How To Play A YouTube Video While Using PowerPoint’s Presenter View

Okay, so here’s an interesting issue. Newer versions of PowerPoint have this really simple method for adding YouTube videos to presentations. All you have to do is switch to the “Insert” tab in the ribbon, click “Video,” and then click “Online Video.”


Doing that will make the following dialog appear:

From there, all you have to do is search for a YouTube video. Only public ones can be found, you can’t reference unlisted videos as far as I can tell. So let’s say you selected a video for your presentation, and pressed Insert:

Good. The video appears in your PowerPoint presentation, and it can be played whenever you switch to the “Slide Show” view.

However, if you decide you’re ready to present, and you activate PowerPoint’s presenter view, you will encounter an interesting problem when you get to the video, and try to click play. Either nothing will happen, or your left-click attempt will be interpreted as “next page,” moving PowerPoint to the next slide. This, is no good – what’s the use of having a video in your presentation if you can’t actually make it play for your audience while you’re presenting?

Even the kitten seems to be in distress... if only it could reach that Play button.

Even the kitten seems to be in distress.

It’s perplexing that such a bug (in my opinion) exists in PowerPoint. When I originally encountered the issue, I took to a Google with a passion… surely, I would find a solution to the problem.

Unfortunately, my googling left me more discouraged than anything. I saw some signs of people have the same issue, but couldn’t find an article dealing specifically with the problem I had encountered.


Thankfully, after playing around with PowerPoint, I found a way around the issue. It’s not perfect, but it does allow the person presenting to trigger the YouTube video without switching back into normal view, then into slide show.

  1. In the presenter view, look for the “Display Settings” menu at the top.
  2. Left-click that, and select “Duplicate Slide Show”.

Basically, this makes it so what you see is exactly what the audience sees. For some reason, in this mode, PowerPoint will allow you play YouTube videos.

The tools are in the bottom left, barely visible.

It’s frustrating to have to leave the presenter view, but at least your audience will be able to experience the presentation exactly as it was meant. Hopefully this will help some of you; however, if you find a better solution, please don’t hesitate to share it below.