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PowerPoint won't start on Surface RT tablets


You try to start PowerPoint and get an error message that starts:

POWERPNT.EXE- Bad Image...  
C:\Program Files\MicrosoftOffice\Office15\1033\PPINTL.DLL is either 
not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. 

This can happen if you have Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT installed on Surface RT, Surface 2, and other devices running Microsoft Windows RT.


Microsoft has released a new update that is supposed to solve this problem.

This update fixes other issues and makes other improvements, and has several prerequisites; please visit the link above and read it carefully before proceeding.

Background: Why won't PowerPoint start? What happened?

On February 10, 2015 Microsoft released update for PowerPoint 2013 (KB2920732).

This update broke PowerPoint on RT tablets. Because of that, the update has been pulled and will be restored once Microsoft fixes it.

If you're reading this because you've already received the update and now your PowerPoint won't start, we have a few suggestions.

If you don't really need PowerPoint

Rather than spend time trying to get this fixed, it might be simpler and easier on the blood pressure to let it be and wait for Microsoft to issue a new update that fixes the problem. They're aware of the problem and working on it.

If you only need to view PowerPoint files and/or do minor editing

If you have a OneDrive account (they're free!) you can also use PowerPoint Online to create, read, edit and store presentations. You'll still be able to download your presentations to your Surface or another computer if you wish.

If you desperately need PowerPoint. NOW.

You'll need to revert back/repair office.

Here's the short version of what's on that page courtesy of Emil on Microsoft Answers:

  1. Go to PC settings.
  2. Tap Update and recovery and then tap Recovery.
  3. Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, tap Get started.
  4. Confirm that you want to refresh the device. The Surface will reboot several times and reinstall Microsoft Office. You won't lose any data, files or apps.

Warning: You'll need to have quite a bit of disk space free in order to so this, perhaps 5 gigabyte or more.
If necessary, copy your files off to external hard drive, thumbdrive or online storage (OneDrive/Dropbox/etc) before deleting them.

And if you want to hear it directly from Microsoft instead of reading it here

There's a TechNet blog post about it here which links to their suggestions for refreshing your Surface RT here.

Did this solve your problem? If so, please consider supporting the PPT FAQ with a small PayPal donation.
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PowerPoint won't start on Surface RT tablets
Last update 16 February, 2015
Created: 13 February, 2015