Have you landed on a web page whose address ends with the extension ".swf" and you are unable to view its content? Have you downloaded a video in SWF format from the Internet but can't play it in any player? Don't despair. THE file SWF they are nothing more than animations for the Web developed using Adobe's Flash technology. It can be simple videos or interactive content, such as games. To view them you can use any browser with Flash support or, in the case of video, a multimedia player capable of "digesting" the Flash contents.
How do you say? Have you already installed Flash Player on your PC but still can't view SWF files? Don't panic, there's probably a program setting that blocks the plugin from running. I promise you that in a few clicks the situation will be fine. Indeed, do you know what we do now? We take five minutes of free time and discover, together, how to open SWF file see Windows, macOS e Linux.
In reality there are also applications that allow you to view SWF files on smartphones and tablets, but I will deal with these later, in the second part of this tutorial. For the moment let's focus on the desktop and see what are the steps that must be taken to view Flash content on your computer. I bet you will be amazed at how easy it is to solve a problem that seemed so difficult to overcome!
Open SWF Files in the Browser
As already mentioned above, to view files in SWF format just use a browser with Flash Player support and, equally important, you must check the program settings so that this does not prevent the plugin from running. Here are in detail all the steps you need to take based on the browser you use.
Google Chrome has a Flash Player version included "as standard". This means that to open SWF files in the latter you don't have to install any external plugins: you just have to go into the software settings and verify that Flash Player is allowed to run. To do this, press the button (...) che si trova in alto a destra e seleciona la voce Settings from the menu that appears. In the screen that opens, click on the entry Show advanced settings… located at the bottom, presses the button content settings, locate the entry for Flash and put the check mark next to the entry Ask before allowing sites to run Flash.
By doing so, you have set Chrome to allow Flash Player to run, but only upon request, i.e. only with your express consent. Now connected to the page that contains the Flash content you want to play, click on box with the puzzle icon in the center and rispondi Allow notice that appears on the screen. This way you should be able to view SWF files included in web pages.
If you intend to play local SWF files, that is loaded directly from the PC, you must go back to the Chrome settings and enable the execution of Flash Player for all sites (putting the check mark next to the item Allow sites to run Flash), otherwise the browser will try to download the files instead of playing them. When done, drag the SWF file you want to play into the Chrome window and the browser should allow you to view it.
I recommend, after running the SWF files of your interest, activate Flash Player selective execution again (Ask before allowing sites to run Flash) to prevent the plugin from starting automatically on all sites (ending up "devouring" your laptop battery and exposing you to unnecessary security risks).
If you are using Firefox, you need to install Flash Player as a separate plugin. Therefore connected to the Flash Player download page, remove the check mark from all the options listed under the item Facoltative offer (to avoid downloading additional promotional software) and click on the button Install adesso to start downloading the plugin.
To download completed, a PC Windows, open the file flashplayerxx_xa_install.exe you just downloaded and, in the window that opens, click the button Yes. Wait a few seconds for all the components necessary for the operation of Flash Player to be downloaded from the Internet and installed and click on the button Ends to conclude the setup.
If you use a Poppy, to install Flash Player you need to open the package install_flash_player_osx.dmg that you just downloaded on your computer, after which you have to launch the executable Install Adobe Flash Player contained in it and you have to click on the button apri. In the window that opens, put the check mark next to the item I have read and accept the terms of the Flash Player license agreement and finish the setup by first clicking on OK and then end. To proceed with the procedure you will need to type the password of your user account on macOS (the one you use to log in to the system).
If you use Linux, and more specifically Ubuntu, try installing Flash Player by following the instructions in my tutorial on how to install Flash Player on Ubuntu.
At this point, start Firefox and open the SWF file of your interest by connecting to the web page that contains it or, if it is a local file, by dragging it into the browser window. Then click on the icon Lego brick that appears where the Flash animation should be, answer Allow now the notice that appears at the top left and that's it.
If no Lego brick appears and you are not asked if you want to run Flash Player, obviously the execution of the plugin has been completely disabled in the Firefox settings. To solve the problem, click on the button ? che si trova in alto a destra e seleciona la voce Additional components give the menu to compare.
In the screen that opens, select the item Plugin from the left sidebar, locate the entry for Shockwave Flash and set the drop-down menu next to it to Ask before activating. This way Firefox will allow Flash content to run but only with your permission.
Microsoft Edge (Windows)
The browser was used Microsoft Edge (the browser program introduced in Windows 10 that took the place of Internet Explorer), you can count on a version of Flash Player included "standard" in the software and therefore you do not have to resort to installing external plugins. The only thing you need to do is make sure that the plugin is not blocked from running.
Then start Edge, press the button (...) che si trova in alto a destra e seleciona la voce Settings from the menu that opens. Next, click the button Visualizza impostazioni advance, set the lever Use Adobe Flash Player su On And that's it.
At this point you should be able to view the SWF files simply by linking to the page where they are contained. Regarding the local SWF files, you can view them in Edge by simply pasting their full path into your browser's address bar. If you don't know how to get the full path of a file, right click on its icon and select the entry Copy as path from the menu that opens. When the operation is complete, paste the path of the file into the Edge address bar, remove the quotes from the beginning and from the end of the latter and press Submit.
Safari is the default browser of macOS. To activate Flash Player support in the latter, you need to install the plugin externally as I explained earlier (by downloading it from the Flash Player download page and opening the dmg package downloaded on your computer).
When installation is complete, start Safari, go to the menu Safari> Preferences located at the top left and select the tab Safety from the window that opens. At this point, click on the item Plugin settings, check the option related to Adobe Flash Player and set the item Ask in the drop-down menu When you visit other websites.
Mission accomplished! Now you just have to visit a web page that contains SWF files or drag a SWF file into the Safari address bar. When the writing appears Click to use Flash, click on it, answer Authorize at the notice that appears above and you should be able to view the content in Flash.
Internet Explorer (Windows)
How Flash Player works in Internet Explorer varies depending on the version of Windows you are using. If you are using Windows 7 or an even older version of the Microsoft operating system, in fact, you must install the plugin as an external component (as explained above). If you use Windows 10 or Windows 8.x, on the other hand, you have the plugin already included in the browser and therefore you do not have to install it externally: you just have to activate its execution in the program settings.
To activate the operation of Flash Player in Internet Explorer, click on the icon of thegear collocata in alto a destra e seleciona la voce Manage componenti aggiuntivi from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, select the item All add-ons give menu to tendin Show . Then click on the item Shockwave Flash Object e pulsing sul pulsating Attiva to activate its execution.
Well: now open a SWF file by visiting the web page that contains it or by dragging its icon into the Internet Explorer window. You should be able to view it without any problems.
Programs to Open SWF Files
Have you downloaded SWF videos from the Internet and don't know which media player to open them with? The answer to your problems can be found below.
The first player I recommend you to use is VLC. It is an exceptional free media player that can "digest" any type of video file without problems and is available for all popular operating systems: Windows, macOS and Linux. To download it to your PC, connect to its website and click on the button Download VLC. Once the download is complete, open the software installation package (vlc-xx-win32.exe) and click on the button first Yes, Then OK, forward three consecutive times, Install e end to conclude the setup.
If you use a Poppy, at the end of the download open the package dmg of VLC and drag its icon to the folder Applications of macOS. If you use Ubuntuinstead, look for VLC in the center Ubuntu Software and install it by clicking on the appropriate button. Find everything explained in more detail in my tutorial on how to download VLC Media Player.
At this point, you just have to start VLC, go to the menu Media> Open File (o File> Open File) located at the top left and select the SWF video to play. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can also grab the SWF file to view and drag it to the media player window. Easier than that ?!
MPC-HC is a free and open source media player designed for Windows systems. It has an interface that is very reminiscent of the very first versions of Windows Media Player, but "under the hood" it is very modern! In fact, it allows you to play all major video and audio file formats (including SWF) without the slightest problem.
To download MPC-HC on your PC, connect to its official website and click on the button MPC-HC – Download Now. When the download is complete, start the file MPC-HC.xx.x86.exe you have just downloaded to your computer and finish the setup by clicking on the button first Yes and then OK, forward for five consecutive times, Install e end.
Perfect! Now all you have to do is drag the SWF file to be played in the MPC-HC window (or select it "manually" by going to the menu File> Open File top left) and enjoy the show.
Open SWF Files on Smartphones and Tablets
You need open SWF files from smartphone or tablet? With some limitations (due to the fact that Flash support on mobile devices stopped quite some time ago), you can do that too. Here are some applications you can use.
- Puffin Browser (iOS/Android) - is one of the very few browsers that, thanks to a cloud-based system, can play Flash content on smartphones and tablets. It is free and its operation is extremely intuitive. To exploit its potential, all you have to do is visit the page containing the Flash contents.
- SWF Player (Android) - free application that allows you to play SWF files on Android smartphones and tablets having complete zoom controls and the ability to simulate interaction with mouse and keyboard.