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Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to remove customizations from PowerPoint's PCB files in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.

PowerPoint add-ins help in adding new capabilities that can polish your presentation in many ways. But when the time comes to uninstall these add-ins for whatsoever reason, you might be surprised to find their menu customizations, such as buttons that represent add-in features still exist! Click those menu extensions and nothing may happen, but these menu options are still there!

In another scenario, you may have customized your PowerPoint menus and toolbars to a large extent. Now, you want to restore everything to a pristine state, almost like how the interface looked when you first installed PowerPoint.

In either case, it is possible to lose all these customizations. The key to this solution lies in PCB files. So what's a PCB file? Let's learn more.

A PCB file is a PowerPoint Settings file where PowerPoint stores every customization you make within the program interface. These customizations include the appearance of new add-in menus and toolbars.

Whenever PowerPoint launches, it looks for this PCB file within a typical location:


If no PCB file is found, PowerPoint creates a new one! In other words, PowerPoint restores all defaults. Therefore, this creation of a new PCB file can be put to advantage. First, we need to rename or delete the errant PCB file. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Make sure PowerPoint 2016 is closed. Then navigate to the path mentioned below:
  2. C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\PowerPoint
  3. Substitute <UserName> with the user name set for your computer.
  4. Within this folder, you will find a PCB file, as shown in Figure 1 below. You may see more than one PCB file here, and this happens if you have multiple versions of Microsoft Office installed on your system. For PowerPoint 2016, the file you need will be named PPT16.pcb or similar.

  5. Figure 1: PCB file location
  6. PowerPoint Versions and PCB File Names

    The file names of the PCBs indicate which version of PowerPoint they influence:

    PPT16.pcb relates to PowerPoint 2016
    PPT15.pcb relates to PowerPoint 2013
    PPT14.pcb relates to PowerPoint 2010

    Don’t see the PCB file extension? Your file extensions need to be made visible. To learn more, look at our Show File Extensions tutorials.

  7. Now, you can either delete the PCB file or you can rename it with a .bak or another extension. We highly recommend that you rename rather than delete the file! For this example we will rename the file with a .bak extension, as shown in Figure 2 below. You can also always delete the PCB file later once a new PCB is created, and everything seems to be working well.

  8. Figure 2: PCB file renamed
  9. Safely Working with PCB Files

    Always keep a backup copy of your PCB file. This backup file may come handy when you want to roll back PowerPoint's customizations to an earlier stage.

    Also, never rename or delete a PCB file while PowerPoint is still open.
  10. Now, launch PowerPoint 2016. It might take a while to load since a new PCB file is being created. At this point of time, get back to the original folder that contained the PCB file. You'll notice that a new PCB file has been created.

See Also:

Customize Interface: Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint (Index Page)

Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows