FLV file icon

FLV File Extension

Flash Video Format
  • Developer
    Adobe Systems
  • Category
  • Popularity
    4 (13 votes)

What is FLV file?

File with FLV extension is a container that contains encoded audio and video data. The file stores data in similar format as that used by SWF, a multimedia streaming file format based on Adobe Flash technology. FLV file format uses the same compression methods as SWF, namely:

  • audio data:
    • MP3,
    • ADPCM,
    • Nellymoser,
    • Speex,
    • AAC – with some restrictions;
  • video data:
    • On2 VP6,
    • Sorenson Spark (H.263),
    • Screen video,
    • Screen video 2,
    • H.264 – with some restrictions.

FLV file structure consists of a header and packets. The header is 3-byte long and stores file’s signature, and rest of the file stores actual contents. FLV format is used for streaming data (on YouTube service, for example). FLV file can be embedded in SWF file. The FLV format is supported by many media player tools and web browsers (a dedicated plugin is required). FLV files can be converted into other multimedia formats. FLV format was developed in 2003, while in 2007 its successor, a brand new format based on MPEG-4 part 12 standard and ACC (audio) designated F4V, was introduced.

Programs which support FLV file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support FLV files. Files with FLV extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Updated: 12/03/2019

How to open file with FLV extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening FLV files on given system. On the bright side, the most encountered issues pertaining to Flash Video Format files aren’t complex. In most cases they can be addressed swiftly and effectively without assistance from a specialist. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with FLV files.

Step 1. Install RealPlayer software

Install software to open FLV file Problems with opening and working with FLV files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with FLV files being present on your machine. This one is an easy one. Select RealPlayer or one of the recommended programs (for example, VLC media player, SWF & FLV Toolbox, SWF & FLV Player) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. The safest method of downloading RealPlayer installed is by going to developer’s website (RealNetworks, Inc.) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Check the version of RealPlayer and update if needed

Update software that support file extension FLVIf the problems with opening FLV files still occur even after installing RealPlayer, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of RealPlayer is available. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. The reason that RealPlayer cannot handle files with FLV may be that the software is outdated. The latest version of RealPlayer should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Set the default application to open FLV files to RealPlayer

If you have the latest version of RealPlayer installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage FLV on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with FLV file on Windows

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Clicking the FLV with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where RealPlayer is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open FLV files and clicking OK.
Associate software with FLV file on Mac

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the FLV file and select Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • Select RealPlayer and click Change for all...
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with FLV extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Check the FLV for errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper FLV file. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

Check FLV file for viruses
1. Check the FLV file for viruses or malware

If the FLV is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. FLV file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Ensure the file with FLV extension is complete and error-free

Did you receive the FLV file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. It could happen the the download process of file with FLV extension was interrupted and the file data is defective. Download the file again from the same source.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Flash Video Format file again.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run RealPlayer

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with FLV extension. In this case close the other applications.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Flash Video Format files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with FLV files affecting older versions of given software.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the FLV file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on FLV file.

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