In previous versions of PowerPoint, you could save a default template so that when you started PowerPoint or a new, blank presentation, you’d get the template of your choice rather than the default (blank white) Office template. This can be very helpful if you are required to use a corporate template, for example. (Here are instructions to save a default template in PowerPoint 2010 and prior.)

It’s not quite as simple in PowerPoint 2013, but it’s not difficult, either. You still have the same two requirements as always: it must be in the right place, and it must have the right name. Here’s what you do.

First turn on Hidden Folders in Windows.

To do so in Windows 7, open a folder and click Organize | Folder and Search Options.


On the View tab, click Show hidden files, folders and drives.

To do so in Windows 8, open a folder (on the desktop – if you don’t have one, make one by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing New | Folder),

Click the View tab at the top of the folder.


Check Hidden Items

Once hidden folders are showing, do the following to set your default template:

1. Open the presentation or template that you want to use for your default template.

2. Choose File | Save As | Computer | Browse

3. At the bottom of the dialog box, choose PowerPoint Template (*.potx) in the Save as Type dropdown menu.


4. PowerPoint no longer takes you to the correct folder when you choose POTX as the file type. So navigate to C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. This fulfills the “right place” requirement.

5. Name the file Blank (or Blank.potx). This fulfills the “right name” requirement.

6. Click Save.

Test by going to File | New or by re-starting PowerPoint. Your default template will be the first file listed on the start screen, where it will be labeled Default Theme – but it’s actually a default template, complete with any sample content slides you included.


Note: PowerPoint also lets you set a default theme, but you can only have one or the other. If you’ve already set a default theme, then your default template won’t appear as described above. Biggest difference between a theme and a template? A template has sample slides. A theme doesn’t. (Well, there are other differences, but that’s the most important one in this situation.)

If you want to set a default theme, go to the Design tab, right-click the theme you want, and choose Set as Default Theme.