November 15, 2021

How to Open SWF Files Outside Chrome and in Browsers

10 min

12 340

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Download and launch Movavi Video Converter
  2. Add files to the program
  3. Choose the desired output format
  4. Click Convert

Just a few years ago, you could watch compressed animated movies with an SWF extension online on almost any browser. Today, though, it can be challenging to figure out how to open SWF files on Chrome or on your computer. It’s still possible, though, to open and run these files. Here are a few ways to do it.

How to open SWF files in 2022




Movavi Video ConverterWindows 7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X 10.10 or higher
Adobe® Flash® PlayerOS: Windows XP/Vista/Server 2008/7, MacOS X 10.5.6-10.6
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera
SWF File PlayerWindows
GOM PlayerWindows 7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS X 10.13 or higher
KMPlayerWindows Vista/7/8/8.1/10
Swiff PlayerWindows Vista/XP/2000
SWF Player – Flash File ViewerAndroid OS 4.0 and up
Elmedia PlayerMac OS X 10.12 or higher
5KPlayermacOS/Mac OS X

What is a .swf file?

An SWF file is a type of animated movie file. Pronounced “swiff,” SWF is short for Shockwave Flash movie (though it is also sometimes called Small Web Format). These files can still be found floating around online, but they can be difficult to open because they were created in Adobe® Flash®, which has since been discontinued. Because of this, other programs can be used to create and/or open and play SWF files. These files are attractive to some users because they’re compressed, which allows for easy sharing and uploading with little bandwidth.

Unfortunately for SWF enthusiasts, PCs and Macs will not automatically open SWF files because Adobe® Flash® is no longer supported. However, whether you want to watch an SWF video online or you have one saved offline on PC, Mac, or on your phone, there are ways to watch and play Flash media files without relying on a discontinued program. Let’s discuss a few of the Shockwave Flash file player options available today and how to use them to play SWF files.

Ways to open .swf files

Adobe® Flash® Player

Adobe® Flash® Player is free software designed to play SWF files online or on your computer. It was created as a plugin for popular browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. In its day, it was arguably the best SWF player available, as users could simply download the Adobe® Flash® Player plugin and it would automatically open and run Flash videos and games for them. If a website included an embedded SWF movie or game and you did not already have the Flash plugin, you would receive an easy prompt to download the plugin and the media would play automatically once Adobe® Flash® Player was installed. Unfortunately, using Adobe® Flash® Player isn’t quite this straightforward anymore, as the program is quickly being phased out.

While Adobe® Flash® Player has been officially discontinued by Adobe and is no longer supported, it’s still possible to open SWF files with this software. To do so, you just need to download an older version of the Adobe® Flash® plugin for your preferred browser. Many users have reported success with this method, but others have experienced compatibility issues with mobile devices and newer desktop computers and updated versions of Windows 10 and Mac OS X.


  • Automatically opens and plays SWF files
  • Works on any computer with a compatible browser


  • Discontinued and no longer supported
  • Difficult to find older versions

Movavi Video Converter is free-download standalone video converting software that allows users to convert their video files into more than 180 different formats, including converting to and from SWF files. It’s available for both Mac and PC, with subscription or lifetime options to buy the video converter.

Movavi Video Converter lets you easily find how to open SWF files and has some SWF editor features, as well. While Movavi Video Converter isn’t strictly an SWF file player, with the ability to convert SWF files to popular, well-supported formats, you won’t actually need an SWF player.


  • Supports hundreds of file formats
  • Ultra-fast video format conversions
  • Editing and effects features


  • Must convert SWF file formats to different formats to open and play

SWF File Player is a free SWF player that can be quickly downloaded and used to open and play local SWF files and online. This software automatically resizes the program window to fit the SWF content and provides an option to play the SWF file in loop mode. There are multiple options to change the settings of the camera, mic, volume and background colors and allows you to set the quality of playback. It is simple and relatively painless to get started with this file player for basic usage.


  • Free
  • Easy-to-use


  • The interface might seem outdated
  • Only basic features

GOM Player is one of the world’s most popular video players and can be used to open and play SWF files for free. With hundreds of advanced features, great customizability and full screen viewing, it’s no wonder this flash player has millions of users around the world, using it for all their playback needs. It supports various file formats, including AVI, MP4, MKV, FLV, WMV, DVD, and Audio CD through codecs, and can even play damaged SWF files. For movies, the GOM Player has a subtitle library and automatically searches and syncs subtitles for movies that are being played. They offer a PLUS program that eliminates the use of ads and reduces buffering in 4K UHD movies.


  • Can play damaged files
  • Customizable


  • Has ads
  • Might struggle with high-quality videos

KMPlayer is a versatile media player software. With this software, flash files can be viewed in full screen and controls can be used to play, pause, stop, rewind and skip. KMPlayer also offers the option to open SWF files located on your PC from URL or from FTP as well as supporting viewers to watch 3D videos and 360-degree videos. It supports various codecs and high-definition services with vivid image quality. Adjustments to the screen and sound can be made as well as options to reduce noise and choose super high-speed mode. For movie SWF files, it supports 41 languages around the world through subtitles, which is helpful if you’re learning a new language.


  • Free
  • Lightweight


  • Might process files slower than some other programs
  • Might install extraneous software

Another great but simple free SWF player which allows you to open and play SWF files locally and online and can be viewed in full screen. An easy-to-use player, it offers some media functions such as play and stop, enables the loop mode and navigates backwards and forwards within the file. If you’re wanting to check the properties of the SWF file, Swiff can easily modify frame rate, dimensions, size, location, and more. It is pretty limited, however, this can reduce the amount of errors experienced through this player.


  • Free
  • Can modify a file in several ways if needed


  • For Windows XP/2000/Vista only
  • The interface might seem outdated

If you’re a Mac user, check out the guide below with the best SWF players for a Mac.

Learn how to open SWF files on a Mac

How to open SWF files in Chrome

Sometimes, when you need to find out how to run SWF files, you don’t have the file on your computer. It may be an online game or movie that you need to watch on your browser. To run SWF in Chrome on your computer, you’ll need a Chrome plugin that will open and run the movie or game. For this purpose, many users will download the old Adobe® Flash® plugin for Chrome. With this plugin, your browser will automatically play Flash movies and games without any further actions on your part. If you can’t find Adobe® Flash® Player or another plugin, you can use a video downloader and then use Movavi Video Converter. This is especially a good option if your SWF file is not opening in Chrome.

How to open SWF files on Android

If you are trying to watch a Flash movie or play a game on your Android device, you can download SWF Player from Google Play. This app allows users to play SWF files, zoom in and out on movies and games, and play SWF files in Chrome or other browsers on your phone. To use this app, you’ll just need to follow a few simple steps:

  1. Download Adobe® Flash® Player from the Adobe archives.
    Go to Adobe archives
  2. Download SWF Player from Google Play.
    Go to Google Play
  3. Your SWF files should play automatically in your browser or in the app.

How to open SWF files on Windows

Once you have chosen your ideal SWF player, now comes the process of opening the SWF file on your PC. With just a few clicks, you’ll be on your way to enjoying SWF media files on your desktop.

Step 1. Download the SWF file and save it to your computer.

Step 2. Go to the website of your chosen SWF player and click the Download button.

Step 3. The program should start to download onto your Windows PC and be installed within a few minutes. If not, there should be a Click here button to force the program to download onto your PC.

Step 4. Go through the setup and follow the on-screen instructions before clicking Open.

Step 5. Once the download is complete, click on the File icon and then Open to choose the SWF file you have stored onto your computer and press Play. If you want to play the SWF file online and not locally, there may be an option to add the URL of the SWF file to open it through the program.

How to open SWF files with Movavi Video Converter

Are you looking for a simple, easy and quick way to open and play SWF files and even change the format of your video files, photos, and other digital media? Check out Movavi Video Converter!

Movavi Video Converter is for those who want:

  • super speedy conversion;
  • media files to be easily recognized across all electronic devices;
  • to compress files for easier uploading;
  • adjust low sound levels;
  • be able to save digital media without losing the quality;
  • to edit files through trimming, stabilizing shaky videos, add captions and more;
  • to combine videos shot on different devices into one single format.

In summary: considerations for choosing a Flash player

Now you should have all of the information you need for opening and playing SWF files on your computer, in a browser, or on your Android device. Which option should you try? That largely depends on the device you’ll be using, where your SWF files are saved, and how you want to use them.

If you’re on a Mac or PC and you want to play local Flash movies, the best option is likely to convert your SWF files to a more updated format. If you’re using an older computer on Windows 7 or earlier, you can also download the Adobe® Flash® Player plugin. This is especially useful if you need an SWF flashplayer to play Flash files on Chrome or other browsers.

If you’re using a Mac or a PC with Windows 10 and you have locally saved SWF files, or if you’re using a video downloader to capture them from the internet, we recommend using Movavi Video Converter. This will give you the easiest way to save and play videos – and to upload them and play them on YouTube and other platforms as well.

Frequently asked questions

What program opens SWF files?

You have a few options when it comes to programs that open SWF files. If you’re looking for a Flash viewer, you may still be able to find a version of Adobe® Flash® Player that works on your computer with your browser. If you’re watching videos or playing Flash games on your phone, you can download an SWF player app. If you want to update your SWF files so you can play them online and locally, we recommend Movavi Video Converter to switch your file to a newer format.

How do I run Flash files in 2021?

Adobe® Flash® Player may be discontinued, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play your favorite Flash movies and games. If you want to know how to open SWF files in 2021, you can download an old version of the Adobe® Flash® plugin on your computer. If Flash stops working for any reason, though, you won’t be able to open your SWF files anymore. That’s where an SWF viewer or a video converter comes in handy. With these programs, you can run and view local SWF files on your computer or on your phone.

How do I convert SWF files?

Converting SWF files is easy with the right video converter. With Movavi Video Converter, for example, you can learn how to play an SWF file in just a few simple steps:

  1. Download and install Movavi Video Converter.
  2. Click Add Media at the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Browse your computer for your SWF file and click Open to import it into Movavi for conversion.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, choose your new video output format.
  5. Tap the Convert button in the bottom right corner.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specialises in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.