How to Open Flash Files

By Steve Smith

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Computer

  • Flash files

  • Internet Explorer

Opening Flash files is very easy, as long as you have them saved on your hard drive. To do this, you need to download the .swf file (the Flash file extension is .swf) to your hard drive by clicking on the file in the Media tab and then selecting "Save as," downloading it from the server to your computer. (See the link to instructions in the Resources section). Once the file is on your hard drive, opening it is simple. You need Internet Explorer and the Adobe Flash player.

Open Internet Explorer by clicking on the IE icon on your desktop or in your Start menu.

Click "File" at the top left-hand corner of your browser to display the drop-down menu. Then move your mouse down to "Open File" and left-click. Your computer will display a window with files and folders inside of it.

Locate the Flash file on your hard drive by navigating through your computer files. When you locate the file, click on it and then click "Open." The flash file will display in your browser. If it doesn't, go to the next step.

Download the proper plug-ins so your browser can display the Flash file. You should have received a message prompting you to do this when you couldn't open the file. Just follow the instructions. If there are none, go to the Adobe Flash Player website and update your Flash Player. Then visit the Internet Explorer website and install all the necessary updates.


Opening Flash files is simple if you have have the right software and plug-ins. Always use Internet Explorer, and if you have a Mac, make sure you have the software to run a Flash file.