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Edited by Pat Bitton

October 30, 2019

How to Play FLV Files

Short for Flash Video, files with the .flv extension use Adobe Flash Player plugin to relay video content over the internet. These file types will automatically play via your browser, but you may come across these files in an offline environment. Your friends may download and share them with you via a storage media. It is therefore important to learn how to open FLV files. Whether you are using Windows 10 or are on Mac, you should be able to play files in FLV format.

How to Open FLV Files

Since you are likely to encounter FLV format files outside your web browser, you need to learn a few tricks to help you view them on your device. Opening and playing these files on your device shouldn't be a big deal if you know how to handle other popular video file types such as MP4. Armed with a compliant media player, the requisite codecs and a plugin for your browser, you should be able to watch the FLV videos with ease.

Here is how to open FLV files and play them.

Install Adobe Animate

Learning how to play FLV files requires a little knowledge of this flash-compatible video file. The Flash Video exporter plugin exports FLV format files to your device and avails them for watching. It implies that you will be watching your favorite FLV videos straight from your browser. Remember to download the specific plugin for your browser to avoid compatibility issues.

If you are using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera for your Windows-based device, type Adobe Flash Player plugin into the search bar, and specify the browser. Once the binary file has been downloaded to your system, install it then restart your browser to apply the changes. You should now be able to stream FLV content from YouTube or from online files in which the videos have been embedded.

Non-Adobe programs can also render FLV format files. They may be exported from QuickTime Pro on your iOS device, so you have nothing to worry about if you are operating a non-Windows machine. Any other program that can export to the QuickTime file format will also be able to play FLV files on your system.

However, streaming content over the internet can get expensive in the long run as it consumes a heavy chunk of your bandwidth allocation. Consequently, you may have to consider more cost-friendly options, such as having the files locally on your storage media. In this case, you will require an FLV compliant media player.

Get an FLV Compliant Media Player

Since you won't be streaming video content all the time, it is crucial that you learn how to play FLV files offline. The first step is determining the media player compliant with this file format. A simple Google search should haul up tens of such media players, and the rest will be upon you. Popular players include:

  • VLC
  • AnvSoft Web FLV Player
  • Winamp
  • MPC-HC

This list is not exhaustive, so you may want to try other options. To play FLV content on your mobile device, download and install PlayerXtreme Media Player for Android and iOS. This app is available on Google Play Store and iTunes for iOS.

With the appropriate FLV player in place, you can now proceed to open and play FLV files. You can go about it in different ways. You could set your media player as the default player in which case you will be double-clicking on the FLV file and it would open in the default player.

But if it is not your default media player, you can drag and drop the file into the open window of the player. If everything is right, the file should play right away. Alternatively, right-click on the FLV video and select "play with" from the drop-down menu. A list of the media players available on your device will show up, and it is from this list that you will select your preferred player.

In some cases, your device may not be able to open and play flash videos even after installing a compliant media player. Such situations will force you to try other viable options, such as converting the files to a supported format.

Convert to Supported File Formats

It may be necessary to convert FLV format files to other formats playable on your machine. It may be the case if you are on the iOS platform because this platform doesn't support Adobe Flash. Thankfully, you will find many video vile converters to help convert your files to popular formats for your device.

Flash Video files can switch to a variety of formats, including 3GP, MOV, MP4, AC3, AVI, and FLAC. You can download an offline converter or choose to go online for the job. Common offline converters include Any Video Converter, Freemake Video Converter, and Movavi Video Converter. Once you have your converter on your device, double-click to open it and upload the flash video you wish to convert. Select the file type you wish to convert to and click Convert.

If bandwidth is not a problem for you, choose an online converter to switch between the file format and download the finished product onto your local storage. One such converter is CloudConvert which is free and easy to use.

Still Can't Open Your FLV File?

If none of these programs opens and plays the flash videos on your device, you may need to check if they are reading the file extension correctly. The file may appear FLV but may have a different suffix. For instance, FL Studio projects may appear FLV but can't be played by stock flash video players.

You may also be facing a corrupted file. Be sure to check the file before attempting to play it on your device. You will know if it's corrupted if you try to play on another device and it returns the same error. It may also be the effect of malware on your system, therefore, make sure you have a reliable and updated premium antivirus on your device. Scan every portable storage media before plugging it into your computer.

It may still not be possible to open and play flash video files after taking everything into account. It may not even convert to another format, or if it does, the output file may still be unplayable. In such a case, you have to check if your device has the requisite hardware and software and if all the relevant drivers are up to date.

If the problem is your hardware, you may consider upgrading to the latest machined to enjoy your favorite flash videos.

You should now be in a position to answer the question: what is an FLV file? Basically, your flash videos should play automatically from your browser or use compatible media players such as VLC. If everything fails, consider converting the files to a supported format on your device. For this purpose, you need an effective and reliable converter, such as Movavi Video Converter, which can also allow you to edit the file and play it on Windows 10 or on Mac.

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