FIX 4 U: Slide Play button Disabled (grayed-out)?

Need to view your slide without selecting 'Preview' but the play button is grayed-out or disabled?

Here's a quick fix (nothing official but it works):

  1. Click the 'Story View' tab at the top left of your slide screen
  2. Then, click back into your scene by clicking your 'Scene' tab

For some reason this reactivates the slide play button. Hope this helps :-)

27 Replies
Moni H

Hi Ashley,

Thanks, yes, same here, I'm not sure - my installation was seamless, so its definitely one of those unexplained anomalies that was encountered (and I have no idea why). It seems random and isn't activated by any particular function because at times it happens when simply viewing a slide itself outside of story view.

Moni H

UPDATE: Ok, I've tried it again (testing), looks like this could be one way the play button is disabled...

When opening Storyline 2:

  • If the default settings open up in 'Story View' first
  • And, the user double-clicks any of the smaller slides (as if to activate/open the slide for editing)
  • Then, the scene opens with the play button at this point the user can use one of the workarounds either Wendy or I have posed in this post.
Leslie McKerchie

Hi Marcos!

Sorry to hear that you ran into difficulty with this as well. Is it intermittent for you as it was for the users above?

Regarding importing your slides, the default is to add to the same scene as the file you are importing from, but you can change this if you wish. 

You will see this on the bottom of the insert slides window:

Jon Schiedermayer

I found that I am able to re-enable the controls by clicking through the assets on the slide. There doesn't seem to be any logic to it, but if I select different layers in the timeline the controls at some point become enabled.

EDIT: This isn't consistent as a fix. Right now, for example, nothing's working.

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Jon and Kathryn,

Thanks for chiming in to share your experience with your timeline playback buttons.

It looks like this issue has been reported to our team. We have not been able to replicate the issue and as you're finding, workarounds found by folks are inconsistent as well. 


  • Saving, closing SL and restarting
  • Switching between scenes and slides

I'll add this to our report as we track impacted users and if you find any consistency in recreating that would be especially helpful.

  • What operating system are you using?
  • Do you have more than one instance of Storyline open when experiencing this issue?
Kathryn Rady

I have the exact same answers as John as below.

Also, could anyone please tell me why an end point will get stuck and won’t be able to move? All of my audio, video, images etc. end several seconds before (at the same time as one another) but I cannot drag the end point to match them? This also happens sporadically, and I cannot find a solution or understand what causes it.

Thank you!


Kathryn Rady
Manager | Navigate
484.383.0606 (o) | 860.836.5121 (m)


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kathryn, 

Is it a cue point that you've added that you can't move, or the end point of the timeline that you're unable to change? I haven't seen that, but I'd be happy to test your file and see if I can make changes to it. Upload here using the Add Attachment button.

Also, it looks like your email signature came through when you replied via email. You can remove that if needed by clicking ‘Edit’ beneath your response. Here’s a quick Peek video if you need help.

Leslie McKerchie

Hey Kathryn,

Thanks for letting me know the setup that you're using as well. I appreciate it.

You mention an 'end point getting stuck'? Do you mean that the items on your timeline do not reach the end of your slide?

  • What happens when you try to move the end of your timeline?
  • Are you able to right-click and choose 'Show until End' on your items?

Here's a brief demo:

Leslie McKerchie

Hi everyone,

Good news! We fixed the issue you reported where the:

Timeline preview buttons become disabled while working on a file

Be sure to install the latest Storyline 360 update to take advantage of all the recent features and fixes. 

If the problem happens again, please record a Peek 360 screencast for me, and I'll be happy to help or you can always work directly with our support engineers here.