How does a PowerPoint file get corrupted?

FIX: PowerPoint file is corrupted and cannot be opened/saved

by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
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When you try to open a PowerPoint document and get an error message saying the file is corrupted and cannot be opened/saved, it is a sure indicator that the file youre trying to open or change is damaged.

Some of the signs that come with a damaged presentation include an error message saying this is not a PowerPoint presentation, or that PowerPoint program cannot open the file type, or that a part of the file is missing.

Along with those error messages include other types such as invalid page fault, low system resources, general protection fault, and illegal instruction.

To determine whether the presentation is actually damaged or corrupted, try opening it on another computer and see if the unexpected behavior happens on that PC as well.

You can also create a new file in PowerPoint and see if the same behavior persists.

If you cannot open or save the newly created presentation, check for any updates in Office and install them then try the solutions listed below to resolve the problem.


How do I fix PowerPoint file is corrupted and cannot be opened/saved?

PowerPoint can be a very powerful and effective tool if used to its full potential, but since youre on this page, it means that your presentation has been corrupted and no longer works.

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2. Perform a clean restart

  1. Log on using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. ClickStart, and in thesearchbox insert the code below and then press Enter:msconfig.exe
  3. The System Configuration utility will open.
  4. Go to General tab.
  5. Click theSelective startupoption.
  6. Click to clear theLoad startup itemscheckbox. (TheUse Original Boot.inicheck box is greyed out)
  7. Go to theServicestab.
  8. Click to select theHide all Microsoft services checkbox.
  9. ClickDisable all.
  10. Check Office performance and then resume the usual startup.

3. Repair PowerPoint

  1. Click Start and type Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs and Features.
  3. Select your version of Microsoft Office.
  4. Select Change.
  5. Do a quick repair first, and an online repair later.

4. Drag the presentation to the PowerPoint program file icon

  1. Right-click Start and select Run, then type the following commands based on your MSI version of PowerPoint installed on your computer:
    • MSI version of PowerPoint 2013, type any of the codes below then press Enter:%ProgramFiles%Microsoft Officeoffice15(PowerPoint 2013 64 bit) or %ProgramFiles(x86)%Microsoft Officeoffice15 (PowerPoint 2013 32 bit)
    • PowerPoint 2013 Click-to-Run, insert one of the codes below followed by Enter: C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office 15rootoffice15 (PowerPoint 2013 64 bit) or C:Program Files(x86)Microsoft Office 15rootoffice15 (PowerPoint 2013 32 bit)
    • MSI version of PowerPoint 2016, write the code recommended below then click Enter:C:Program Files(x86)Microsoft OfficerootOffice16
    • PowerPoint 2016, insert one of the codes below then press Enter: C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficerootOffice16 (PowerPoint 64 bit) orC:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficerootOffice16 (PowerPoint 32 bit)
  2. Click OK.
  3. Go to Windows Explorer and locate exe icon.
  4. Drag the damaged presentation icon from one window to the Powerpnt.exe icon in the other window.

if you still confront with the file is corrupted and cannot be opened PowerPoint issue, then try the next solution.


5. Insert damaged presentation as slides into a blank presentation

  1. Create a blank presentation.
  2. Insert the damaged presentation as slides by clicking Home tab, and select the arrow next to New slides in the Slides group.
  3. Click Reuse Slides.
  4. In the Reuse Slides task pane, click Browse.
  5. Click the damaged presentation.
  6. Click Open.
  7. Right-click one of the slides in the Reuse Slides task pane.
  8. Click Insert All, in order to insert all the slides from the damaged presentation, except the slide master, into the new presentation.
  9. Click Save (with a new name for the presentation).
  10. Type a new name for the presentation, and then click Save.

You can also apply the damaged presentation as a template if it doesnt look as you expected it to, do this:

  1. Go to the File menu.
  2. Click Save as.
  3. Type a new name for the presentation, and then clickSave to create a backup copy of the restored presentation.
  4. Under theDesigntab, clickMorein theThemesgroup.
  5. ClickBrowse for Themes.
  6. Click the damaged presentation, and then clickApply. The slide master of the damaged presentation will replace the new slide master.

If you get unexpected behavior after this, the template may have damaged the presentation. In this case, use the backup copy to re-create the master slide.

If the backup copy of the new presentation still is damaged like the original presentation, go to the next solution.


6. Open the temporary file version of the presentation

  1. Rename the file, and then try to open it in PowerPoint
  2. Right-click and selectRename.
  3. Change the old file-name extension from .tmp to .pptx so that the file name resembles the following filename: PPT####.pptx.
  4. Start PowerPoint, go to the FilemenuandclickOpen.
  5. Go to the folder with the renamed file.
  6. Try opening the file in PowerPoint.

When you edit a presentation, PowerPoint creates a temporary copy of the file namedPPT####.tmp.

Where#### represents a random four-digit number, and this temporary file may be located in the same folder as the location to which the presentation is saved, or in the temporary file folder.

Note:More than one file may correspond to the temporary file that was created the last time that you saved the presentation so open each file to see whether one is the temporary copy of the presentation.

If there is no such document or you see the same PowerPoint file that still wont open, try the next solution.


7. Try to open the presentation in PowerPoint Viewer

  1. Open Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.
  2. Go to PowerPoint 2010 Viewer Microsoft website.
  3. Install PowerPoint Viewer by clicking Download and click Run.
  4. ClickDownload.
  5. ClickRun.
  6. Click to select theClick here to accept the Microsoft Software License Terms checkbox, and then clickContinue.
  7. ClickOK.
  8. Open the damaged presentation in PowerPoint Viewer by clicking Start then All Apps and then Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer (2007/2010).
  9. Click Accept.
  10. Click the damaged presentation and select Open.

If it opens in PowerPoint Viewer, then the copy of PowerPoint 2013 or 2016 installed on your PC may be damaged. If you cannot open it, copy the file and paste it on a blank space.

If it cannot be copied, it is damaged or resides in a damaged part of the hard disk. If you can copy it, open the copy in PowerPoint 2013 or 2016.


8. Run Scandisk on the hard disk drive

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Right-click the hard disk drive that has the damaged presentation.
  3. ClickProperties
  4. Click theTools.
  5. InError-checking, clickCheck Now.
  6. Select theAutomatically fix file system errors checkbox.
  7. Select theScan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors checkbox.
  8. ClickStart.

Scandisk may verify that the presentation is cross-linked and may repair it but this doesnt guarantee that PowerPoint 2013 or 2016 will read the presentation.


9. Uncheck all options under Protected View

  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Click on File then Options.
  3. Select Trust Center then Trust center settings.
  4. Select Protected view.
  5. Uncheck all the options under Protected View and click OK.
  6. Restart PowerPoint and try to open the presentation

10. Save the presentation as a Rich Text Format (RTF) file

  1. Open the presentation.
  2. On theFilemenu, clickSave As.
  3. Select Other Formats.
  4. In theSave File As Typelist, clickOutline/RTF(*.rtf).
  5. In theFile Name box, type the name that you want to use.
  6. Select a location in which to save the presentation, and then clickSave.
  7. Close the presentation.

Note:Any graphics, tables, or other text in the original presentation will not be saved in the .rtf file.

Open the .rtf file by clicking File then Open then access Files of type list then All Outlines or All Files then click the RTF file saved and click Open. This will recreate the presentation based on the original outline view.


11. Manually set component security settings back to the default settings

  1. ClickStart, in the search box and type:dcomcnfgin
  2. Clickdcomcnfgin thePrograms.
  3. In the navigation pane, expandComponent Services.
  4. ExpandComputers.
  5. Right-clickMy Computer, and then clickProperties.
  6. Open theDefault Propertiestab, and then set the following values:Default Authentication Level:Connect, Default Impersonation Level:Identify.
  7. ClickOK.

12. Use Open and Repair command

  1. ClickFile, thenOpen.
  2. Go to the location or folder where the presentation is stored.
  3. ClickOpen.
  4. Click the file you want, and then click the arrow next toOpen, and clickOpen and Repair.

As you can see there are various solutions to solving the PowerPoint is corrupted and cannot open file error.

Whether you choose an advanced tool like Adobe Spark or modifying some settings we are sure that at least one of our recommendations will help you solve the problem with your PPT file.

We want to hear more from you on this subject, so feel free to drop us a comment in the section below.


  • How do I convert a PowerPoint to a file?

The most efficient method for this type of predicament is to use one of the best free and paid PDF editors for Windows 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I open a corrupt PowerPoint file?

    The easiest way to do this is to use a specialized tool like Adobe Spark. Check all the other solutions in ourstep-by-step guide on how fix corrupted Power Point files.

  • How do I fix a video problem in PowerPoint?

    One method to solve this issue is to change the Media Compatibility settings. Take a look at all the options you can choose from in ourguide on fixing PowerPoint wont play audio or video on Windows 10.

  • How do I convert a PowerPoint to a file?

    The most efficient method for this type of predicament is to use one ofthe best free and paid PDF editors for Windows 10.

This article covers:Topics:
  • Powerpoint guides