How to Open SWF File

By Emily Watson, Friday, May 19, 2017

"I like to play some download SWF files without opening the internet browser. Sometime ago, I could do it just double clicking on the SWF item. Now, my computer won't play ball. How can I open and play SWF files?"

If you also have trouble on opening SWF files, this post will show you how to open SWF files on Windows/Mac/iPhone/iPad/Android devices.  

Part 1: What is an .swf File?

SWF, or Small Web Format, is the extension for Shockwave Flash file format owned by Adobe. SWF files can contain animated graphics, video, and sound and can be delivered to the web effectively. They are also widely used to deliver browser-based games.

SWF Files can be played in a web browser using the Flash plugin, Winzip and other Windows utilities. So usually you can open it on a Windows computer easily. To play SWF files on iPhone/iPad/Android, you need either a SWF player or convert SWF files to other format.
How to Play SWF

Part 2: How to Open SWF File on Computer

The fastest and easiest way to open your SWF file on a Windows 10/7 computer is oepn it with your browser. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox can all support SWF file. 

  • Drop an .swf file to your browser window;

  • Release it and it will begin to play automatically.

You can also double-click the .swf file and let the intelligent Windows to decide the correct application to open SWF file.

If your SWF file doesn't open, it is highly likely that you do not have the correct Flash installed on your PC. Just download the latest version of  browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or others) and open the browser on your computer. 

Part 3: How to Open SWF File on Mac

Way 1: Open SWF files in Safari (or the browser you are using) by dragging it to the Safari icon while holding down the Command and Options keys (otherwise Safari will refuse to open it).

Way 2: Use a SWF video converter program to convert your SWF files to the format that can be play on your Mac with QuickTime. You can convert SWF to MP4 or MOV.

Part 4: How to Open and Play SWF on iPad/iPhone

Compared with playing SWF file on Win or Mac computer, it is not so easy to open SWF files on iOS devices like iPhone and iPad. That's because iPhone and iPad lacks of Flash support so that you cannot installed Adobe Flash Player on them.

In order to play SWF on iPhone/iPad, you need to convert SWF to iOS devices friendly format. FonePaw Video Converter Ultimate can convert SWF to iPad or iPhone supported format easily. This program also presets the optimized settings for your iOS devices, so you even don't need to know what formats your device supports.

Download the program and see how it works.

Windows Version DownloadMac Version Download

1. Open the video converter and add SWF videos to it

Open the program on your Win/Mac computer after installation. Then, click "Add" > "Add File(s)" to upload your SWF files to the program. Batch adding is supported.

Open FonePaw Video Converter and Add SWF Videos

2. Convert SWF to iPhone/iPad

Just click the "Profile" drop-down list to select the output formats from "Apple iPad" or "Apple iPhone" category. There are many pre-optimized formats for your device. Just choose the one you need and then click "Convert" to start the SWF conversion.

Convert SWF Files to iPhone

Note: After conversion, you can use iTunes to sync videos to your iPhone or iPad. Alternatively, you can make use of FonePaw iOS Transfer to transfer videos from PC to iPhone.

Part 5: How to Open SWF on Android

Way 1: You can also use FonePaw Video Converter Ultimate to convert SWF file to supported format on Android: jusy click "Profile" > "Android"/ "Samsung". Then choose the format optimized for your Android devices. For details, please check how to convert videos for Android phones and tablets.

Way 2: Download a SWF Player on your Android device. Flash Viewer for Android is recommended. It is a smart SWF player which can read and play SWF files stored on Android phones and tablets. It is free of charge.


No matter where you want to open your SWF files, here are the solutions. However, if you want to generate these ways into one that can be applied on any device, I would always recommend you use FonePaw Video Converter Ultimate. This program can convert SWF files to almost any video format you need to play on your computer or portable device. When you cannot open the SWF files, you can always depend on it.

Windows Version DownloadMac Version Download


Thank you for providing feedback!