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PPS files are PowerPoint presentations and you'll need a compatible viewer to view them. You may also need to create or repair the PPS file association.

Since installing Windows XP SP2, I have been unable to open .pps files. Short of downloading Open Office which carries a .pps access, is there any other way of regaining this access?

PPS files are created by Microsoft Office PowerPoint. PPS files are a common distribution form for PowerPoint presentations and slide shows.

Since you indicated that SP2 broke this, I'll assume that this was working at some point.

The first question is, do you have PowerPoint? If so, running Microsoft Office's Setup and selecting Repair should do it. If you have the PowerPoint viewer installed, then it may also have a repair option on its Setup. Either can be accessed through Control Panel, Add/Remove programs.

If you have neither of those, you can certainly download Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer.

And finally, if you have PowerPoint or its viewer installed, you may only need to re-assign the "pps" association. This article: How do I make something other than "Picture and FAX Viewer" the default for viewing pictures? discusses the steps to associate a ".jpg" file with a graphics program. Use the same steps to associate ".pps" with PowerPoint or with the PowerPoint Viewer.

Article C2244 - December 22, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

March 25, 2005 6:35 PM

I downloaded PowerPoint but I can't get it to work.
It shows in my programs as well as in my start.

But when I click on it, it says I need to file it in a file.

But every file I try, it says:
Power Point Viewer cannot find the file.

Can you help me?
Thanks, Janie

March 26, 2005 8:56 AM

Well, it's a only a viewer, so it needs a power point file to view. Try double clicking on a PPT or PPS file instead.

April 20, 2005 11:00 AM

I have a user that received a powerpoint file and he is not able to view the images. Running office 2003 and an administrator I am able to view the images.
Is there something that I can do with out making him an administrator that will allow him to view the images in a PPT file.

April 22, 2005 9:20 AM

If the powerpoint viewer was installed and made available to all users, it should just work. Exactly why it doesn't work is hard to say without knowing how it's failing - as in what error message you're getting.

May 4, 2005 6:47 AM

Good evening Leonard.

People having this problem should check out the following link;

And now I bid you good day, sir!

Good day!

Dr Archibald Meathammer Esq

Bob C.
December 14, 2005 2:55 PM

This only relates to a OS that has a power point viewer. When receiving an E-mail with a pps file attachment, right click the name of the attachment and save it to "my documents" folder. Then open your power point viewer. The pps file should be listed under "my documents" folder. Click the pps file name, and then click "open" on the viewer. The pps file then can be viewed.


December 24, 2005 8:18 PM

I have a disc that is a .pps file and every time I go to Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer 2003 and open it, it says "Powerpoint Viewer cannot open the file "Kindergarten 2004.pps". Can you please tell me how I CAN view it?

December 24, 2005 8:24 PM

When you say "a disc" - to you mean the file is on a CD-ROM? I'd start by copying the file to your hard disk before opening it. Otherwise ... does it give *any* more information other than "cannot open"?

January 16, 2006 6:04 AM

Hi I have Microsoft Powerpoint Viwer downloaded and my .pps and .ppt etc. files still will not open automatically. I do not have Microsoft office. I have the files associated with the right extensions for all and still.. will not open automatically. I put this program, Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer on right after I reforamatted my computer so no other pograms can be causing problems. If I save the .pps etc files to my desktop then the powerpoint viwer will open them, no problem so why is this happening? Please help. Thanks!!!

February 11, 2006 11:28 AM

Not sure if this is a pps problem or not. A few times I have tried to watch a movie trailor or a commercial but all I get is the sound with not picture or movie. What can I do about this.

February 11, 2006 3:40 PM

Not related to PowerPoint or PPS files at all. Probably you don't have the right encoders/decoders installed for those types of video files. It depends on what type they are, and what program you're using to view them.

February 16, 2006 4:56 AM


I can't seem to open PPS files straight from Outlook or when I save them to my documents. Powerpoint seems to be running fine-I've done all the repair actions, assigned pps files to powerpoint as directed but it still won't work. The message is:

'Powerpoint can not read the file ....'

Any suggestions?


February 22, 2006 8:38 AM

could I view .PPS files on palm phone (treo650) if yes how?

February 22, 2006 10:47 AM

Not that I'm aware of.

February 26, 2006 12:01 PM

Ive downloaded the powerpoint viewer but when I go to run it the message "this is not a valid win32 application comes up" What do i do?

February 26, 2006 12:45 PM

Sounds like you have a corrupt download. I recommend downloading it again.

February 20, 2007 7:06 PM

I run XP and also have the SP2 installed. To view PPS files after creating an association, simply save the file you are trying to open to a folder. Now click on the file you just saved and it will open. Cheers !!

Anthony Albert
April 11, 2007 8:20 PM

How do you view pps files on a Mac? It has been asked several times but is there an answer?

Leo A. Notenboom
April 13, 2007 5:55 PM

Hash: SHA1

There is an (old) powerpoint viewer for Mac. Just search for "powerpoint viewer
mac" on the site.

If that doesn't work, I'd look into getting OpenOffice (free) and using it's
"Impress" program, which claims to be able to work with PowerPoint files.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


August 19, 2007 6:52 AM

I googled power point..chose the free 2003 one to download...saved it in "mydocuments"..when I get a pps, I save it in "my documents" view I go to "my documents" and right click on the item, and click "show" like a charm..I have XP SP2

David Sorge
August 10, 2008 8:50 PM

When I open PPS files sent to me in email's, sometimes I got an error message. It turned out that I was trying to open a link. Each sender was forwarding (?)the email, and when I finally got to the last link it opened. I stumbled on this by almost by accident. Something to look for.

January 14, 2009 11:37 AM

I've just downloaded PowerPoint Viewer 2007 (is this the latest version?)so I could see an email attahment that was sent to me. I then tried to view it & a popup said, "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folder Options Control Panel." I went there & under the tab, "File Types" found many PowerPoint listings & also in "Add/Remove Programs" saw the PowerPoint Viewer I just installed. I've read the article about default to Picture & Fax Viewer that says to 1st "close Picture & Fax Viewer" I don't know what you are talking about. There is no "Picture & Fax Viewer". What else do I have to do to view my email attachment? Thanks

January 17, 2009 4:29 PM

I've followed all steps suggested & still get popup saying "this file does not have a program associated with it..." I note 2 differences from your guidelines and your referenced Ramesh's Site: you say type: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\PowerPoint Viewer\pptview.exe" "%1" and he says type: "C:Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\pptview.exe" "%1" The other difference: you say go ahead and check DDS as well and he says Uncheck the Use DDE box. I'm trying to think of anything I can to be able to read the pps file emailed to me. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

January 31, 2009 7:24 PM

If the things you have listed do not fix the problem try using the info found in this site ( This article makes changes to to regedit.exe entries. I did not try Ramesh's solution as it seemed to be beyond my ablility
Thanks I have found other solutions on your site

March 16, 2009 1:26 PM

I recently bought a new computer, with Windows Vista and although I have MS Powerpoint 2003 and 2007 I cannot play any .pps files. What am I missing? Please reply

No way to know without knowing what happens when you try.
- Leo

Don Taber
March 31, 2009 8:10 AM

Am helping a friend configure new Vista laptop. Downloaded and installed PP Viewer after receiving error message trying to open a .pps attachment to e-mail. Created association. Still doesn't work. Answers here seem only to address XP, not Vista.

John Heare
April 22, 2009 9:11 PM

I used to have power point and had to redo my computer, now everytime I download power point it don't work....I had a site from iowa state university that had it and that 1 worked for me and now can't find that either...I use it in outlook express ty

Janet Berg
April 29, 2009 2:42 PM

For those of you who have Open Office, it opens .pps files with no problem (simpress.exe)! No reason to install the Powerpoint viewer....:-)...


May 21, 2009 8:28 AM

Using Vista. Have Office 2003 and PP Viewer 2007 installed and updated. I get my emails via Outlook Express. It's not opening any .pps file. I have to first save the attachment, and then Powerpoint viewer 2007 will open it from the folder where it's been downloaded to. But will not open directly from Out Express. Just weird. Will try Open Office, as suggested above.

Bill Richardson
May 25, 2009 6:08 PM

Save the .ppt or .pps file to the Desktop. Point to the icon for the powerpt.pps file. Right click and choose open with . . . Power point Viewer. When Power Point Viewer is not on the list, we must Browse for pptview.exe. At the bottom of the Dialogue screen is a request for the file name. Copy and paste the full path to the file name, pptview.exe:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\PPTVIEW.EXE"

check [/] Always use this program to open a pps or ppt file

Bill Richardson
May 25, 2009 6:12 PM

Download PowerPoint Viewer 2007

On XP pro the main Power Point Viewer Program will be saved here:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\PPTVIEW.EXE"

Ed Ryan
June 24, 2009 7:29 AM

I recently bought a computer with Vista Home Premium 32 bit with SP2.I have installed MS power point viewer 2003 and 2007.Cannot open .PPS files in my e-mail [windows mail].When I try to open I get the following messages: The selected file has an extension[.pps]that is not recognized by windows.When I hit retry button the following message appears: Windows Media Player cannot play file.The player might not support codec that was used to compress this file.I do not have MS Office.All I want to do is to be able to open >PPS files in my e-mail.
Can you help???

Chuck stankich
June 27, 2009 10:26 PM

Hi,I have downloaded powerpoint viewer several times. If .pps file is saved to my docs then it can be viewed. will not open from outlook express. Having to save and double click are too many extra steps. Can you please assist?

chuck stankich
June 27, 2009 10:29 PM

Hi Leo, I forgot to mention with previous comment that I have XP SP3 installed.

Ken Laninga
July 14, 2009 8:54 AM

Same problem as Ed Ryan; in Windows Mail (Vista) I cannot open an attached pps or ppt file; I have to first save it to the desktop and open it there using the viewer. Is there no way to open it directly within Windows Mail?

Ken Miyasaki
July 25, 2009 7:40 AM

Power Point Viewer has been installed, but still can not open .pps files. Following your instructions on "How do I view "PPS" files", all went OK to window "Editing action for type....". At this point, the "Application used..." line shows Office12 instead of Powerpoint Viewer, but I clicked OK and a window showed stating "specified program could not be found. Make sure file name and path are correct". At this point, I need further help. Thanks.

dr. astha
August 12, 2009 12:24 AM

how can i convert pps files to ppt........

Mark Gallagher
August 28, 2009 6:39 PM

Why do some pps files open on my nokia n95 and others don't ?

September 24, 2009 9:33 AM

Absolutely right on advice. Have been trying to read and solve this problem for over a week. This solved my problem in less than two minutes. Thanks!!

November 5, 2009 5:49 PM

I am running VISTA and cannot open PPS files attached to emails.Tried to save them to the desktop, but that didn't work either.
Message is:

/extract:path, extracts the content of the path folder
/quiet, runs the package in silent mode
/?, shows this held message

November 24, 2009 12:45 PM

Using Vista, can't open .pps files. Downloaded and installed PPviewer 2007, associated the files and end up with a message that reads:
/extract:path, extracts the content of the package to the path folder
/quiet, runs the package in silent mode
/?, shows this help message

followed others advice and tried to save to desktop but still won't open. Any help would be appreciated - this is so frustrating!

Don Noren
December 4, 2009 10:06 AM

using windows 7 and windows live mail,cant open pps file attached to mail message unless i save file to documents and then open.

December 20, 2009 3:20 PM

I also am using Vista and can't open .pps files. I downloaded and installed PPviewer 2007, associated the files and end up with a message that reads:
/extract:path, extracts the content of the package to the path folder
/quiet, runs the package in silent mode
/?, shows this help message

Please help

Herald Baughman
January 23, 2010 9:27 AM

To read pps files using Windows 7 and Windows Live Mail, do the following: Download and install "Open 3.1". Next, click on "Start", then in the shaded area, click on "Default Programs". On the window that opens, click on "Set your defauld program". A box opens with a list of programs, including Open Click on Open to highlight it. Two options will then open. Click on the one that says "Set this program as default". Then click on OK in the lower right corner. You are finished and you can now read pps files. Happy reading.

March 10, 2010 9:57 PM


So I've read all of the comments about this issue/problem and although none of the procedures or suggestions solved my inability to open .pps attachments with Windows Office PowerPoint Viewer 2007 using Windows Live Mail [running Windows 7 Home Premium x64 ], it made me think to try something that I hadn't before.

Oh, I unstalled, reinstalled, redownloaded, rebooted, checked files assocations both thru the gui as well as surfing the registry, but all to no avail. It all worked well if I saved the file attachment and launched from explorer - but that is a PITA (as I see many others have similarly noted)

Two things struck me though. The first was that I could "Print" .pps attachments from my email msg and the second was the thread I read about MS$ confusing people over the "open" vs "show" variable for PowerPoint.

So, what I have done is to browse the registry to determine which key is associated with the pptview.exe executable (in my case it was "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PowerPointViewer.SlideShow.11") and I then changed the name of the subkey 'Show' - whose value was 'S&how' - to 'Open' - with a value of &Open.

Seems to work just fine ... YMMV.

Sherry Kissick
April 11, 2010 2:52 AM

PowerPointViewer won't display pps. zips. I can't find an association for zip files of any type.

.zip files are usually handled by Windows itself, but you can use a program like WinZip or the free 7-Zip

Debbie Hanson
April 11, 2010 5:10 PM

I get pps attachments in some emails. The women I get them from sends very interesting and eye appeling attachments. I can open some but the ones with pps I am unable to open. I have tried to get pps on my computer but have tried every thing. I might as well give up trying to get pps as this has caused me a lot of time and frustration. Too bad there is such a thing as pps to be able to open fils!!!

April 12, 2010 6:23 PM

Hi Leo, I noticed a link that does not work having to do with Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer. This link is no longer valid. Would it be possible for you fix this?

Regarding PPS:

If you have neither of those, you can certainly download Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer.

Fixed. Updated to Powerpoint Viewer 2007:

June 13, 2010 9:29 AM

Thank you Herald Baughman This was the only thiong that worked for me sooo happpy now!!

July 23, 2010 7:45 PM

Is there any way of opening .pps on an iMac with Mac OS X 10.6.3?

August 25, 2010 6:56 AM

I have powerpoint viewer. However, when I try to open a ppt file, whether from an email or from my hard drive, it won't open it. Instead, I get the "save file" box. But, when I go to save it, I get an error message: "The converter failed to save document."

Any suggestions? I've already uninstalled and reinstalled powerpointviewer.

November 16, 2010 5:32 AM

I am unable to change the association for pps files on my desktop vista. All other pp* are associated with powerpoint viewr except the .pps format. It ALWAYS returns to IE8 ass.I never had ms office working but I uninstalled something about ms office. I know my viewer was workin previously but now it always reverts to IE and giver message unable to download due to security issues. I do not need to d/l all files are in my document folder.

Elly Berg
February 11, 2011 2:28 PM

I can`t open several Emails it wont let me is blocked by WINDOWS INSTALLER. Many was send and use PPS I click on it it open up for a vew seconds right after it is blocked, it piss me off.

I would try reinstalling Office, or using its Repair function in the installer.

Joe and Karen
July 20, 2011 5:20 PM

Is there any way of opening .pps on an iMac with Mac OS X 10.6.3?
I just opened a .pps file with Keynote, I have OS X 10.6.4, hope this helps

August 25, 2011 9:22 AM

Got in a computer geek and I could get .pps for a while, then whatever the link was he created disappeared and I'm back to square one. Have no-idea how to reinstall Office. Help!

Daniel Young
October 27, 2011 1:04 PM

How to use PPS to send many pictures?

Mark J
October 27, 2011 2:51 PM

You can create a PPS in Power Point or Libre Office, insert the pictures and sent it to whomever you like.

July 20, 2012 9:11 AM

When to Help in PowerPoint, clicked on Repair, inserted the CD and It worked.

Jack Venable
October 19, 2012 9:45 AM

I merely want watch PPS travel and adventure videos..Is there a PPS phrase or library to ask for ?

Mark J
October 19, 2012 9:54 AM

If you add filetype:ppt or filetype:pps, both common Powerpoint extensions, to your search criteria, you should get a list Powerpoint files in your search results.

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