How to fix PowerPoint 2010 Codec/Media Unavailable Errors

Recently I have come across one interesting issue with a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation was originally created many years back with PowerPoint 2003. There was lot of sound clips in it. Sounds would play when the user click on them. But when viewing the presentation none of the sounds were playing as expected.

When I have searched the internet surprisingly I couldn’t find a proper solution. Most of the solutions were misleading or very much outdated.


The issue was inconsistent when I have tested in multiple PCs. In few machines the audio played properly and for others I could not hear the audio. When the audio fails to play, selecting the audio clips (on edit mode) would display error as Media Unavailable or Codec Unavailable.

Another interesting fact, the audio clips were of .wav format files. So the windows ‘technically’ should not need any special codecs to play them. So both the errors did not make any sense at all.

After a little investigation this is the solution i have found for this issue:

  • If the PowerPoint file is very old (with .ppt extension) then save it into newer version of PowerPoint file (to .pptx extension)
  • Make a copy of the file
  • Change the extension of the copied file from .pptx to .zip (e.g. presentation-copy.pptx to presentation-copy.zip)
  • Extract the zip file contents into a folder


PowerPoint codec unavailable Errors

Extracted contents of a PPTX file


  • From the extracted contents navigate to ppt > media folder
Extracting Resources From Powerpoint

All Images/Sound Clips Used in the presentation stored in this folder

  • All the images, audio used in the presentation would be stored here (this is also a trick to extract audio/images from PowerPoint slides in one go)
  • Convert the .wav format files into .mp3 with the help of some conversion tool. Audacity can be used for this purpose and it is free. You can download and install this tool from here
  • If you have too many sound clips, you can use this tool to bulk convert .wav sounds into .mp3??as well. Here is a quick reference from ehow for this
  • Once you have all .mp3 files ready, you will have to remove the existing audio clips from all slides and replace them with the converted .mp3 files

Now all sound clips will play properly without any errors in all the machines.


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  1. Saravanan.k says:

    Awesome… it works

    1. electron says:

      Hey, thanks for sharing the feedback

  2. David says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing this! Very useful.

  3. Oren says:

    And that is the reason why Windows and office should be wiped of the face of existance!!!!!

    1. electron says:

      Not going to happen any time soon :)

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