FIXED: Why We’d Wait to Upgrade to PowerPoint 2016…

This issue has been resolved and we’re now recommending with 120% enthusiasm that you upgrade! Stay tuned for an update to this blog post.
~the Nuts & Bolts team

Depending on your tolerance for glitches, if you see the 2016 upgrade prompt (see image below) at the top of any of your Office programs…

PowerPoint 2016 Upgrade #1

You might want to IGNORE IT for now.

Now I almost NEVER warn against upgrading software, but in this case…

That’s right, I’m going to recommend that you consider waiting to upgrade to Office 2016.


Well Camile and I have just bought new computers (ThinkPad T450s…and we love it!) and were therefore automatically upgraded to PowerPoint 2016.

And we’ve been having some DEAL BREAKER issues.

While I have found some workarounds, these issues are so bad that I had to get my old machine out (ThinkPad X230) – thankfully still loaded with PowerPoint 2013 – just to finish off my deck…yikes!

Now, I’ve asked around the PPT community and others are also having similar 2016 woes, especially on their Macs, sooooo….

Read this post before you decide whether or not you want to update to PowerPoint 2016.

My Weird PowerPoint 2016 Issue

Okay, my own issue is really weird, so get this.

Whenever I try and apply a saved chart template, two weird things happen.

First off, my charts begin to blank out….

Below is a picture of how the chart should look and what the end result actually is after applying my chart template…it’s like the chart gets zeroed out or something.

PowerPoint 2016 Upgrade #2.1

That’s just not cool! The whole point of using chart templates is to speed up the charting process, not destroy it.

So that’s the first weird thing that happens but the second part is the real deal breaker in my mind.

The Presentation Gets Turned Into Read-Only Presentation Mode!

Or, what I’ve decided to call Read-Only-Destruction mode.

And what happens (quickly following my chart template issue) is that PowerPoint flips into a weird Read-Only Presentation mode that (and you’ll love this)…

Won’t let me save my work.

PowerPoint 2016 Upgrade #3


I’ve tried numerous times through a variety of methods. The dialog box opens, I rename my file, I click save and nada.

No file is ever saved.

I’ve lost all of my work three times due to this cute little bug and had to start over.

The Workaround To My Issue

So I’ve figured out a solution…it’s not pretty, but it works.

As soon as my deck pops into this Read-Only-Self-Destruction mode I now:

#1. Copy all of my slides, hit CTRL+A to select all in the slide thumbnail view on the left and then hit CTRL+C to copy;

#2. Hit CTRL+N to start a new PowerPoint presentation;

#3. Hit CTRL+V to paste in all of the slides;

#4. Immediately hit CTR+S to save the file.

So this works…but it’s still pretty annoying (I had to do this again just the other day, December 10th)

And because of these two issues, I’m keeping my old machine on hand with PowerPoint 2013 ready to bail me out if something else pops up (it’s not like I’m just going to leave my new computer rusting in the box).

Don’t Freak Out: Microsoft Is On This (I Hope…)

There is no doubt in my mind that Microsoft is on this and that this issue will get fixed.

As they’re committed to monthly updates to Office 2016, they’ll be removing bugs, adding features and fixing things along the way.

And MAYBE my two errors are somehow weirdly connected and it’s all my fault.

But after hearing horror stories from other people who have upgraded to PowerPoint 2016, my advice is still…

Consider whether or not you are ready to upgrade just yet!

There are some really cool new charting and animation features that I know you’ll want to dig into but…

If you CAN’T handle odd-ball glitches and bugs (especially if you are on a Mac)…I would wait a few months before upgrading.

I Still Love PowerPoint

Don’t get me wrong, I still love PowerPoint and I know that someone is on this BUT…

Give it some thought before you upgrade, especially if you don’t have a fail-safe computer with an older version of PowerPoint to bail you out in a tight spot.

I will report back with better news as soon as I have it.


In summary, if you’re considering upgrading to PowerPoint 2016, I’d ask yourself the following:

  • Do I use charts a lot?
  • Do little glitches drive me nuts?
  • Am I okay with waiting a bit before playing with the new animations & effects?

Is you answered yes to most of these, I would DEFINITELY WAIT.

If not, give 2016 a go! Just keep your eyes peeled for little glitches and enjoy the new features.

What’s Your PPT 2016 Issue?

Love PowerPoint but found your own little bug?

Leave it below in the comments and maybe we can all help get it solved.

You can also share your feedback on the PowerPoint Team’s suggestion box site. This is where they are officially collecting issues that their programmers will work on.

>> Leave Your Feedback For Microsoft On The PowerPoint Suggestion Box Site Here


  • S.A. Fitzell

    I upgraded to PowerPoint 2016 last week because I use a lot of video in my presentations and the 2007 version I was using was giving me issues. So, I thought it was probably because of the outdated issue.

    Well, everything seemed to work fine. I tested the presentation view using my double monitors, all was fine. I did not test it on a standard projector. I wish I had. I never imagined the problem I encountered.

    Testing out my program 45 minutes before start time. Connected to a projector via HDMI port to vga. I also tried the other display port.

    The video would plan if I played it on my laptop. When in presentation mode, whether in presentation view with extended monitor or duplicate mode – the video would appear with media inputs, but would not play. I’d click play and nothing would happen. I tried all the things an experienced PC user would do: rebooted, tried another projector, rebooted again, shut down all apps and processes that were taking up memory. Nothing worked.

    I was so grateful I never uninstalled my PowerPoint 2007. I ended up presenting from that version. Most the video worked, however, because 2016 allows .mov and MP4 files, I had those in the presentation and they did not play.

    I ended up having to play some of the video via an eternal media player (VLC). What a gross disappointment. I am so upset I paid all that money to upgrade and I can’t use it to present.

    The other issue with using an upgraded program so soon… There are no answers in the forums to this problem yet.


    • Yikes…what a mess and thanks for sharing!

      It’s always painful when these things don’t work out.

      The good news is the PPT team is working hard to solve these issues quickly. I have been going back and forth with them myself to help solve my own chart template issue.

      If you get a chance, I would paste what you wrote above onto the PPT team’s forum site, see link below. That is the site they are currently monitoring to identify issues like yours and put their programming team on it.

      Thanks again for sharing and glad you were able to revert back to PPT 2007. That’s exactly how I ended up fixing my own issue…

      Great minds think a like 🙂


  • When you say the issue was fixed, do you mean the read-only kiss of death? Because I have that problem with EVERY 2016 FILE, including one I was working on tonight! Specifics on that?

    Also, sometimes I can’t copy/ paste or duplicate a chart within PowerPoint, only duplicate the slide. Encountered this?

  • agustinus budi nugroho

    I have problem with ppt 2016.
    in normal view when I insert movie, it looks OK, movie can be played.
    but in presentation view, movie didn’t played, only black screen with normal audio.

    same file, normally played in PPT 2010.


    • Hi Augustinus. Are you inserting a video file directly from your computer or from the internet? If the latter, you may want to check out this troubleshooting guide:
      Let me know.

      • agustinus budi nugroho

        I insert movie / video from my computer.

        • Hi Augustinus. Not sure why that’s happening and it shouldn’t be an issue and it works fine on our computers. You probably have a simple bug in the software. What I would do (what we do when that happens) is go to your Programs and Features in your control panel, find and select Office, click on Change, and then select Quick Repair. It will update your software and fix any bugs. Takes 10 minutes typically. Then if that still doesn’t work, I’d go through the same steps but then select Online Fix. That will reinstall Office with all the new updates. Hope that works!

  • Can’t get it to acccept the save I do in response to “need to update before we upload this file. Save again”. I save, then the same message appears, and NOTHING is saved of the file ANYWHERE that I can determine

    • Hey there. Hm, we’ve not encountered this situation. Here’s what I’d trouble-shoot: Maybe that one presentation file is bugging out. So I’d try creating a new file, copy-pasting your slides in, and then saving that. See if that works. If not, I’d recommend trying to contact Microsoft by clicking here.

  • Arya

    animation pane does not allow changes. if you click to have a line start with previous, you lose all of the fly in ability on that slide. sucks

    • Hey Arya. Not sure what you mean? Is this still happening or perhaps it was a temporary glitch?

  • Rita Moak

    Is there any way to go back to powerpoint 2010 once I’ve upgraded?

    • Hi Rita.
      Yes, if you still have the install file somewhere (on a CD or hard drive), you can uninstall your current version of PowerPoint, and then re-install it from the file.
      But I really would recommend keeping your version (do you have 2016 or 2013) as all our concerns about the latest version are gone, and we ALWAYS recommend staying up to date.
      There is a LOT more you can do with the latest versions, and the security updates are also important to keep your computer safe.
      Hope that helps!