How to Add Music to Google Slides

Google Slides offers users a free and very versatile tool to create engaging presentations. To fully capture the attention of your audience, however, simple slides may not be enough. Sprucing up your Google Slides presentation with the addition of audio will definitely go a long way in making it more memorable for your viewers. Below, we’ll show you how to add music to Google Slides to spruce up your presentations.

Before We Begin

To use Google Slides, you will need an active Google Account. If you don’t currently have one, you can create one for free by going to their signup page.

Next, you’ll also need a Google Drive account to store both your Google Slides presentation and the audio files that you’ll be using in the methods listed below. Sign-up for Drive is also free and can be made through their Google Drive signup page. Be sure to have both accounts set up before you continue.

How to Add Music to Google Slides

There are several ways that a user can add music to their Google Slides presentation. As Google has further developed the service, it has become easier to do. We’ll list all the possible methods here and you can choose which one works well for you.

Insert Audio

The ability to insert audio is a more recent addition to the Google Slides feature options. This is currently the easiest method to add music to your presentation using Google Slides. This can be done by following these steps:

  1. Google Slides currently only accepts .mp4 and .wav audio files. If you already have a file you want to use, upload it to your Google Drive account.

  2. Open Google Slides.

  3. Find and open the presentation to which you want to add audio. If you wish to create one from scratch, click on the “+ Blank image” on the “New Presentation” tab.

  4. Click on “Insert” from the top menu.

  5. Click on “Audio” from the dropdown list.

  6. You’ll be shown a window containing all the usable audio files currently on your Google Drive. Scroll down to find the audio you wish to use. Alternatively, you can type in the name of your file on the search bar, then click on the magnifying glass icon. Once you find your file, click on it.

  7. Click on the “Select” button on the lower-left corner of the window.

  8. Your audio should now be embedded in your presentation. You can click and drag the audio icon to place it wherever you want.

Audio Playback Options

When adding music using the “Insert Audio” method, you are given several handy options that you can use to determine how the music itself will be played back. These options can be accessed on the right-side menu when you click on the inserted audio icon on the slide itself. These options are:

  1. Start Playing on Click – This means that music will only start playing once you click on your mouse when the presentation is open. This is a good idea if you don’t want to play music immediately and want
    a few moments to get a few points across before audio starts playing.

  2. Start Playing Automatically – This means that music will immediately start playing when you open your presentation.

  3. Volume Slider – This lets you control the volume of the music.

  4. Hide Icon When Presenting – This option allows users to hide the audio icon whenever the presentation is playing. Useful when you’ve set the audio to play automatically when the slide starts.

  5. Loop Audio – This allows continuous playback of the inserted audio while the presentation is playing.

  6. Stop on Slide Change – Having this on will immediately stop the music when you change to another slide.

  7. Icon Format Editing Tools – Other options available can change the size, color, shape, and transparency of the audio icon. Editing changes are mainly visual in nature and affect only the icon and not the audio.

YouTube Video

Before the “Insert Audio” option was implemented, one method of inserting music into a slide was linking it to a YouTube video. This is still a viable method for those who have a video in mind, and don’t really want to go to the trouble of making an audio file to upload to Google Drive. The method to do this is as follows:

  1. Find a YouTube video that you wish to use. Keep it open on your browser.

  2. Open the Google Slide file to which you wish to add the audio, or create one from scratch by clicking on “+ Blank.”

  3. Click on “Insert” on the top menu.

  4. Click on “Video” from the dropdown list.

  5. Open the tab with the YouTube video and copy the video URL. This would be in the address box on the top of the screen.

  6. Return to the Google Slides tab and click on “By URL” on the window.

  7. Paste in the URL address.

  8. Alternatively, you can use the search bar to the right of the YouTube icon on “Search” to find a video you may want to use. Also, if you have a video on your Google Drive that you wish to use instead, click on the Google Drive option instead.

  9. Click on “Select” in the lower-left corner.

  10. You can change the size of the video by clicking and dragging on the corners. You can change its position by clicking and dragging when your mouse changes to white arrow crosshairs.

  11. Note that the video itself will play during the presentation. If you only want the audio and not the video, try making it as small as possible to hide playback.

Video Link Options

Like audio playback, there are several options available when using video as your background music. You can access this from the right-hand menu by clicking on the inserted video.

  1. Play On Click – This will mean that the video will start playing when you click on your mouse when the presentation is playing.

  2. Play Automatically – This means that the video will automatically start to play when the presentation is opened.

  3. Play Manual – This means that you will need to click on the video itself in order to start playing the music.

  4. Start At / End At – This allows you to determine the points at which the video will start or stop playing.

  5. Mute Audio – This will play the video but will not play any audio.

  6. Video Position Tools – Allows you to edit the size and position of the video. There is no option to make the video transparent as with the audio editing tools.

Do note that unlike using “Insert Audio,” there is no option to loop the video, so you’ll either need to click on the video again to replay it, or embed the video in another slide. You can work around this problem by using a longer video.

Shareable Links

Before the arrival of the “Insert Audio” feature, this was the only way to add music on Google Slides without resorting to using video. This isn’t widely used currently, as it’s been rendered obsolete by the “Insert Audio” utility, but it still works. This method is detailed below:

  1. Make sure that the audio you want to use is in your Google Drive.

  2. Open your Google Slides presentation.

  3. Click on “Insert” from the top menu.

  4. Either click on “Image” or “Text Box.”

  5. Insert the Image or Text box on your presentation.

  6. Right-click on your inserted object and click on “Link.”

  7. Open your Google Drive, then find your audio file. Right-click on it.

  8. Click on “Get Link” from the popup menu.

  9. Click on “Copy Link” from the popup window.

  10. Return to Google Slides and paste the link in the link box.

  11. Click on “Apply.”

  12. When the presentation is playing, click on the image or text box link. This will, by default, open a browser that will play your linked audio file.

How to Add Music to Google Slides While Presenting

Audio files and other media objects can only be added to the presentation during editing. When the Slides file is currently playing, only playback options will be available and additional media can’t be directly added.

If you wish to have the option to play various media while the presentation is ongoing, create another Slides presentation with all the files you wish to use and have them play on another browser tab. You can then switch back and forth between the two files when necessary.

How to Add Music to Google Slides for All Slides

If you wish to have only one piece of audio playing during the entire presentation, make sure that the “Stop on Slide Change” toggle is unchecked when you use the “Insert Audio Feature.” If you have your initial audio on loop, then it will continue playing until you reach the end of your presentation. Do note, though, that if you have another audio file embedded in another slide, both files will play simultaneously.

How to Add Music to Google Slides on Windows, Mac, and Chromebook

No matter whether the operating system is Windows or Mac OS, all the methods listed above will be available for you to use. The same is also true when using a Chromebook. Google Slides is not system dependent and requires no installation to run. It operates completely online and will not change in functionality no matter what system you use. Refer to the methods listed above to embed audio into your Google Slide presentation when using a computer.

How to Add Music to Google Slides on Android

Although Google Slides is also available for mobile devices, the editing tools for these devices are very limited. There is no “Insert Audio” or “Insert Video” option if you’re making a slide on an Android device. But if you wish, you can still use the “Shareable Links” option. To do this:

  1. Open the Google Slides app and open or create a slideshow presentation.

  2. Tap on the “+” button on the upper right corner of the screen.

  3. Tap on “Text” or “Shape,” then place it in the slide.

  4. Minimize the app and open Google Drive. Find the audio file you want to use.

  5. Tap on the three dots icon to the right of the audio file and tap on “Copy link” on the popup menu.

  6. Return to Google Slides, then tap and hold on your inserted text box or shape.

  7. Tap on the three dots icon to the right of the popup menu and tap on “Insert Link.”

  8. Tap and hold on the text box.

  9. Tap on “Paste.”

  10. Tap on the “Check” icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

  11. The audio link should now be embedded on the slide.

Note that there are no editing options for the audio on mobile. To play the file, tap on the shape or text box to open the link. By default, it will play on another browser tab.

How to Add Music to Google Slides on iPhone

As the Google Slides mobile app is not system dependent, the method used for Android above is also applicable to the iPhone.

A Very Useful Tool

The “Insert Audio” update has made it easy for users to spice up their otherwise bland presentations. Increasing audience interest and interaction is the best way to ensure that whatever is presented in the slideshow is remembered afterward. Knowing how to add music to Google Slides is a very useful tool in promoting data retention.

Do you have other tips and tricks for using audio for Google Slides? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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