Skip to content
Photo by Alex Litvin / Unsplash

When creating presentations, you likely spend a lot of time focusing on fonts, layouts, and images. Of course, these elements are crucial for a good presentation,  but adding music to Google Slides can make a deep impact on it too, as it doesn't just add enjoyment but sets the right mood for your message to resonate with your audience.

In this tutorial, we’ll dive into how to add audio in Google Slides to create a lasting impact.

Can You Add Music to Google Slides?

Absolutely, you can insert audio into Google Slides with ease, even if you’ve already set up your visuals. With some basic recording know-how and a few straightforward steps, your presentation can be enhanced with clear and crisp audio.

Getting started is simple — all you need is a high-quality audio file. You can either record one yourself using a platform like Waveroom (we’ll talk more about that later), or you can use audio files from the internet, but make sure you’re allowed to use the material that you didn’t make yourself.

Why Add Music to Google Slides: 4 Benefits

Having audio in your presentations has several benefits, whether you’re sharing it with a small group or a large audience:

Complimentary value

Audio provides an additional layer of information that complements visual content. When video isn’t the best medium to convey certain information, audio fills the gap and provides detailed explanations or background context.

It also simplifies understanding. With audio, people can focus solely on your message without the distraction of reading text. Listening takes much less effort than reading, so your audience can absorb information more rapidly and effortlessly.

Unique tone

You inject personality and creativity into your presentation with the right audio. Traditional slideshows can be a bit monotonous. So, these interjections will keep your audience captivated and immersed in your content. Whether it’s upbeat tunes for a lively discussion or soothing melodies for a reflective moment, you set the tone.

Easier for the presenter

Adding audio alongside text content reduces the stress of presenting in person. Here’s why: If it’s music, you can make nice transitions between slides, like a natural rhythm that guides your audience through the presentation.

You can also prerecord some of your content and focus on delivering just a portion of your performance. You’ll get a few breaks to revise and regroup while the audio is playing.

Better accessibility

Visually impaired viewers benefit from audio descriptions that accompany visual information. At the same time, non-native speakers find it easier to understand complex concepts when presented through audio. So, you ensure that different people can access and appreciate your content.

Audio Requirements for Google Slides

First of all, it’s essential to consider the file format. For voice narration, WAV or MP3 files are ideal. WAV files offer high-quality sound, while MP3 files are more compact for online sharing. If you’re adding background music, you can use WAV or MP3 files directly or link to music from platforms like Spotify.

However, be mindful of Google Slides’ 100MB presentation size limit, which currently restricts the amount of audio you can include. There are plans to increase this limit to 300MB, but the implementation is on hold for now.

How to Add Music to a Google Slide From Google Drive

Here’s how to add audio to Google Slides if you have the file locally on the device:

Credit: Descript
  1. Choose your audio from your own collection or find royalty-free tracks from websites like YouTube Audio Library, Epidemic Sound, Premium Beat, Soundstripe, and more.
  2. Sign in to your Google Drive, then select New (+) and choose File upload.
Credit: Descript

3. Once uploaded, select Anyone With the Link and have the sharing permissions set to Viewer.

4. Open Google Slides and select your presentation.

Credit: Descript

5. Click on Insert in the toolbar, then select Audio. Select your audio file directly from your Google Drive.

Editing Audio in Presentations

You can customize the audio you upload by adjusting various settings, such as playback options, size, color, and effects.

  1. Begin by selecting the audio icon.
  2. Then, navigate to the toolbar and choose Format options. You have another method available: right-clicking the loudspeaker icon and selecting Format Options. Alternatively, you can click on Format > Format Options.This will bring up a panel on the right side of the screen.
Credit: SlidesGo
  1. In this panel, you’ll find various settings:
  2. Audio Playback: You can also control the volume and choose playback options like stopping when moving to the next slide or looping.
  3. Size & Rotation: Modifies the size and aspect ratio of the audio icon.
  4. Recolor: Changes the color of the icon to match your presentation’s palette.
  5. Adjustments: Fine-tunes transparency, lightness, and contrast.
  6. Also, you can enable or disable effects like Drop shadow and Reflection. Each effect has its own settings, such as color and behavior.

How Do You Play Audio in your Google Slides?

The way your audio plays in Slides depends on how you set the playback. You can make your music start automatically by selecting Automatically in the Audio Playback dialog box. On Click means the audio will play after you click on it during the presentation.

If you want the music to play continuously throughout your presentation, ensure the Loop Audio box is checked and untick the box next to Stop on slide change. This ensures a seamless audio experience without interruptions. Alternatively, if you prefer your music to stop when you change slides, select Stop on slide change.

How to Insert Audio Into Google Slides From a URL

Here’s how to add sound to Google Slides from online sources like Apple Music, YouTube Music, or Spotify:

  1. Search for the desired soundtrack. Make sure it’s not copyrighted and has the appropriate licensing.
  2. Once you’ve found the track, copy its URL or link.
  3. In your presentation, find the slide where you’d like to put the music.
Credit: SlidesGo

4. Click on Insert in the menu bar > Link. Paste the copied link into the text box and click Apply.

5. Enter Slideshow mode to check if the audio plays correctly. Click on the link during the presentation to open the soundtrack in a new window or browser tab.

6. You can start, pause, or stop the audio playback using the controls in the browser tab. Reduce the browser window to go back.

Can You Add a Voiceover to Google Slides?

So far, we’ve covered adding existing audio files to your presentation. But what if you want to record your narration? If you want to provide clear instructions, improve accessibility, and turn the presentation into a self-contained resource for any time viewing, this is the way to go.

Credit: Waveroom

To get started, use voice recording software, such as Waveroom, Audacity, Adobe Audition, Descript, or Riverside, to record your voice with the desired sound quality and save it as an MP3 or WAV file.

Once you have your audio file ready, follow the same process for both uploading it to Drive and adding it to your presentation.

How to Put Music in Google Slides on Mobile

The feature to insert audio isn’t available on the mobile app for Google Slides, but there is a workaround. First, you’ll upload the file to Drive using the mobile app:

Credit: Online Tech Tips
  1. Open Google Drive and navigate to the Home tab (Android) or Files tab (iPhone/iPad).
  2. Tap the plus sign at the bottom right and select Upload.
  3. Browse and choose the file from your device to upload it to Drive.
  4. After uploading, tap the More icon (three dots) next to the file and select Copy link to save the link to your clipboard.

Next, you’ll place the link to your audio file into your presentation on the device you’re using:

  1. Open the right slide.
  2. If needed, add the item you want to link, like text or an image.
  3. Select the item you want to link, then tap the arrow on the right until you see Insert Link and select it.
Credit: Online Tech Tips
  1. Tap inside the Link field, then tap again if needed to display Paste, and select it to paste the link.
  2. Use the checkmark on the upper right to attach the link to the item.
  3. During your presentation, tap the linked item to open and play your audio.

Remember, this workaround won’t directly play the audio. Instead, it will open the audio file so you can manually press the Play button.

Can You Insert Sound Effects Into Google Slides?

No, Google Slides doesn’t have a specific tool for voice effects, but you can enhance your presentation with visual effects. You can add animations to text, images, slides, and other elements to add more energy and movement. To do this, simply click on the Insert tab to open the main menu > select Animation.

Alternatively, you can right-click on an item and choose Animate. This opens the Motion pane on the right side of the screen, where you can click Add Animation to select an effect. Along with audio, these animations help engage your audience and make your material more interesting to watch.

How to Add YouTube Videos to Your Slides

To add audio to your Google Slides via a YouTube video, follow these steps:

  1. Open YouTube and locate the video you want to use. Note the specific start and end times if you only want to include a video portion.
  2. Click the Share button on the YouTube video and copy the provided link.

3. Open the right slide for the video. Then, go to Insert in the menu and choose Video. Paste the YouTube video link into the provided space and click Insert.

4. Once inserted, you can resize and reposition the video on the slide as needed.

5. Also, you can set the playback options to autoplay during the presentation or play on click.

Your options are On Click, Automatically, and Manual:

  • On Click means the video plays when you advance the slide.
  • Automatically indicates that the video starts playing without any clicks once the slide is displayed.
  • Manual means the video only plays when you specifically click on the embedded video within the slide.

As with audio, these options give you control over how and when your videos are played.

Extra Tips for Audio in Slides

Here are some bonus tips to help you make the most of audio in your slides:

  • To ensure your audio plays continuously, set the playback options to Loop. This feature is useful for background music or sound effects that you want to repeat throughout your presentation.
  • Choose instrumental or ambient tracks that complement the tone and content of your presentation. Background music helps set the mood: upbeat and energetic or calm and soothing.
  • Select sound effects that enhance specific points or transitions in your presentation. Be sure to use them sparingly and strategically to avoid overwhelming your audience.
  • Include transcriptions of spoken content for accessibility purposes and as a reference for viewers.
  • Adjust the volume of your files to ensure they complement your spoken content without overpowering it.
  • Before your presentation, test all audio elements to ensure they work seamlessly within your slides. Rehearse the timing and placement of audio cues.

In conclusion, adding audio to a Google Slides presentation is a simple three-step process: upload your audio to Drive, insert it into Slides, and adjust it as needed. However, the real deal is recording high-quality audio to achieve a professional sound. If you choose to record your own narration, it requires an extra step, but the results are definitely worth the effort.


Why Can’t I Insert Audio Into Google Slides?

If you're having trouble with your audio on Slides, it could be a simple fix. Double-check that your audio files are in WAV or MP3 format and change permissions to allow viewers to access the link. Then, retry the process by following the steps to insert your track.

How to Put Audio on Google Slides From Spotify?

Simply copy and paste the song link into your presentation. However, note that Spotify songs won’t play directly in the presentation; they’ll open in the Spotify app for playback.

How Do You Add Audio to Google Slides From Apple Music?

Copy the song link and paste it onto a slide. When viewed, users can listen to a preview of the track through the Apple Music web player. Please note that accessibility to the preview may vary based on geographic location, account sign-in status, or concurrent use of the app.