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Add YouTube videos to PowerPoint slides

Here’s how to add a YouTube video to any PowerPoint slide and the limitations of streaming in a presentation.

It’s possible in any modern version of PowerPoint for Windows or Mac, whether it officially has YouTube support or not. Check out our earlier piece for an overview of PowerPoint’s Video Features.

We’ll first show you the official Microsoft way to add YouTube videos, then the other, sometimes better, options available. What to do when you’re not connected to the Internet.

We’re inspired by this wonderful composite video from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter .  A complete view of the Moon’s surface, both sides.

Add to PowerPoint 2016 and PowerPoint 2013.

Here’s the official way to add a YouTube video into a PowerPoint slide.

Go to Insert and look waaaay over on the right side for little Media button. Hiding under that is an Online Video button.

Then you’ll see some video options including YouTube and Video Embed Code.

Either can be used with YouTube video.

The search option can be used to find a video using keywords.

However, it’s more likely that you’ve already selected the video and just want to insert it. Pasting in the YouTube web link (long or short form) should find the video you’ve chosen.

Use the corner handles to resize the video to suit.


There are limitations to this official method.  You need an Internet connection during the presentation.  There’s usually a short delay between clicking Play and the video starting.

The video has to play in the original YouTube frame.  You can setup a creative video border but when you play, the rectangle returns.

You’ll see the YouTube captions, controls and ads!

Offline is better

Some might think this is heresy, but it’s much better to have a copy of the video offline and saved with the presentation. It plays faster, is more reliable and not reliant on Internet connections.

We use locally stored video whenever possible.

Some YouTube videos have a ‘Download’ link among the options, not many, but it’s the first thing to look for. The video uploader can choose the make it downloadable, but few do.

Next look for another source of the same video. In our example, we did some web surfing and found a video file download of the rotating moon video.

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