In Windows 10, Microsoft PowerPoint of Office 2016, Office 2013, Office 2010 or most other versions cannot open, view or play the PowerPoint presentations (.ppt, .pptx and other file extensions), especially for PowerPoint documents that are saved in remote network location such as shared folders or network drive, or that were previously downloaded from email or Internet. In addition, PowerPoint files saved on local hard disk drive or synced through DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive and etc. may or may not be opened successfully.

When the issue occurred, the following error message is displayed:

Powerpoint found a problem with content in X:\Path\Filename.pptx.
Powerpoint can attempt to repair the presentation.

If you trust the source of this presentation, click Repair.

User is presented with “Repair” or “Cancel” button. But clicking or tapping on Repair does not fix the issue. Instead, it throws another error message with a “Show Help” button:

Sorry, Powerpoint cannot read X:\Path\Filename.pptx.

Upon clicking on “Show Help”, the following message is displayed:

The presentation cannot be opened. Your antivirus program may prevent you from opening the presentation. To fix this problem, make sure your antivirus program is current and working correctly. If the problem persists and the presentation is from someone that you trust, turn off your antivirus program, and then try to open the presentation again. If you do this, make sure you turn on your antivirus program again after you open the presentation.

The issue seems to happen as Windows 10 and PowerPoint app try to protect and block suspicious files from been accessed or executed. Try the following fixes which can help to resolve the issue.

Method 1: Unblock the PowerPoint Files

  1. Right click the affected PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Choose Properties from the the pop-up context menu.
  3. On the General tab, select (tick) the check box for Unblock at the bottom.

    Unblock PowerPoint File

  4. Click OK or Apply.
  5. Open the PowerPoint file again.

Method 2: Disable Protected View in PowerPoint

  1. Open Microsoft Office PowerPoint program.
  2. Go to File -> Options.
  3. In PowerPoint Options dialog box, go to Trust Center, and click or tap on Trust Center Settings button in the right pane.

    Trust Center in PowerPoint

  4. In Protected View tab, deselect the following 3 options to disable Protected View which open files in restricted mode:
    • Enable Protected View for files originating from Internet
    • Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations
    • Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments

    Disable Office Protected View

  5. Click or tap OK when done.
  6. Open the PowerPoint file again.

Method 3: Reinstall Microsoft Office

Try to uninstall Microsoft Office and then reinstall Microsoft Office in Windows 10 may help to eliminate the problem. Then, you can try to open the PowerPoint presentations again.