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In your experiences, while working on your Windows or Mac devices, it is common to encounter file types that belong to older eras.
An SWF file was a prominent file type a decade back. However, the world has moved on from SWF files. SWF files have not been completely erased; there are still users of SWF files. For opening an SWF file on Google Chrome, you will have to change the Flash settings.
The problem arises in the compatibility of SWF files with the software we use today. If you’re one of those who are struggling with the compatibility of SWF files on your device, this article will guide you.
Let’s jump right into it.
What Is An SWF File?
The origins of the SWF file go back to May 1996, when a company called FutureWave Software defined the SWF file.
The primary objective of an SWF file was to create files capable of displaying entertaining images. These files take little space on your hard disk.
Typically, an SWF file comes in Adobe Flash Player format and is used for multiple purposes like vector graphics, action scripts, and multimedia. The SWF file marked its journey from FutureWave to Macromedia and was finally taken by Adobe.
Serving the purpose of interactivity and function, an SWF file primarily contains applets and animations. Most of us know about browser games –free-to-play games that could be played on a web browser. These games were developed using Action Script. Browser games are a common example of an SWF file.
Programmers have developed SWF files using Adobe products like Flash, Flash Builder, Adobe Animate, and After Effects. MXMLC is also a common command-line application compiler – a part of the Flex SDK, which is available for free.
Adobe Illustrator is the most popular Adobe product among Graphic Designers. Adobe Illustrator is also capable of generating SWF files via its “export” function. However, the software cannot open and edit SWF files directly. Many types of third-party software can also produce SWF files.
The End Of SWF Files
On December 30, 2020, Adobe announced the discontinuity of Flash Player on web platforms. This resulted in the ending of SWF files too. However, it is not impossible to run SWF files on web platforms that still support the files with a few tricks and hacks.
SWF files have always been questioned in terms of security because the files contain malware and viruses. This nature of SWF files made Flash videos, vector graphics, and animations less popular in the last five years.
HTML5 is presently the king of web-based video formats. YouTube, the most popular video streaming platform, uses HTML5 format instead of SWF for streaming videos.
So, an SWF file has become extinct and Flash Player obsolete. However, many users still want to know how they access pre-existing SWF files on Google Chrome specifically.
How To Open An SWF File On Google Chrome?
Before you try opening an SWF file, ensure that Adobe Flash Player and Google Chrome are installed on your device. These softwares are free to use and can be searched via regular Google search.
If you have Google Chrome of an older version before December 31, 2021, Adobe Flash Player would work on your browser smoothly. Although, you must download the latest version of Google Chrome to avoid the attack of viruses or malware.
Now, let’s look at the step-wise guide.
- Step 1: Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots at the top right corner of the screen. Then, click on “Settings.”
- Step 2: On the left section of the Settings screen, you’ll see an option called “Privacy and Security”. Click on it. Under that option, go to “Site Settings.”
- Step 3: Scroll down to find ‘Flash,’ then click on it.
- Step 4: The goal is to change Flash settings. Unblock Flash sites and allow them. Click on the Flash segment, which will open the ‘Ask First’ text.
From here on, whenever you open an SWF file, the browser will open it only when you permit them.
Since you’ve made all the necessary changes in the browser settings, you should test it out. Here are few steps to test an SWF file.
- Go to Google Homepage and look for a ‘Flash Test Site.’
- Open any site that looks trustable. The moment you open a Flash testing site, the site will ask you to enable Adobe Flash Player.
- A box will pop on the screen asking for your permission. Tap on the ‘allow’ button, and that’s where the SWF file opens and runs smoothly.
Since SWF files are often risky, defending your device against any virus or malware invasion is also important.
How To Defend Your Device Against Virus And Malware Caused By An SWF file?
Windows Defender Offline is a great tool offered by Microsoft for protection against virus and malware attacks due to SWF files. Microsoft Defender has been in the picture for a long time, but Microsoft has recently made its security systems more powerful.
The question that arises is: why does one need an offline scan?
The truth about an offline scan is when you run an offline scan on a device that is infected or attacked by a virus or malware, the scan runs outside the Windows Operating System. An offline scan temporarily shuts down the operating system, and the scan detects and removes the malware present in the device.
An offline scan is more useful because the operating system is running, along with the malware running in the background when you run a normal scan. This makes it difficult for the defender to detect the malware.
On the other hand, when the operating system stops, the malware becomes more visible and detectable to the offline defender.
How to open SWF files with an SWF player?
Follow the steps given below.
- Download and install an SWF player.
- Open the SWF player and access the local files.
- Search the intended SWF file you wish to open.
- Click on the file to play it.
- Click the back button after you play it to access the on-screen controls.
Can SWF files be played on VLC?
Generally, a VLC player would support SWF files, but some files do not open. However, an SWF file can be converted into an audio or video format. You can then play it on VLC.
How to convert SWF files into MP4 format using VLC?
Follow the steps mentioned below.
- First, you have to install the VLC player, which can be downloaded online.
- Open the VLC player and go to Media by clicking on the media icon.
- Choose the convert/save option.
- Open the SWF file you intend to convert on the right side of the window and click on the convert/save option again.
- Select the MP4 format in the profile, then save it in the temporary folder and give a name to the file.
- Click the start button.
What to do if an SWF file infests malware?
Step 1: Download the Windows Defender Offline tool from Microsoft’s Support Center. You’ll find two versions: the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Step 2: If you’re using Windows 10, press the Windows + I button and go to “System.” You’ll see an option named ‘system type,’ which will inform you whether your system is 32-bit or 64-bit.
Step 3: After downloading the Windows Defender Offline, you will find three options.
- On a blank CD or DVD
- On a USB flash drive that is not password protected
- As an ISO file on a disk
Create a bootable USB drive, CD, or DVD, and restart the computer after inserting the bootable drive.
Step 4: As soon as you restart your computer, it will boot automatically. If it doesn’t, you have to use the bootable drive to boot your computer. You can start the boot menu by clicking the trigger key, which varies from one device to another.
Step 5: Once your boot process is completed properly, you’ll see the offline scan running and removing malware from your device.
Even after the extinction of the SWF file, its uses prevail. Playing an SWF file is not rocket science. It requires a basic understanding of your device and browser. Nevertheless, this article will assist you at all stages.
Remember to run an offline scan after accessing any SWF file.