Home : File Types : SWF File

.SWF File Extension

File TypeShockwave Flash Movie

DeveloperAdobe Systems
4.2 (2315 Votes)
CategoryVideo Files

What is an SWF file?

An SWF file is an animation that may contain text, vector and raster graphics, and interactive content written in ActionScript. It is saved in the Adobe Flash format, which was discontinued by Adobe on December 31, 2020.

More Information

SWF (pronounced "Swiff") files were commonly used to bring animated graphics, video, and sound to the web in the 2000s and 2010s. They were also a popular means of delivering browser-based games. SWF was originally an acronym for "Shockwave Flash" since the SWF format was designed for Shockwave Player. However, as SWF files became a standard means of publishing Flash content on the web, the acronym has been modified to mean "Small Web Format," as well.

Content developers primarily used Adobe Flash (now Animate), Flash Builder, and After Effects to create SWF animation. The files could be played by the free Flash Player or with a web browser that had the Flash plugin installed.

However, as web technologies improved, Flash became increasingly criticized for its shortcomings, which included performance and security issues. Adobe and many web browser developers officially ended support for Flash on December 31, 2020.

NOTE: FutureWave and Macromedia first developed Flash in the 1990s, and then Macromedia was acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005.

How do I open an SWF file?

You can open SWF files with Adobe Flash Player (multiplatform), however, Adobe no longer develops the software and recommends that you uninstall it for security reasons.

Some other options for opening and playing SWF files include Eltima SWF & FLV Player (Windows), Gretech GOM Player (Windows), Media Player Classic (Windows), SWF File Player (Windows), Eltima Elmedia Player (macOS), and BIT LABS SWF Player (Android).

Because SWF files contain compiled ActionScript and compressed media, they are not meant to be edited. To modify a Flash animation, it is recommended to edit the original .FLA file instead. You can convert an SWF file back to FLA format with Eltima Flash Decompiler Trillix (multiplatform).

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Programs that open SWF files

Updated 1/13/2021

About SWF Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.swf suffix is and how to open it.

The Shockwave Flash Movie file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

If you would like to suggest any additions or updates to this page, please let us know.