the send it out. Is there a way I can send it without the videos and sound files on the CD and they all still work?

    Comment by Carla on July 20, 2009 @ 10:47 am
  11. Not that I know of. The PPT file references those videos and sound files instead of embedding them inside the file, so if you don’t include them, they won’t be displayed in the presentation.

    Comment by Dan on July 20, 2009 @ 11:00 am
  12. Would embedding the videos and sound allow me to do what I want?
    If so I’ve tried to embed a video file using steps from the Interactive Media Center, Univeristy Libraries. I can’t seem to get the instructions to work by their steps. Have anyone ever gone to this web site?

    Comment by Carla on July 21, 2009 @ 11:12 am
  13. @Carla Yes, embedding would put all the media into one file so you could burn it to a CD.

    Cliotech shows three ways of doing it.

    Comment by Dan on July 21, 2009 @ 1:48 pm
  14. Thanks so much! I now know how to make a slide show… I really thought it was that complicated. Hehehe! God bless you!

    Comment by Frances on September 3, 2009 @ 5:34 am
  15. In the immortal words of Tiny Tim, God bless us, everyone :)

    Comment by Dan on September 3, 2009 @ 9:53 am
  16. Does anyone know how to save a powerpoint slideshow and make the slides unavailable for edit? ie only available as a show

    Comment by jo on October 22, 2009 @ 7:12 am
  17. @jo Not that I know of

    Comment by Dan on October 22, 2009 @ 10:16 am
  18. Thanks a lot. It helped me a lot.

    Comment by Meghna on November 15, 2009 @ 12:14 am
  19. Thank you. It was very very helpful.

    Comment by govind on December 30, 2009 @ 2:40 pm
  20. How can you make a presentation OPEN in slide mode, but also be able to edit?
    When I press ESC to get out of slide mode, the presentation closes.

    Comment by Cristy on May 10, 2010 @ 12:50 pm
  21. @Cristy I don’t think you can. The only way to edit is to rename it back to .ppt.

    Comment by Dan on May 10, 2010 @ 1:12 pm
  22. Sorry, it doesn’t work for me. I have saved it as a PPS file, have a slide with a transition in it and an embedded sound and when I click on the file, it still opens in Normal View. I’d attach it so you could see but there’s no provision for that. Any other hints? I’m using Powerpoint 2003. Thanks so much!

    Comment by Stu on June 2, 2010 @ 7:21 am
  23. Perhaps the default file handler for PPS files isn’t set up correctly. Open up an explorer window, and go to Tools -> Options, File Types tab and find PPS. Then click Advanced and make sure “Show” is in bold. If it’s not, select it and click the “Set Default” button.

    Comment by Dan on June 2, 2010 @ 8:29 am
  24. Does a .pps filename extension also work for the newer versions of Powerpoint? Powerpoint 2007 and 2010 typically use .ppsx extensions.

    Comment by Mark on October 28, 2010 @ 3:41 pm
  25. I just tried with Powerpoint 2007 and pps still worked. ppsx didn’t.

    Comment by Dan on October 28, 2010 @ 3:51 pm
  26. I saved a powerpoint presentation in the slide show mode. When I uploaded the file in to Microsoft SharePoint and try opening the file it opens in the regular view. How do I get it to open in the slide show view?

    Comment by Kelly Jo on March 4, 2011 @ 1:18 pm
  27. @Kelly Jo Sounds like an issue with Microsoft Sharepoint. There may not be a way to have it start in slide show mode from a Sharepoint.

    Comment by Dan on March 4, 2011 @ 1:37 pm
  28. It’s a pretty old post, however, there is a simpler way where you can save your powerpoint file with .ppt extension (editable).

    To open a .ppt file in slideshow mode, simply invoke ppt with option /s. E.g. powerpnt /s path\to\your\file

    Comment by Bernard on June 22, 2011 @ 11:14 pm
  29. I am presenting a PP in slide show mode. Within the presentation, I have a hyperlink to another PP. The problem I’m having is this hyperlinked PP opens in presentation view and is not able to be edited. I would like the hyperlinked PP to open in “normal view” so that people can “save as” and just create their own PP using what has been supplied to them. Can this be done? How do I do it?

    Comment by Diane on August 11, 2011 @ 6:37 am
  30. Thank you!!!!

    Comment by Christie on August 18, 2011 @ 1:20 pm
  31. Thank you Dan (comment no.6) saved my life…haha

    Comment by Kaushik Morarji on August 21, 2011 @ 8:44 pm
  32. Glad I could help :)

    Comment by Dan on August 21, 2011 @ 9:00 pm
  33. Hi thank you for the previous info – was excellent, is there a way to attatch a pps, so that when the email is opened it starts playing immediately?

    Comment by Michelle on September 14, 2011 @ 6:27 am
  34. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this for over an hour!! I just wanted to go to bed. Now I can. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by valerie c on November 3, 2011 @ 10:48 pm
  35. Thank you. The answer was so simple. Yet, it took me an hour of searching on my own before I found your advise.

    Comment by Erlene on December 1, 2011 @ 10:51 pm
  36. I’m having trouble emailing a presentation that has been saved as a ppsx. When i open the file from windows explorer its opens in a show which is what i want, yet when i send it, my recipient clicks on the attachment and it opens in power point and it is editable. Any suggestion?

    Comment by Paul on December 6, 2011 @ 4:27 pm
  37. Does anyone know how to ensure that a presentation opens as a slide show when it is saved in SharePoint? When the file is saved locally it opens as a slide show which is great but as soon as i upload to Sharepoint the file opens as a ppt despite the icon showing as a pps? I need to publish this document but dont want other to be able to edit it and jump from slide to slide. The document has particular hyperlinks to certain parts of the docuemnt so do not want the user to be able to scroll through or see all slides. Help please?

    Comment by David on December 7, 2011 @ 3:33 am
  38. What if I’m having the opposite problem- I’m on my laptop and can only open my pp presentations in slideshow. I cannot get to the template in order to edit the presentation. (on my work and home computers it opens first in the editing mode). Any suggestions?

    Comment by Laurie on January 9, 2012 @ 8:02 am
  39. I have created a slideshow, but even when I save it as a .ppsx, it just opens as a slide, not a slideshow. What am I doing wrong? Please help!!!

    Comment by Kimberley on February 7, 2012 @ 1:27 pm
  40. @Kimberley I don’t know. I just saved a .pptx file as a .ppsx by Saving As “PowerPoint Show” and it worked fine in Office 2007, opening up in slideshow mode. Just changing the extension didn’t work. I’m guessing it only works in earlier versions of Office.

    Comment by Dan on February 7, 2012 @ 1:53 pm
  41. @Kimberly & Dan: I just changed the extension from .pptx to .ppsx and it was a no go, but when I changed .pptx to .pps it opened up in slideshow mode.

    Comment by Jay on February 11, 2012 @ 7:47 pm
  42. @Jay Thanks for the clarification. That worked here too with Office 2007.

    Comment by Dan on February 12, 2012 @ 4:46 pm
  43. If setting up a Kiosk station that will only ever open the PowerPoint slideshow… Changing the file extension makes more work for those that will be editing the file from a different PC. If you change what the extension’s association does, the Kiosk PC will be the only one opening the in Slideshow mode. Everyone else can open in PowerPoint. To do this; on the Kiosk PC go to the Control Panel, Folder Options, File Types(Tab). Scroll down ad select either (or both) .ppt or .pptx. Select the extension, click on the Advance button, select Show , then click on Set Default, OK. Now when someone open a .ppt or .pptx file on the Kiosk PC, it will only open in Slideshow mode.

    Comment by Del on February 22, 2012 @ 8:21 am
  44. Thank you soooo much!!! Your tip about using pps instead of ppt was a huge help!

    Comment by Amber on April 11, 2012 @ 12:40 pm
  45. @Amber You’re quite welcome ;)

    Comment by Dan on April 11, 2012 @ 12:41 pm
  46. Thanks for this guide… i tried change the extension then later i saw the option is available within the power point application itself.. the option for starting directly with slide show.

    And editing it is possible for those who want to edit.. no need to change back the extention just right click on the file and choose “new” it will be there to edit.

    Comment by Beezybee on April 19, 2012 @ 2:14 am
  47. Everyone seems to be unable to stop people from editing powerpoints. It is very very easy in powerpoint 2002 but impossible in to do in 2007 and 2010 (though the editing prevention effect work when opening in these versions).

    How to protect a PPS file from being edited:
    1.Open the powerpoint.
    2.Click the tools menu then options.
    3.Click the security tab
    4.Enter a password in the password to MODIFY box
    5.Click “ok”
    6.Save the file.

    This PPS file should now be viewable simply by clicking on it.
    This PPS file should now be editable by opening powerpoint, pressing “CTRL” + “O” and selecting the file, and entering the password in the dialogue box.

    Comment by JB on June 15, 2012 @ 9:19 am
  48. how can on song be be extended to cover the whole slideshow if the slideshow is longer duration than the song?

    Comment by Carl on June 22, 2012 @ 2:56 pm
  49. @Carl You loop the song using an audio editor like Audacity.

    Comment by Dan on June 25, 2012 @ 10:58 am
  50. I tried all the ways to save my presentation to have it open as a slide show (.pps, .ppsx, as suggested above in April) and nothing worked with Office 2010. So, it seems that the lovely feature of sending a PP slide show and having it open as a slide show is broken in the Office 2010!?

    Comment by Donna on July 27, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
  51. @Donna I don’t have 2010 in front of me, but this should work:

    Choose the File tab
    Select Save As.
    Pick PowerPoint Show.
    Choose the Save as type as PowerPoint Show.
    Type a name for your slide show in the File name text box
    Click Save.

    Your PowerPoint slideshow will be saved with a ppsx extension.

    Comment by Dan on July 27, 2012 @ 3:46 pm
  52. Well, that would be the logical thing to do. However, that does not work. It get saved as a ppsx file, but it doesn’t open as a slide show. It used to work in previous versions, but I’ve found that with 2010 they changed things and many of the previous features are broken, changed,eliminated. Why would they make updates that make the product worse than before?(obviously a retorical question)

    Comment by donna on July 30, 2012 @ 7:00 am
  53. @donna It does work in Office 2010. There is something different on your computer that’s causing the problem. How are you opening the file? There’s a known issue where ppsx files are opened in edit mode when the file is retrieved from a hyperlink ( Another place to look are the file-types. Windows 7 makes them harder to manage, so File Types Manager might help.

    Comment by Dan on July 30, 2012 @ 10:56 am
  54. When i insert movie in office 2010 . i dint get option to play movie automatically or when clicked . Please give me solution as soon as possible how can i get this option while inserting media file . i have urgent need of that .

    Comment by SANDEEP AGGARWAL on August 2, 2012 @ 7:23 pm
  55. Good to hear it does work in Office 2010. I’ll quit complaining about 2010 and try your solution. For now, my work around was to convert it to a wmv. and that worked. Thanks for your help.

    Comment by Donna on August 7, 2012 @ 7:39 am
  56. Thanks a lot!!! I didn’t know about that and it is very useful!!

    Comment by Gaia on December 18, 2012 @ 3:02 am
  57. Thanks :)

    Comment by Priyanka on April 1, 2013 @ 5:16 am
  58. I’m setting up a kiosk (touch screen) with multiple PPT to select From instructional slide shows. I need customers to touch the PPT / PPS shortcut (which i will make into an Action Button) on desktop and the show runs. Shows will be interactive but I know how to do that part.

    Comment by FrancisXcon on April 3, 2013 @ 10:01 pm
  59. Brilliant! Thanks for this – solved my problems and also allowing me to go to bed!! Awesome!

    Comment by Karen on May 18, 2013 @ 10:35 am
  60. How can you make a powerpoint slideshow window resizable? It always fills my entire monitor screen and I want to be able to reduce the size and work around the slideshow. Help please!

    Comment by Ron on September 3, 2013 @ 11:14 pm
  61. @Ron It depends on the version, but in 2013 you can make it show in a window that you can resize by going to the Slide Show menu, then Set Up Slide Show and make the Show type “Browsed by an individual (window).

    Comment by Dan on September 4, 2013 @ 3:40 pm
  62. Thanks. Very helpful. Next question: Is there a way to eliminate the browser address bar and pull down menus along with the slide counter at the bottom of the page? I simply want a resizable window with no pull down menus or other stuff. I want to overlay the PowerPoint presentation over a background and then record a video for webinars. Less is best in this situation. Your assistance will be most appreciated.

    Comment by Ron on September 4, 2013 @ 11:21 pm
  63. @Ron Nope, that’s as simplified as it gets in Window-mode. To record a video for webinars, what about making the recording area fit the slides so that’s all you can see, then adding the background later? Barring that, you could just give up on having a background and record only the slides.

    Comment by Dan on September 5, 2013 @ 11:10 am
  64. Based upon your advice I think I will integrate my background into the PowerPoint slide, re-size it to my finished end result and record for it. This will probably give me the outcome I’m looking for. Thank you!

    Comment by Ron on September 5, 2013 @ 1:03 pm
  65. That’s another good idea, and you’re very welcome.

    Comment by Dan on September 5, 2013 @ 1:33 pm
  66. I can not get pptx 2013 to save in slideshow mode. I want to email the presentation, and want the presentation to open as a slideshow. I have looked all over and can not find the solution as it relates to 2013. Any help would be appreciated

    Comment by jim on September 11, 2013 @ 1:01 pm
  67. @jim In PowerPoint 2013 go to File -> Save As and for “Save as type” choose “PowerPoint Show (*.ppsx)” out of the gazillions in the list. Changing the standard .pptx extention to .ppsx doesn’t work in 2013.

    Comment by Dan on September 11, 2013 @ 1:28 pm
  68. Many thanks Dan… I must tell you it wasn’t until I clicked F12 that I got the screen you referenced/I needed… it doesn’t open when I click on Save As in the BackStage. I’d never have done this without you, and had hours of work trying to find how to do this. Many, many, thanks!

    Comment by jim on September 11, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
  69. @jim You’re welcome, I’m really glad to hear I was able to be of assistance. Thanks for your comment, it made my day :)

    Comment by Dan on September 11, 2013 @ 11:55 pm
  70. I have Power Point 2010 and I changed the ppt extension to pps and I save to presentation in Power Point Show it still opens in normal view. PLEASE HELP!!!

    Comment by SHOW help needed on January 1, 2014 @ 2:46 pm
  71. I’m not sure what’s making it not work, but I can confirm that it does work for others using Powerpoint 2010.

    Comment by Dan on January 2, 2014 @ 12:54 pm
  72. I sent a power point slide show (.ppsx) to a friend. He said he cannot download it. Meaning he cannot watch. What could be the probem?

    Comment by JOHNNY LR on March 21, 2014 @ 11:52 am
  73. I don’t know. Maybe an antivirus is filtering it?

    Comment by Dan on March 21, 2014 @ 12:45 pm
  74. Right-click the yourfile.pptx icon/filename and choose Show from the menu. Presto!

    Comment by Musti on January 5, 2015 @ 11:52 am
  75. thanks, that’s brilliant!

    Comment by Peter on April 8, 2015 @ 10:07 pm
  76. When I create a presentation with animations in PPT 2010, and save as ppsx on a flash drive. Will the effects be preserved if I then run the show on a laptop having only with the earlier version MS PPT 2007?

    Comment by Colin on April 15, 2015 @ 8:16 pm

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