How to Start a PowerPoint Slideshow

Last updated on March 23rd, 2023

PowerPoint is a powerful tool for creating presentations that can be used in a variety of settings, from business meetings to educational lectures. One of the most important aspects of creating a PowerPoint presentation is knowing how to start a slideshow. Starting a slideshow is essential for presenting your content to an audience, whether it’s in person or an online presentation. In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to start a PowerPoint slideshow.

What are possible ways to start a slideshow in PowerPoint?

1. Start a slideshow from a PPS file

If you got a PowerPoint presentation by email or from any social network as a PPS File then when you click it in your computer file explorer then normally it will start the slideshow automatically. Even if you have the presentation file as .ppt you can rename it to .pps in order to use this method.

2. Press F5 in PowerPoint to start the slideshow presentation

The shortcut F5 inside PowerPoint editor will start your presentation.

Press F5 in PowerPoint to start a slideshow
Press F5 in PowerPoint to start a slideshow

3. Click on the small slideshow icon

Instead of F5, you can start your presentation in the current slide in your editor by clicking on the small slide show icon.

Start the slideshow in PowerPoint using the small slideshow icon
Start the slideshow in PowerPoint using the small slideshow icon

4. Configure a shortcut to run PowerPoint slide show

You can use your terminal or configure a shortcut in your system to run the PowerPoint slideshow by passing the argument /s to Powerpnt.exe and then the file name.

<path>Powerpnt.exe /s <filename.ppt>

While the above methods are not the only ways to start a PowerPoint presentation, they are certainly useful to know. If you’re new to PowerPoint or simply need a refresher on how to start a slideshow, these steps can be a helpful guide, alternatively, you can follow the step by step instructions below.

How to Start & Play a PowerPoint Slideshow Presentation? Step by Step

Step 1: Open Your PowerPoint Presentation

The first step in starting a PowerPoint slideshow is to open your presentation. To do this, open Microsoft PowerPoint and navigate to the file menu. From there, select the “Open” option and browse to the location of your presentation file. Once you have located your presentation, select it and click the “Open” button.

If you received a .pps file (which is pre-configured as a slideshow and will start automatically), you can just double click on the .pps file and PowerPoint will auto play it.

Step 2: Select the Slide Show Tab

Once you have opened your presentation, you will need to select the “Slide Show” tab. This tab is located in the ribbon at the top of the screen and is indicated by a small icon of a projector screen.

PRO Tip: Use the keys F5 or Shift+F5 in PowerPoint to start the slideshow. F5 in PowerPoint will start the slideshow from the first slide, while Shift+F5 in PowerPoint will start the slideshow from the current slide that you have selected in PowerPoint.

Step 3: Choose Your Slideshow Options

Before starting your slideshow, you may want to adjust some of the settings to ensure that your presentation runs smoothly. To do this, select the “Set Up Slide Show” option from the Slide Show tab. Here, you can choose whether to run your slideshow in full screen mode, choose the display mode, and even set up timings for each slide.

Step 4: Start Your Slideshow

Once you have selected your slideshow options, you are ready to start your presentation. To do this, simply click the “From Beginning” button in the “Start Slide Show” group on the Slide Show tab. This will start your slideshow from the beginning of your presentation.

Alternatively, if you want to start your presentation from a specific slide, you can select the “From Current Slide” option in the “Start Slide Show” group. This will start your slideshow from the currently selected slide.

Step 5: Navigate Your Slideshow

During your slideshow, you can navigate between slides by using the arrow keys on your keyboard or by using the navigation buttons on the bottom left of the screen. You can also use the spacebar to advance to the next slide and the backspace key to go back to the previous slide.


Starting a PowerPoint slideshow is a simple but essential task for presenting your content to an audience. By following these steps, you can ensure that your presentation runs smoothly and that your audience is engaged throughout. Remember to adjust your slideshow options as needed and to navigate your slideshow with ease to make the most of your PowerPoint presentation. With these tips in mind, you can confidently start your next PowerPoint slideshow and deliver an engaging and effective presentation.