Sunday, May 31, 2009

Problems Opening PPS and PPT Files in Email

Do you get a lot of emails that have PPT or PPS file attachments in them? If you do, chances are you've seen the following error message .

"This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folder Options panel."

Let me explain the problem and offer a solution.

First, in case you were wondering, PPT and PPS files are PowerPoint files. Since these files were created in PowerPoint to begin with, you will either need to have PowerPoint or the PowerPoint Viewer installed on your computer to see them.

Folks who have Microsoft Office installed on their computer, may or may not have PowerPoint installed. To check, click START and then ALL PROGRAMS and look for PowerPoint in the list of programs (be sure to check the Microsoft Folder too). When looking for "Powerpoint" in the list of programs, look for "PowerPoint Viewer" too.

Folks who don't have PowerPoint installed, can download and install the free PowerPoint viewer.
Once the program is installed, you'll be able to open PPS and PPT files. However .... you probably still won't be able to open them from email without taking an extra step.

For some reason, many email programs (like Outlook Express) have trouble recognizing these files and associating them with the PowerPoint Viewer - even when you configure the software correctly.

The way to work around this is to save the attachment to your desktop first, then open the file.

Don't try and open PPT and PPS attachments while in email. This will usually result in the error message above. Just download (or save) the attachment to your desktop first. Then you can minimize your email and double click the file's icon on your desktop to open it.


  1. why not find an answer to go direct from the attachment

  2. I agree. I've always been able to double click the PPS attachment and it would open in Powerpoint viewer (Windows XP). Now that I've upgraded to Windows 7 it doesn't work! Not good!!!

  3. The majority of the time, when a PPS/PPT file won't open directly from email, it's because Windows doesn't know what program the file is associated with. While that can be manually configured ... it doesn't always work (one of Window's many quirks).

  4. I went to "control panel", "programs", and "set programs to open files" and the only two selections for pps files were "PowerPoint viewer" and "Microsoft office PowerPoint". I changed it from PowerPoint viewer to Microsoft office PowerPoint and it opened the pps file. I can't understand why either one would not work. In the past I've got that message and saved it to documents and it would work but not every time. Anyway maybe it's fixed.