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Recover deleted videos and pictures almost instantly!

How can you open and recover .swf files?

Here you will find out:

  • what an .swf file is and how to open it
  • how to use video file converters
  • how DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

What is an .swf file?

What is an .swf file? SWF stands for Small Web Format or ShockWave Format, and it is the extension for Adobe flash files. Files with this extension contain multimedia files, usually videos and vector animations. To view SWF files, you may have to install the Adobe Flash plug-in on your browser. Also, to create and edit .swf files, you need to use some plug-ins.

How to open .swf files

With Adobe Flash player installed on your web browser, you can open or play .swf files directly from that web browser. However, if the .swf file is saved on your PC’s local storage, you have to drag and drop it into a Flash-enabled browser to open/play the file. Another way to open .swf files is by using an Adobe product, such as Affect Effects, Dreamweaver, Animate, and Flash Builder. Furthermore, you can open .swf files on the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation Portable (ones with firmware v2.71 or later), or PlayStation 3/4/5.


Some Shockwave files are interactive games, while others are mere tutorial files or stuff like that. Thus, not all .swf files can be played on all Flash players. For this reason, there are different .swf players, and you may need more than one of them to open different .swf files.

How to open .swf files using Internet Explorer 11

  • Open the web browser and click on Settings (the "gear" icon).
  • Click on "Manage Add-ons" from the dropdown menu.
  • Go to “Toolbars and Extensions”.
  • Scroll down to Microsoft Windows Third Party Application Component, click on Shockwave Flash Object, and make sure it is “Enabled”.
  • Go to “File Explorer”, and then the folder where your .swf file is saved, right-click on the file name and choose “Open With”.
  • From the next menu, click on "More apps" and then select Internet Explorer.

How video file converters can help

If you don't want to stress yourself out opening the SWF files saved on your PC, you can convert them to typical video formats like MP4, MKV, etc. using video converter software. A reliable free video converter that allows you to save .swf files as portable video files or audio files is Freemake Video Converter.

Alternatively, if you use Adobe Animate, you can convert .swf files to .exe (executable) files; hence, some computers can run the file even without having Flash installed.

What to do if you need to recover video

If you have accidentally or mistakenly deleted the .swf video file on your computer and wish to have it back, all you need to do is to install DiskInternals Video Recovery. This software tool helps you recover any type of video file from your PC hard drive or flash memory drives. DiskInternals Video Recovery supports digital cameras, multiple file systems, different video codecs and types, and vast storage devices. Interestingly, DiskInternals Video Recovery software is lightweight, and recovery speed is quite faster than the alternatives.

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