YouTube videos currently not working in PowerPoint 2013

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Last week I was recording a training video on how to make eye-catching presentations using video in PowerPoint 2013. To my big surprise the option to insert online videos from YouTube or Bing where gone! After spending way too much time troubleshooting my installation of Office 2013 I did some online research to find out that PowerPoint 2013 currently is unable to support YouTube videos. In this week’s blog post I’ll share with you a temporary workaround that you can use until a fix becomes available.

YouTube videos currently not working in PowerPoint

Why is it no longer working?

According to Microsoft in their support article 2873189, there have been some changes in the YouTube service which has caused this feature to break. Microsoft has now removed the option to insert a video from YouTube/Bing and Video Embed Code altogether so that it’s no longer available for users. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t communicated this very broadly, leaving many customers confused and irritated. There is no date communicated for when a fix will be released. In the article that was updated in November 2013, you can read, “Microsoft is currently investigating potential fixes to this feature.”

Workaround using the Developer tools in PowerPoint 2013

If you want to insert a video from YouTube into your presentation there is a manual workaround that you can try. The workaround involves using the Developer tools in PowerPoint and cutting and pasting some object properties, so don’t be discouraged if it looks difficult.  You can follow the steps here in this article, or you can refer to the video produced by Eugene O’Loughlin where he shows you step by step how to do this.

Step 1 – Copy the URL of the desired YouTube video

Open up the YouTube video you would like to insert into your presentation in a browser. Copy the web address (URL) to the video. In our case the URL of our video is:

YouTube videos currently not working in PowerPoint

Step 2 – Customize the ribbon in PowerPoint to show the “Developer” tab

Open up PowerPoint 2013. Click “File” – “Options” – “Customize Ribbon.” Mark the checkbox named “Developer”.

YouTube videos currently not working in PowerPoint

Step 3 – Insert a Shockwave Flash object in your slide

Mark your slide, where you want to insert the YouTube video.  Click the “Developer” tab and then “More Controls”. Scroll down (or press “S” on your keyboard) to the “Shockwave Flash Object”. Mark it and click “OK”. Draw a box on your slide as big as you want the video.

YouTube videos currently not working in PowerPoint

Step 4 – Customize the Shockwave Flash Object

Click “Properties”. In the “Movie” properties text box paste in your YouTube video URL, ours look like this (note that you will have a unique ID for your video):

Now delete the word “watch” and the question mark.

Replace the equal sign after the v, with a forward slash so that it looks like this:

YouTube videos currently not working in PowerPoint

If you want the video to start automatically, add the highlighted text at the end:

Step 5 – Play your video

Now that you have inserted your YouTube video you can run your presentation in slideshow mode and your video will play. Note that you need to be connected to the Internet in order for your YouTube video to play.

YouTube videos currently not working in PowerPoint

Better communication from Microsoft would be appreciated

The workaround I’ve explained above is a temporary solution to a current problem, but it is by no means a solution that I would recommend to people who are not technically savvy. Since this is a feature that is of great value to a lot of people, better communication from Microsoft on why it was removed and when they are expecting to have a fix would be greatly appreciated.

(If you have difficulties reading this article, you can access the full article in pdf here)


Check out our How-to PowerPoint website for free PowerPoint 2013 video tutorials hereYou can also have a look at out our other How-to sites for free Office 2013 tutorials here (more How-to sites coming soon!).