How to Disable the Escape Key in PowerPoint

Updated February 21, 2017

You may use PowerPoint presentations to provide information to others in a simple and clear manner, whether in schools, offices, trade shows or any other environment. If the people watching your presentations have close access to the computer you are using to display them, though, you will want to remove the ability to exit the slide show by pressing the "Escape" key. PowerPoint itself does not offer the ability to do this by default, but you can change this by installing an add-in.

Download the No Escape add-in for PowerPoint (see Resources) and unzip the file to a location you will remember.

Launch PowerPoint. Click the "Microsoft Office" button, click "PowerPoint Options" and select "Add-Ins."

Click "PowerPoint Add-Ins," found under the "Manage" list, then click "Go." This will open the "Add-Ins" dialogue box.

Click "Add New." Navigate to the location where you extracted the add-in and click once on the file named "NoESCape.ppa" to select it. Click "OK."

Click "Enable Macros" in the security notice dialogue, then click "OK."

Click "Add-Ins" and select "Update links during show." This will open the "No ESCape" preferences window.

Select "Disable Escaping from all running slide shows windows" from the drop down menu, then click "OK."


This procedure will only disable the "Escape" key for presentations running in the full version of PowerPoint. There is no way to disable the "Escape" key for presentations viewed through the free PowerPoint viewer. If you are running your presentation in kiosk mode, the "Escape" key is normally the only way of exiting it. Disabling the key will make it impossible to exit the presentation unless you set up an alternate way of doing so, such as an invisible shape which will stop the presentation when clicked.

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About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.