How to Fix: “An Error Occurred While PowerPoint Was Saving the File”

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Spending hours working on a PowerPoint file only to end up with an error message preventing you from saving your file can cause a fair amount of panic. You can end up with questions like ‘Why can’t my PowerPoint be saved’ or ‘Why isn’t my PowerPoint opening’? No one wants to end up losing hours of work due to an unforeseen error, but it can happen unexpectedly anytime. You can use different methods to fix the issue when you get the following error: ‘An error occurred while PowerPoint was saving the file.’

Reasons Your PowerPoint File Might Not be Saving

When you cannot save your PowerPoint presentation, there can be several reasons causing the issue. Some of these might be one of the following:

  •  You might not have permission from the administrator to save the file in the location specified.
  • Your PowerPoint presentation file might be corrupt.
  •  PowerPoint files on your system might have become corrupt.
  •  Your system files might have become corrupt.
  • Your disk drive might have encountered an error.

6 Methods to Fix ‘An Error Occurred While PowerPoint was Saving the File.’

If you’re unable to save your PowerPoint file, the chances are that you have just run into a frequent error message ‘An error occurred while PowerPoint was saving the file.’ Whether it’s a presentation you spent hours working on, an issue with PowerPoint templates, or your inability to save Google Slides templates edited in PowerPoint, the solutions mentioned below might help you resolve your issue.

Method 1: Save a Copy of the PowerPoint File to Your System or OneDrive

Sometimes, the most simple solution is the correct one. If you are unable to save your PowerPoint file, you can try saving a copy of the PowerPoint file via File -> Save As.

Save a copy of your PowerPoint presentation

Some restrictions might be causing the file from being saved in your desired location. In such a case, you might want to try saving it in a different folder, drive, or save it to OneDrive.

Save PPT file to a different folder

Method 2: Copy Slides to a New PowerPoint File

If you can’t simply save the original file, it might be time to copy the slides to a new PowerPoint file. Here is another approach to repair a PowerPoint file.

Select all slides by clicking a slide and selecting CTRL+A (PC) or Command+A (Mac) or by selecting slides using the Shift key. Right-click to copy or use CTRL+C (PC) or Command+C (Mac).

Copy sludes from affected PowerPoint file
Copy slides from affected presentation to a new one, to repair a PowerPoint file

Open a new PowerPoint file, use CTRL+V (PC) or Command+V (Mac), or right-click to paste the copied slides to a new file. You can keep source formatting to ensure your files are copied using the correct format.

Paste copied files to a new PowerPoint file

The files can be copied in the same format as the new PowerPoint file by keeping the source formatting intact.

Files pasted to a new presentation deck
Repair PowerPoint file

Method 3: Repair or Reinstall PowerPoint

Sometimes, it’s not the file but the copy of PowerPoint installed on the system that is the cause of the issue. You can repair PowerPoint by going to Programs and Features via the Control Panel on Windows or Finder -> Applications for Mac.

NB: The instructions to be listed now are for Windows computers. Mac OS has similar procedures, so please browse for Microsoft assistance on the equivalent process if any part looks far too different on your OS.

Repair PowerPoint in Windows
Repair PowerPoint

Click to Change (repair) or Uninstall PowerPoint. In the case of the latter, reinstall your copy of PowerPoint to see if the issue is resolved.

Uninstall or repair PowerPoint in Windows

If you’re using the Change option to repair your Microsoft Office copy, you can use the Quick Repair option or Online Repair. The latter takes longer but is likely to fix issues more comprehensively. Reinstalling or repairing PowerPoint can help eliminate faulty registries or corrupt files that might cause the error preventing you from saving your PowerPoint files.

Quick or online repair for PowerPoint in Windows

Method 4: Remove Active Movie Control

If the error you are facing is caused by video files not being saved, you can try to fix this via the Developer options in PowerPoint. If the Developer tab isn’t visible, go to File -> Options.

Developer options in PowerPoint

Go to Customize Ribbon and enable the Developer tab.

Enabling developer options in PowerPoint

This will show the Developer tab in the Ribbon menu. Go to the tab and select Visual Basic.

Selecting Visual Basic in Developer Options

In the next step, go to Insert User Form -> User Form.

UserForm in Visual Basic

Now, go to the File menu and select Remove UserForm 2.

Remove UserForm in Visual Basic

To return to PowerPoint, select File -> Close and Return to Microsoft PowerPoint.

Close Visual Basic and return to PowerPoint

Method 5: Repair the Disk Drive

Repairing your disk drive might help resolve the issue. This is in case the drive is faulty. This is necessary when you notice the file is saving on one disk drive but not the other. You can look to back up your PowerPoint file on a separate disk, USB, or OneDrive to save changes.

Right-click the disk drive you want to check for errors and go to Properties.

Disk properties in Windows

Go to the Tools tab and select Check. This will check the disk for errors which might take several minutes or hours to attempt identification and rectification of drive errors.

Check disk for errors in Windows

Method 6: Use a PowerPoint Repair Tool

Numerous PowerPoint file repair tools like Stellar Phoenix for PowerPoint or Wondershare Repairit exist. Such tools can help repair your PowerPoint presentation and make it usable again.

Repair PowerPoint file

Final Words

PowerPoint files can suffer from an ‘an error occurred while PowerPoint was saving the file’ error unexpectedly. There can be various reasons causing the error, including insufficient permission to save the file in the selected location, corrupt PowerPoint, or system files. Using the abovementioned methods, you can try to fix the issue and ensure your valuable work isn’t lost.

Microsoft PowerPoint, PowerPoint Tips
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