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How to play SWF in Chrome

Occasionally, you may have a problem to play SWF in Chrome. When Flash web animations fail to play in Chrome, these are the settings you need to check.
Here's how you can play SWF in Chrome

Occasionally, you may have a problem to play SWF in Chrome.  The Adobe Flash player uses .swf files, which requires a dedicated Flash extension installed in your browser. It's simple to check if you have the Flash player in Chrome installed and set up correctly. In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What SWF files are.
  • How you can play SWF files in Chrome.
  • What Flash settings you need to change so that the animations can play.

What is an SWF file?

SWF stands for ShockWave Flash. These files are basically Flash videos that work as animations on the web. SWF files are used for online, web-based videos or games. Unfortunately, many browsers today don’t support the SWF file format by default. If there’s no pre-installed SWF player in your browser, you'll need to install one via an extension or plugin. While Chrome natively supports Flash, it may be disabled or set up wrongly. To open and play SWF files, you'll need to check that your Chrome Flash player is set up correctly.

How to play SWF files in Chrome

It is easy to open SWF files in Chrome - just follow the steps below:

  1. Right click on the SWF file.
  2. Click Open with.
  3. Select Chrome from the menu.

Open SWF files automatically using Chrome

If you want to automatically open SWF files in Chrome, this is easy to set up.

  1. Right click on the SWF file.
  2. Click Properties > Open with > Change.
  3. Select Chrome.

Check that Flash is installed in Chrome and set up correctly

There can be a number of reasons why SWF files aren't playing correctly in Chrome. The most common is that the Adobe Flash player has been disabled.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Enter chrome://settings/content in Google Chrome's address bar. You’ll be taken to the page for Chrome’s content settings.
  3. Click on Flash.
    Access Flash from settings
    To play SWF on Chrome, choose Flash from the settings in Google Chrome
  4. Toggle the Ask First switch so that it is enabled (blue).
    Change Flash settings to play SWF in Chrome
    Toggle the Ask First option for Flash player to play SWF in Chrome

Now, whenever a webpage wants to display Flash content, it will prompt you to allow it first.

  1. When you visit a page you trust that has Flash content, click Click to enable Adobe Flash Player.
  2. Click Allow.

What to do if the Flash files isn't playing in chrome

If Flash isn't working in Chrome you can learn how to fix it in our guide: How to fix Flash not working in Chrome.  

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