How do I Open a SWF File online in Windows and MAC with a free .swf player

File type: Macromedia Flash Movie Video Files

File format: Open Source

In this post you will learn how to open a downloaded SWF on your Windows, Mac and Android OS devices. You will first be briefed on what a SWF format is. Then you will be informed on how you can play this file on different devices including iPad, iPhone and Android mobile devices.

By the end of this short tutorial, you would have little difficulty in opening and playing games or videos saved as a Small Web Format.


So, what is a Small Web Format File?

 A Small Web Format or SWF is actually an extension for the Adobe owned Shockwave Flash format file.

Usually SWF files mainly comprise of audio-visual content. This includes audio, video and graphic animation. These files help web developers in ensuring that they can effectively provide audio-visual content on a web browser.

They are also used be internet-based game developers wishing to have their online games effectively delivered on a web browser. A SWF may be developed using Flash. Alternatively, you can have the Shockwave Flash Format files downloaded right from a variety of websites if you prefer.

These files can be easily opened on the web browser of Mac or Windows OS personal computers. You can use Winzip or a Flash Player to open as well as play Small Web Format files on web browsers such as Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome.

However, if you intend opening and playing a SWF on your iOS or Android OS mobile device, you will require a decent SWF file player. You could also have the file converted to a more compatible format like MP4 or GIF format.

The SWF file extension is mostly used in Shockwave Flash movies. The files are also used for displaying vector graphic animations and for the delivery of interactive multimedia content on the Web.

Though not so prevalent, they may also be referred to as Microsoft Sidewinder profile. This is used to store and save individual games joystick settings.


How to Open SWF Files

Opening and Playing on Windows OS

#1: Use a Web Browser

 If you want to play SWF files quickly on your Windows OS personal computer is to use a web browser. You can use web browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox because these web browsers are capable of supporting standard SWF extension.


Here’s how it’s done;

  1. Copy and paste the SWF (.swf) on the window of your preferred web browser. This can be Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome.
  2. As soon as you paste the file on the browser window, the Shockwave Flash file will play instantly by itself.


In a situation where your selected web browser does not instantly play the SWF file, but rather has another copy of it downloaded. It could mean that the installed Adobe Flash Player extension for your selected web browser is inadequate.


One way to remedy this is to first of all download a newer version of your selected web browser. Secondly, have the Adobe Flash Player plugin reinstalled.

Where the Adobe Flash Player on your Google Chrome Web browser has been disabled, simply visit (chrome://settings/content/flash) to enable the Flash Player extension.


#2: Use a SWF File Player


Another way to play these files is by using a SWF player. If you have a the file saved on your Windows PC hard drive, you can use a downloaded SWF file player to open and play it. All you need to do is to highlight and double-click the file and the player will play the file.


#3: Have your SWF audio-visual files converted to another format


if you do not want to open a SWF file on your web browser or on a downloaded SWF player, you can convert the file instead.

SWF audio-visual files can be converted to a number of formats. These formats include; GIF, FLA, AVI and MP4. Just make sure that you have installed a converter that is capable of converting the file to your preferred format.


Opening and Playing on Mac OS


#1: Using Safari Web Browser


  • While you hold down both the “Command” and “Options” keys, drag a SWF onto your Safari web browser icon. If you do not do it this way, the Safari web browser will not open and play a .swf. Once you have dragged the file to the Safari web browser icon, you can then release both the “Command” and “Options” keys.


Note that you can equally drag the file onto your Google Chrome Web browser to run it.


#2: Using a SWF Player


Just as you can open and play it using a SWF player on your Windows OS. You can also do the same with a Mac OS personal computer. Popular SWF file players for Mac OS include; Elmedia Player and a SWF & FLV Player.

However, these players are designed to open and play only audio-visual files. They do not work with games saved as SWF files.



#3: Using a SWF converter


You can also make use of a file converter to convert SWF into a format that can be opened and played by QuickTime on your Mac OS computer. These files can be converted to MOV or MP4 formats with the converter. These two formats will open and play seamlessly on QuickTime.


Opening and Playing on iOS mobile devices like iPhone and iPad


iOS mobile devices like iPhones and iPads do not support Adobe Flash. So installing an Adobe Flash Player on these mobile devices is NOT a possibility.

If you want to open and play these files on these iOS mobile devices, you have to first use a SWF file converter to convert a .swf to GIF, MP4 or MOV formats. These formats are compatible on iOS mobile devices like iPhones and iPads.


Opening and Playing on Android mobile devices

file extension apk

 You have to use a SWF file converter of your choice, to convert .swf files to Android OS compatible formats like MP4 and GIF.

You can also download a SWF Player to your Android device if you want to watch audio-visual content saved as SWF files. On Google Play store you will find a number of SWF Players to download and install on your Android OS mobile device.



In Closing

Futurewave software wrote and published the original specification and patter of SWF files.
This company had the intention of creating a file format capable of displaying and delivering animations in small file sizes.
This is to allow the widespread and prevalent use of the file format by those who have slower Internet connections. However, the said developer was acquired by Macromedia and in 2005, Adobe acquired Macromedia.

 You can use the newest version of web browsers. Such as Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

You can also download a SWF converter and convert .swf to compatible formats like MOV, AVI, MP4 and GIF. Having a SWF Player on your mobile device or PC would also help in playing audio-visual SWF files.