How to Set a Default Template in PowerPoint 2013

Categories: PowerPoint 2013, PPT 2010, and Themes and Templates.

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.


  1. Thank you. Your step by step instructions worked perfectly!

    Why Microsoft continues to make this so difficult, I’ll never know.

  2. Maria Olsen


    Thank you for this helpful set of steps.

    I have my blank.potx working fine and where I want it. My problem is that I would like to rename “Default Theme” to something of my choosing. Does anyone know how to do this?


  3. Pink

    Hi, thank you so much for your help. I tried the above steps but it keeps saving the file as forming a power point presentation rather than a template. I am not sure how should i savethe slides. Should i change fonts for all layouts then save or one slide is enough. Appreciate your help and thanks for your time.

  4. Echo Swinford

    Pink, there are a lot of places folks go wrong saving a file as a template, and it can be difficult to troubleshoot without a lot of back and forth. I suggest that you turn on file extensions in Windows as described. I also suggest that you manually navigate to the folder where you need to save the file. And don’t forget you must name it BLANK.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “Should i change fonts for all layouts then save or one slide is enough,” but one slide is sufficient for a template. If you need more help building a template in the first place, get the basics here or check my book for more advanced instruction


  1. WP says:

    […] 2. How to Set a Default Template in PowerPoint 2013 […]

  2. […] For more detailed step-by-step instructions, click here for PowerPoint 2010 or (PowerPoint 2013). […]

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