15 Replies Latest reply on Oct 30, 2013 10:39 AM by ScottSlocum

    .swf files won't play

    richmarkrich Level 1


      My .swf files won't play. I have downloaded shockwave a number of times but no luck. I am using WinXP


      Thank you

        • 1. Re: .swf files won't play
          Dean Utian Adobe Community Professional

          Hi Rich,



          How are you trying to play your swf files? Is this via an HTM through a browser?



          Note - SWFs are Flash files (originaly called Shockwave Flash) and so is different to Shockwave, which relates to content made with Director. To install the Flash Player, go to:



          The Shockwave Player is available at:




          • 2. Re: .swf files won't play
            richmarkrich Level 1

            Thanks Dean,


            After multiple downloads the files started to play. I dont know what made the difference. I do notice that the file icon is not a flash icon (just a generic icon), although when I attach it to an email the Flash icon is there, and it's there when I right-click the file and go to Properties and then look at "opens with". I created these files with SwishMax if that makes any difference. I never had this problem before. It's a new hard drive so I needed to reinstall the software.


            Thanks for emailing me.


            • 3. Re: .swf files won't play
              Dean Utian Adobe Community Professional

              Hi Rich,


              Glad to hear it is working now.


              Do you have Flash installed on your computer? On Windows, file properties and associations are created when you install programs. You can change program associations by right clicking on the file and choosing Open With.



              • 4. Re: .swf files won't play
                pwillener Level 8

                richmarkrich wrote:


                I right-click the file and go to Properties and then look at "opens with".

                And what is it opening with?  Local Flash files do not open with the Flash Player browser add-on, but with a standalone player like the Projector from http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html


                Note that the download is the Projector, not an installer, so you need to make the file association manually.

                • 5. Re: .swf files won't play
                  richmarkrich Level 1

                  It is working properly now. I'm not sure what the problem was. Thank you.

                  • 6. Re: .swf files won't play
                    richmarkrich Level 1

                    Hi Dean


                    My swf files are opening now with Flash Player, so I must have it, but oddly, I don't find it anywhere on my computer. I've done a complete search. I have Adobe 8 Pro and that shows up, but not Flash. I've searched for Adobe Flash Player, Macromedia Flash Player, and various combinations, but it's not found. I don't see it when I go to Start>All Programs either. I see Adobe 8, but not Flash.


                    But it is playing my files now so that's what I care about.


                    Thanks. Rich

                    • 7. Re: .swf files won't play
                      Dean Utian Adobe Community Professional

                      Hi Rich,


                      When I asked if you had Flash installed, I meant Flash Pro. I have CS5.5 installed and the Flash Player is installed at:
                      C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Flash CS5.5\Players\



                      • 8. Re: .swf files won't play
                        richmarkrich Level 1

                        No, don't have Flash Pro (I have Adobe Acrobat 8 Pro). My Flash Player is not located where yours is. I tell you, I have searched more than once but I cannot locate it. It's so odd, because when I right-click any flash file and then "open with", there it is, Macromedia Flash Player 7.0 r9


                        But again, as long as I can open the files and they play, I'm happy.




                        • 9. Re: .swf files won't play
                          ScottSlocum Level 1

                          I just opened a SWF file (a screencast that was captured by Jing) with Firefox on Windows 7. Windows didn't have a file association for SWF files, so I right-clicked on the SWF file and selected "open with -> select default program -> Firefox."

                          • 10. Re: .swf files won't play
                            Mischu2 Level 1

                            I have created and published some captivate movies.  When I click on the Shockwave file to open the player, I get this message.

                            I have the latest version of Flash installed.  I am running windows 7.  I can view the HTML file with no player.


                            Suggestions?swf image.png

                            • 11. Re: .swf files won't play
                              Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional

                              Ask on a forum for the Flash Player

                              • 12. Re: .swf files won't play
                                ScottSlocum Level 1

                                As described in my earlier post, one way to play the SWF file is to "select a program from a list of installed programs," and then select your web browser from the list (or from your program files). If you've installed a Flash extension for your web browser, your web browser will play the SWF file.

                                • 13. Re: .swf files won't play
                                  Dean Utian Adobe Community Professional

                                  Sean has mentioned this question is a Flash related thing rather than Director so best dealt with in that forum. Since it's a relatively simple thing, I'll answer it.


                                  Windows looks at the file extension brings up the window you see if an associated program is not found. If you had installed Flash Pro, it would come with a standalone player that would open SWFs when you double click them. The alternate is to either associate the SWF with your browser, or simply drag and drop the swf into an open browser. You could probably search the web for standalone Flash (swf) Players if you open these types of files on a regular basis and don't want to go through a browser.

                                  • 14. Re: .swf files won't play
                                    pwillener Level 8

                                    Mischu2 wrote:



                                    As I wrote in my post #4, local .swf files will open in the Standalone Flash Player, aka Projector.

                                    You will need to download it from my link, then make the file association manually.

                                    • 15. Re: .swf files won't play
                                      ScottSlocum Level 1

                                      Okay, these comments are getting confusing. I'll add some information for people like me who just want to display media while they're surfing the web on their Windows computers.


                                      Here's how simple it can be: when you double-click a SWF file, it's played by your default web browser. And when you open a web page that includes an animation, it simply displays the animation.


                                      The default web browser on my Windows 7 system is Firefox. Firefox plays the SWF file through its "Shockwave Flash" plugin.


                                      Playing a SWF file is simple now because the first time I double-clicked one, I got the Windows error message "Windows can't open this file..." as illustrated above in Mischu2's post #10. I chose the option to "select a program from a list of installed programs" and selected the Firefox program C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe. That created the file-type association between SWF files and the Firefox application.


                                      Additional information


                                      The title of this forum is "Adobe Shockwave Player" and the questions are about how to play SWF files. The acronym "SWF" originally stood for "Shockwave Flash", and the backronym "SWF" was apparently introduced to stand for "Small Web Format" (but I never heard of that backronym until today). There's a pretty good help page titled "Shockwave - Flash Player Help" that clarifies the situation but doesn't provide a good download link. A good download link (and more information, if desired) can be found by searching the web for "Shockwave Player."


                                      For those who want to know more about Shockwave, a detailed information page about the Shockwave Player describes its "support for more than 40 video, audio, and image file formats... including SWF; DVD-Video, H.264, FLV, F4V and other video formats; as well as the broadest range of audio and graphics formats, including bitmaps, vectors, text, and 3D."