Open SWF files

  • Full name
    ShockWave Flash, Animated Vector Format For The Internet
  • Developer
    Adobe Systems
  • Popularity
Have you encountered a problem with a SWF file? Don’t you know which program opens a file with this extension? You will find all the information you need about working with a SWF file here. In the further part of this page we have added a list of programs that should open your SWF file. It is enough you choose a proper application for your operating system, download and install it.

What is SWF file?

Files with the extension SWF contain animations in Adobe Flash format. The abbreviation stands for Small Web Format.

More info

Thanks to the cross-platform availability of the Flash Player as a browser plug-in, SWF files are very widespread on the Internet today.

SWF files can contain both vector and bitmap graphics as well as audio, videos, animations, text and links. A variety of interactive content, from presentations to the navigation of a website to games are also possible.

Flash has many advantages, including a fixed, cross-platform layout, independence from local resources such as fonts, interactive capabilities, and controllability. But has the disadvantage of not being an open standard.

Flash can also be streamed and protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management).

The contents of a SWF file can be extracted and modified with appropriate software.

However, many SWF converters only produce videos that lack the rest of Flash's ability. The production of fully functional SWF files requires authoring software.

Programs which can open a SWF file

How to open file with SWF extension?

In order to open a file with SWF extension one of the following programs must be installed on user’s system. If a problem with opening SWF file occurred, it is highly possible that none of the listed programs is present on user’s system. Even if one or more said programs are installed, there may be issues related with given programs. In order to solve a problem with SWF files, follow the instructions below.
Install Adobe Flash or other program from the list

Most often resolving problems with opening SWF files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support SWF files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of SWF files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.

Set Adobe Flash as the default program for opening SWF files

It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate SWF files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the Adobe Flash applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where Adobe Flash has been installed.


Check the section that lists most common problems with SWF files

Sometimes problems with opening SWF files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as:

  • File data is corrupted
  • SWF files has been not been completely download from the internet (only a part of the data has been downloaded)
  • Currently used user account hasn’t been granted necessary privileges to open SWF files (should that be the case, please contact your system administrator or IT specialist)
  • SWF file was being copied from a corrupted storage device and is incomplete or data is corrupted. (Copying files from unknown or untrusted sources should be conducted with great care as such files may contain malicious software, which can damage your system)

Possible conversions of SWF file

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