Troubleshoot Designer in PowerPoint – Microsoft Support

the obsession method

If no Design Ideas are available for you, a few things might be the cause. First of all:

  • Make sure you’re connected to the Internet. Designer goes online to get its Design Ideas.

  • Use a theme that comes with PowerPoint (not a custom theme or one that you’ve downloaded from elsewhere).

Following are other problems and how to solve them:

No design ideas for slides with pictures

  • Make sure your slide has either the Title or Title + Content slide layout applied.

  • Don’t use any additional objects or shapes on the same slide as your photo.

  • Use a maximum of four photos (.jpg, .png, .gif, or .bmp) per slide, and make sure they’re larger than 200 × 200 pixels in size.

No design ideas for process-based slides

  • Make sure your slide has the Title + Content slide layout applied.

  • Don’t use any additional photos, objects, or shapes on the same slide as your process text.

Because Designer is a relatively new service, it’s still learning new tricks. If Designer can’t generate high-quality options for you, it won’t show any options at all. We’re working hard to generate great design ideas for more varieties of your content.

And of course, if you don’t find Designer useful, you can turn it off by going to File > Options > General, and then clearing the box that says Automatically show me design ideas.

Someone else is editing

If you’re co-authoring a presentation with someone else and more than one person is actively editing a single slide at one time, Designer won’t give design suggestions on that slide.

However, as soon as only person is editing the slide, Designer begins offering design suggestions again once that person does an action (such as adding a photo) that Designer can respond to.

No design ideas for slides that have shapes or text boxes

Designer isn’t able to suggest design ideas when a slide has a shape or text box drawn on it. You can have photos and you can have text in a placeholder.

Designer is available only to Microsoft 365 subscribers

On desktop versions of PowerPoint, only subscribers get design ideas. You can try or buy a subscription here.

On PowerPoint for the web, Designer is available to everyone.

One Microsoft 365 subscription package doesn’t include Designer: Office 365 Germany Germany.

Turn on the Office connected experiences

To use Designer, make sure that Office “connected experiences” are turned on:

Go to File > Account, and under Account Privacy select Manage Settings.

The Account panel showing the Account Privacy, Manage Settings button

See Enabling and disabling intelligent services for more information.

An administrator may have turned off Designer

Designer is a feature for Microsoft 365 subscribers, but some organizations turn off the feature. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription but don’t see the Design Ideas button, contact your IT department.

Reinstall Office to get subscriber features

If you’ve upgraded from Office to a Microsoft 365 subscription, you need to uninstall Office and then reinstall in order to get the subscriber features. See the instructions in these articles:

  1. Uninstall Office from a PC or Uninstall Office 2016 for Mac

  2. Reinstall Microsoft 365

Restart the app to get Designer

Sometimes users find that the first time they start PowerPoint after installing Microsoft 365, the Designer button isn’t available. Restarting the app fixes this problem.

If you can see the Designer button in PowerPoint but it’s grayed out, it means:

  • You aren’t connected to the internet, or

  • A single slide isn’t selected. This can be the case when multiple slides are selected in the slide thumbnail pane in Normal view, or when the focus in the thumbnail pane is between two slides. It also can happen when the focus is in the Notes pane or you are in Slide Show view rather than Normal view.


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