Are PowerPoint Stock Images Copyrighted & Can I Use Them Elsewhere?

December 23, 2022

One of the quickest ways to elevate your PowerPoint presentation is through the use of stock images. You should know that by now if you are an expert.  But where can you get stock images quickly without leaving Microsoft PowerPoint?

With a little digging around, the answer is right in front of us. Did you know that PowerPoint comes with its own gallery of premium stock images?

By navigating to Insert > Pictures > Stock Images, you’ll be getting access to 1000s of premium stock images. You’ll also get Cutout People, Icons and Stickers.

These are all royalty-free images you can add into your presentations for free. The caveat? You can only use them in the Microsoft 360-suite.That’s right. The license for free-to-use only extends to Microsoft products, that’s according to Microsoft official statement on the stock images. While this still means hundreds of dollars in savings for stock images on PowerPoint, you’ll have better luck looking elsewhere if you want to extend the use of the same images across about marketing collateral including your website and flyers and ebooks.

Where Can I Get Some Stock Images Then?

If you’re looking for some reliable stock images that are royalty-free, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a wide list of them on our free resources tab. Here’s a run down of some of our favorites here:






Can’t I Just Copy Them Off Google Image Search?

Sadly, no. That’s not how it works, and you can get legal action taken against you for infringement of copyright. Here are a few quick terms you can look out for to help you better understand the usage of free images from these image sources:

Creative Commons

This is a non-profit organization that allows the sharing and use of creative resources with various licenses that range from unlimited use without attribution to limited use at no charge.

Public Domain

These are creative work that have expired copyrights or do not have applicable copyrights available and are readily available to use for any reason without attribution. There are variety of images like this but not all found images on search engines are public domain. Just because you found it in a public domain on the internet, doesn’t make it public domain.


Lastly, you’ll come across royalty-free images. These aren’t necessarily going to be free to use. It usually comes with a one-time payment for unlimited use. Royalty-free only refers to not needing to pay a royalty foreach use.

Over to You

What are your favorite stock image sites? Did we miss any of them? Is PowerPoint your favorite presentation tool also? If you need help with presentation design, reach out to Mad Creative Beanstalk and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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