SWF file icon

SWF File Extension

Shockwave Flash Movie
  • Developer
    Adobe Systems
  • Category
  • Popularity
    3.9 (41 votes)

What is SWF file?

Files with the .SWF extension contain animations, which can be interactive, stored in a proprietary format, originally created by FutureWaves Software in the year 1993. The assumption of the SWF format was to create Small Web Format files – in order to support internet animation.

Current format, obtained by Macromedia, and then by Adobe, is used to create and store:

  • multimedia,
  • Vector graphic,
  • Applets or ActionScript programs.

Applications used to create SWF files are the popular Flash, Adobe Animate, which substituted Adobe Flash, and also couple open-source applications. In the year 2008, Adobe has partially opened the format, enabling also Google and Yahoo to index code of animations. Format was developed through many years, its first versions enabled to animate only vector graphic, and currently, its possibilities are much broader and include also basic 3D animation. In order to open a Flash animation within a browser, a proper plugin is necessary.

Programs which support SWF file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with SWF files, divided into 3 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with SWF 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: 07/20/2022

How to open file with SWF extension?

Being unable to open files with SWF extension can be have various origins. Fortunately, most common problems with SWF files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Download and install Adobe Dreamweaver

Install software to open SWF file Problems with opening and working with SWF files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with SWF files being present on your machine. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Adobe Dreamweaver or different compatible program, such as SWF & FLV Toolbox, SWF & FLV Player, Flash Decompiler Trillix. 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 Adobe Dreamweaver installed is by going to developer’s website (Adobe Systems Incorporated) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Check the version of Adobe Dreamweaver and update if needed

Update software that support file extension SWFIf you already have Adobe Dreamweaver installed on your systems and SWF files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. If you have an older version of Adobe Dreamweaver installed, it may not support SWF format. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using Adobe Dreamweaver.

Step 3. Associate Shockwave Flash Movie files with Adobe Dreamweaver

If you have the latest version of Adobe Dreamweaver installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage SWF on your device. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Associate software with SWF file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Right-click the SWF file and choose Open with option
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Adobe Dreamweaver installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open SWF files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with SWF file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the SWF file and select Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with SWF extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Ensure that the SWF file is complete and free of 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 SWF file. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

Check SWF file for viruses
1. Verify that the SWF in question is not infected with a computer virus

If the SWF 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. If the scanner detected that the SWF file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

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

If the SWF file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the SWF file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open Adobe Dreamweaver

If the systems has insufficient resources to open SWF files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

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

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Shockwave Flash Movie file. It may be the case that the SWF files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the SWF 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 SWF file.

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