Find and Delete PowerPoint's PCB file
What's a PCB file?
When you (or another program or addin) customize your copy of PowerPoint by adding or removing or moving toolbars or buttons, PowerPoint stores the customization info in a special PCB file.
Sometimes this file becomes corrupt and causes PowerPoint to misbehave. You may need to find and rename or delete it to solve the problem.
What's a PCB file good for?
Not much, or at least there's not much the average user can do with one.
The main reason to find it is to delete it. Some add-ins can make your PCB file grow quite large over time. The bigger the PCB file, the slower PowerPoint starts up. PowerPoint 2000 may refuse to start at all when the PCB file gets over a megabyte (it'll usually hang at the startup screen in this case).
Some users have copied their customizations to other computers by copying their PCB file; sometimes it works, but it's not supported by Microsoft.
On the other hand, you could make a copy of your own PCB file before customizing PowerPoint extensively, or before reinstalling it; that way you could copy it back and restore your existing customizations.
Always do any PCB file copying/deleting/moving while PowerPoint isn't running.
Where's the PCB file?
That depends on the Windows version, the PowerPoint version and whether or not your system's set up for multiple users.
Rather than bore you with the rules, we'll let Windows' fingers do the walking:
- Quit PowerPoint if it's running
- Click the Windows desktop then press F3 (or right-click Start and choose Search) to start the Windows Search feature.
- Search for Files and Folders Named:
- Look in:
Local Hard Drives
- Click Search Now
- Wait until Search finds one or more PCB files.
There should ordinarily be only one, named PPT.PCB or POWERPNT.PCB or similar. If there are more, you want the one called
You can right-click the file and choose Rename to rename it to something with a different file extension (.BAK, for instance) or simply delete it. When PowerPoint starts up again, any customizations will be gone; when it needs to, PowerPoint will create a new PCB file.
If deleting the PCB file doesn't solve the problem, you can always rename the original file back to its original .PCB name (after deleting any new PCB file that PowerPoint created in the interim.