PowerPoint: Why is my video playing as a white box?

Here's an interesting little problem. You've inserted a video into a slide of your presentation, positioned it where you'd like it, then run your presentation and... it doesn't work. It's showing up as a white box. What's the deal?

You try playing the video outside of PowerPoint, and it works just fine. You check to see that it's in a PowerPoint-compatible video format, and it is. So why won't it play?

The answer is this: the filepath for the video is too long. PowerPoint can only handle media files with filepaths of 128 or fewer characters. So if the video is hiding away in C:\\A\Very\Obscure\Folder\Somewhere\Deep\Inside\Your\Computer\Or\Perhaps\With\A\Ridiculously\Long\Name, PowerPoint will be unable to locate and play the video in the presentation.

Solutions?

One would be to move the video file to a location with a smaller filepath. Or, move it to the same folder in which your PowerPoint presentation is saved. Even if the filepath is still more than 128 characters long, the video file will play if it's in the same directory as the PowerPoint file.

N.B.: This isn't the only problem that can occur with videos not working in PowerPoint, and I will address some other common issues in future posts or as requested.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks you! This was driving me crazy, although the movie files *are* in the same directory as the presentation--I was able to get them to work by shortening their names.

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  2. Thank you! How obscure was that?! Great... :-)

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  3. Thank you!! This was driving me crazy too but a shorter file path worked. excellent stuff, would never have worked this out on my own!

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  4. Thank you, really helped me out

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  5. I love you, so helpful!!!!! Thanks.

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  6. You saved my nerves!!! God bless you! A

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  7. Well, you can use Long Path Tool for such problems.

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  8. I love a simple solution! Thank you!!

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  9. Unfortunately this did not fix my issue :( Any other suggestions?

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