A multitude of websites lures in numerous visitors to their page by employing interactive games and video graphic tactics. A majority of these files are in SWF formats as it’s more intuitive and favored by many users. Even though it might be easy to play these animations while surfing the web, it gets quite challenging for local playbacks. There are many SWF Players there, which is available for Windows and Mac.
SWF Format conception
It is essential for users to get familiar with what is SWF file format before acknowledging the nitty-gritty dominant players that are used. SWF is an abbreviation for Small Web Format and is commonly referred to as Shockwave Format; SWF files are Adobe Flash File formats that are made compatible for multimedia use along with ActionScript and Vector Graphics.
Best SWF Players to Play Any SWF Video
This form of file formats is widely incorporated within games and video-based animations and is primarily the reason behind most of the vectors and online games being SWF. Due to their popularity and high-demand, Adobe has developed several plugins such as Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Integrated Run-time which enable users to access and play .swf files.
However, not many local video players support such files and create issues whenever an individual tries to download any SWF file for streaming it offline. In an attempt to avoid SWF playback failures, third-party SWF player software and browser plugins are made available to assist the users and allow them to access SWF files seamlessly.
Five top-ranked SWF Players
Utilizing a standalone SWF player is usually considered as a better alternative for individuals who’re willing to play the SWF videos smoothly along with stability. A broad array of features is included within such programs that turn out to be quite beneficial for the users. Listed below are the top five .swf media players that’ll satisfy people’s what are the best media players for SWF files query precisely.
VLC Media Player
The VLC media player has garnered the respect of media producers and consumers over the years by providing a solution to the most common question as to can VLC plays SWF or not. Individuals that possess the modern and updated VLC formats have claimed the fact that the media player supports SWF format files and has asserted that the software can indeed play .swf files.
In order to acknowledge the VLC media player’s feasibility, users have to check the player’s SWF codec availability as it’s essential for the player to be encoded with the corresponding SWF codec. This can be observed by running the following steps:
Step 1: Download and install the VLC media player from its official website and launch it.
Step 2: Import the .swf file into the application.
Step 3: The video should play automatically and if prevents from doing so instantly, the following should be implemented:
- The VLC version in use might be outdated which can cause the VLC to not being able to recognize and decode the files. It’s recommended to download the latest version and attempt again.
- If the SWF refuses to play on the VLC’s updated version, it is quite obvious that the VLC player SWF code has not been installed.
Pros of VLC media player
- VLC easily converts SWF videos to other videos/audio formats
- One can stream the files over the Internet as it becomes easier to view the data from a different device as long as they are compatible.
- The software allows the user to modify the settings for receiving audio according to their preferred video settings
- This is an open-source program which is free for use
- It supports almost all video and audio formats without installing any codec packs
- The software is compatible with different operating systems and has been rated as one of the best SWF players for Windows. It is also compatible with Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android
- Spyware, advertisements and user tracking tactics are not at all included with the player.
Cons of VLC media player
- This application does not support certain video formats such as HEVC
- The software cannot work with DRM-protected files
- Some hardware support issues arise when playing 4K videos in VLC; users mostly receive choppy playbacks and endless glitches.
AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player
AnyMP4 Blu-Ray player offers the users better control over their SWF files on both Windows and iOS. There are several features that can make videos more interacting and are available at the user’s disposal before, during or after watching. Getting smooth SWF playback in high resolution with clear sound can be easily achieved as the AnyMP4 Blu-Ray player supports 4K and 1080p HD videos; encoding H.265 media files are included as well.
The program supports Blu-ray discs, DVD folders, ISO and IFO files as well. The process of installing and utilizing the software requires the individual to:
Step 1: Install the Blu-Ray player on their desktop and launch it
Step 2: Click on the ‘open file’ tab and add the .swf file to the player
Step 3: The SWF file should automatically start to play
Step 4: Alter the video and audio modes from the settings accordingly; generally, unfolding the ‘Audio’ and ‘Video’ list from the top part provides access to further customization settings.
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Pros of AnyMP4 Blu-Ray Player
- .swf files up to 4K UHD with H.265 codec are supported by the software
- Customizing SWF video effects such as saturation, hue, gamma, holiness, contrast and many more are made possible
- Audio tracks and subtitles can be selected before watching a video
- Taking snapshots is made accessible and scenes can be chosen according to preference.
Cons of AnyMP4 Blu-Ray Player
- The software does not offer a lossless audio playback.
Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Flash Players provides its users with the facility to stream any video, game, and animation with high-quality graphics in different formats including SWF, FLV, and F4V. It can be implemented in almost every computer version especially macOS and Windows.
The recent update on this software supports both, the H.264 video codec and HE-AAC audio codec; when combined, these two provide users with a more vibrant and crystal clear sound and image. They are acknowledged as the default browser plugins which enables viewing .swf files effortlessly and how to play Adobe Flash SWF files is as easy as running the program and dropping the files on its interface.
Pros of the Adobe Flash Player
- It enables the user to play SWF videos, games, and pictures for free
- Works well with videos that have H.264 video codec and HE-AAC audio codec
- Compatible with various devices including Windows and macOS
- Supports HD videos without lags
- The Adobe Flash Player is made to deliver fantastic 3D graphics
Cons of the Adobe Flash Player
- Stability issues often arise especially when using browsers such as Firefox
- There have been several complaints regarding consistent software crashes
- Frequent update notifications tend to disturb and bother most of the users
SWF File Player
This is an external flash player which diverts its primary focus towards the opening and playing SWF video and game files without any issues. For every user who gets lost in finding a solution to which player can play SWF files without any charges, SWF File Player is the best alternative. The Shockwave Flash (SWF) file player has been rated amid the most dominant media file players due to its compatibility and the feature which enables people to go through the metadata tags that are outlined on its header.
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The player can automatically resize the program window; this stimulates everyone to preview the SWF content effortlessly. After successfully downloading and installing the program, it can instantly be operated in the following ways:
Step 1: Launch the program
Step 2: Drag and drop the .swf video, game, or animation file on the software’s interface.
Step 3– Continue to play the files and utilize the F11 hotkey as it toggles the full-screen mode.
Pros of the SWF File Player
- The .swf player freeware is simple to use with a user-friendly interface
- It highlights metadata tags for the SWF file on Windows
- The software supports both FWS and SWF; while the former is uncompressed, the latter is compressed.
- This is a lightweight program with less than 1 MB size
- There are several attributes that’ll make viewing the files more interactive, this is possible as the player incorporates various distinct features like looping, forwarding, pausing and rewinding .swf files
Cons of SWF File Player
- It is only limited to SWF and FLV files
- Incompatible with MacOS
This is a free flash player which has grown in popularity and is hands down the best SWF player for Mac. While it is currently at the 6.8 version for Mac, the Elmedia player is simple to use and comes with high-quality SWF playback. It is a very reliable player for watching .swf videos with subtitles and animations. In order to view the files on larger screens, individuals can stream them to Chromecast, AirPlay and DLNA-enabled devices.
Pros of Elmedia Player
- This SWF player supports all SWF, MKV, FLV, AVI and MP4 files without the need of codec packs
- Hardware acceleration is supported
- Web-browsing support is integrated
- Subtitles to videos can be added in .sub/.idx for AirPlay videos
Cons of Elmedia Player
- The upgrade to the pro version is needed for downloading any .swf YouTube videos
- A handful of aspects might become challenging for non-tech savvy users
How to run SWF Files?
Whenever a user wonders how I play SWF files and tries to open the format on their PC/desktop, there are chances that the file might not play as intended. The majority, if not all, web browsers do not permit individuals to drag and drop such files to their interfaces for playback.
Those web browsers that facilitate this service will cease to do so when their flash support runs out towards the end of 2019. For instance, when an SWF file is dragged and dropped on any Google Chrome interface, a download prompt will appear instead of directly playing the file.
Methods for accessing SWF Files on Windows
There are certain steps required to be followed for successfully accessing the files when Windows fails to automatically play it once downloaded. For all those users who face difficulties with how to run .swf files (SWF Player), listed below are two distinct methods one can implement for playing games and animation.
Unzip the files if necessary
Step 1: Extract the file by double-clicking the ZIP file to open it and drag the .swf file to your preferred location where it’ll be saved.
Step 2: Open a browser on your computer; any available browser like Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer would do.
Step 3: Click and drag the .swf file that was recently unzipped and saved onto the browser window.
Step 4: As soon as the user releases the file on the browser interface, it’s supposed to automatically play. Should it not do so immediately after dropping it, it’ll be best to install the latest flash version and try the steps once more.
Using SWF Players
Step 1: Locate a suitable and reliable flash player online that operates efficiently.
Step 2: Download your preferred software and ensure avoiding any bundled software installations in the process.
Step 3: Right-click on the downloaded SWF file and select the ‘open with’ button.
Step 4: Visit the recently downloaded flash player from the suggested list and in case the software does not appear, select ‘choose default player’ and browse for the installed player.
When wondering how to open SWF files for Windows, it is usually found in the ‘program files’ folder on the C drive of the computer. If macOS fails to locate the preferred player, users are required to select ‘other’ and search for the newly downloaded software.
Dominant SWF Players Overview
Even though a variety of media players are available in the market that’ll assist users with viewing SWF files for free, mentioned-above are the topmost five that have been listed only after drawing thorough comparisons and acquiring significant insights.