With a coffee at your side, you’re ready to get back to work on your latest PowerPoint presentation. Upon opening your file, however, you’re stopped in your tracks by an unfamiliar pop up box. “PowerPoint found a problem with content …” The sinking realisation that your work may be lost into the depths of the corrupt PowerPoint cyberspace overcomes you. Will you ever see your work again? Fear not! Here are some helpful tips that will rescue and repair corrupt PowerPoint files and get you and your slides back on track.

Insert slides into a new presentation

repair corrupt powerpoint files

First, click Repair and close the corrupt PowerPoint presentation. Then reopen PowerPoint, create a new, blank presentation and save it.

repair corrupt powerpoint files

In your blank presentation, click the Home tab and select the drop-down arrow next to New slide and select Reuse slides. A sidebar will appear on the right.

repair corrupt powerpoint files

Click the Browse button, locate the damaged PowerPoint file and click Open. Check the Keep formatting box at the bottom of the reuse slides pane, then right click on any slide in the preview and select Insert all.

repair corrupt powerpoint files

All the slides from the original, corrupt PowerPoint file should now be inserted into the blank presentation. This process creates a blank title slide, which can be deleted later.

Apply corrupt PowerPoint presentation as a template

Okay, so you’ve repaired the corrupt file, but your beautifully designed template is all messed up! You may find your presentation doesn’t look quite right: this is because the original slide master has not been inserted into the new file. To re-apply the damaged presentation template, follow these steps:

repair corrupt powerpoint files

To begin, on the File menu, click Save as. Type a new name for the presentation, and then click Save. This will create a backup copy of the restored presentation that you can use if the original template damages this new presentation.

Open the Design tab and click the drop-down arrow under Themes. Click Browse for Themes.

repair corrupt powerpoint files

Locate the original corrupt presentation, and then click Apply. The slide master from the damaged presentation will restore the original theme and your presentation formatting should be back to normal.

repair corrupt powerpoint files

You can now go back and delete the first title slide.

If you start to experience unexpected behaviour after following these steps, the template may be the cause of damage to your presentation. In this case, use the backup copy you made earlier and re-create the master slide.

Bookmark this post and next time you see those dreaded words “PowerPoint found a problem with content…” you won’t feel quite so powerless! Tried these tips and still having problems? This blog article has a few more ideas, or comment below and we’ll do our best to help you out!

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Written by

Emily Pinch

Senior consultant;
Group visualisation lead

View Emily Pinch's profile

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  1. Image of Taiwo Taiwo says:

    I’m in tears right now… I’ve tried all means but none worked until I saw your post. 5stars for you…. Thank you so much.

  2. Image of James Hutchins James Hutchins says:

    I followed your advice and when I got to the place where you reuse and browse, the file that was corrupt could not be opened by PPT….

  3. Image of ayaan ayaan says:

    mine didn’t work so im really sad

  4. Image of Buvani Buvani says:

    Powerpoint could not open the file …

  5. Image of Zhi Ning Chen Zhi Ning Chen says:

    The PPT couldn’t open the corrupted file indeed after PC suddenly shutdown when I was working on the ppt slides. Repair couldn’t continue.

  6. Image of Jesse Jesse says:

    Wow! That worked like a charm. I had a ppt from 2013 on an old external drive that I wanted to update. The title slide was still visible, but the remaining 35 slides where GONE. I Followed the first 2 or 3 steps and I was back in biz…. THANK YOU

  7. Image of Wilkie Wong Wilkie Wong says:

    Cannot open the file and the “repair” function doesn’t fix the problem.

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A big and sincere thanks for all of your superb help and effort in preparing such fantastic material and for all your excellent coaching tips. Look forward to working with you again soon.

Greg Tufnall Siemens