Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

Maybe, history will record Steve Jobs and his famous memo as the first nail in the Flash coffin. From browser crashes How To Resolve Problems With Flash On YouTube How To Resolve Problems With Flash On YouTube Are YouTube videos displaying a green screen? Is your browser crashing when you try to watch them? Or do they just not play properly? Issues with Flash, which YouTube uses to play videos,  may cause... Read More to the cool Flash animations Rise Of the SWF: Flash Animations That Will Make You Feel Old [Stuff to Watch] Rise Of the SWF: Flash Animations That Will Make You Feel Old [Stuff to Watch] Do you remember when a company called Macromedia introduced their rich web plugin, Flash? Back then, Flash was an exciting new prospect. It introduced the ability to animate, using frame-by-frame and using motion-tweening, add sound,... Read More we grew up with, the story of Flash has always led to animated debates. But thanks to Flash, the web is a far more interactive place today. HTML5 What Is HTML5, And How Does It Change The Way I Browse? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is HTML5, And How Does It Change The Way I Browse? [MakeUseOf Explains] Over the past few years, you may have heard the term HTML5 every once in a while. Whether you know anything about web development or not, the concept can be somewhat nebulous and confusing. Obviously,... Read More maybe the new kid on the block and while it is growing up, Flash still holds sway when one thinks of rich animations and advanced interactive games. Remember, one of the most popular sites today – Facebook – is still having fun with Flash games.

It is not even the last giant standing as many online games still run on Flash. Downloading them and keeping them offline has its plusses. You can watch them offline when you choose to. You can convert them to a format of your choice. You can use them in a PowerPoint presentation. Or even carry them around on your smartphone.

Flash animation files are embedded as SWF (Small Web Format) files in webpages. With a bit of elbow grease, it is possible to download these files without the overhead of browser extensions. Here’s how you can do it on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

Download Flash Files Using Chrome

To download SWF files in Chrome without the express help of any extensions, you have to dive into some of Chrome’s tools that are favored by developers. Don’t worry, the steps are simple enough.

  • Open the Flash video on a Chrome tab and allow it to load completely. Right-click on an empty area and select Inspect Element from the context menu.


  • The Developer Tools opens up in a separate frame at the bottom of the browser screen.


Ads by Google
  • Instead of searching for the specific SWF file in the jumble of code, click on the magnifying glass icon which says – Select an element in the page to inspect it. Using the selection also helps if there are more than one video on the page.
  • Click on the Flash video which gets highlighted in blue. Correspondingly, the object path is also selected in the code.


  • Select the URL and paste it in the address bar of Chrome, and then open it again.
  • Open the dropdown Chrome menu (Customize and control Google Chrome) from the top-right and click on Save page as. Save the flash video to your computer disk.

Download Flash Files Using Firefox

Launch Firefox and load to the page which contains the embedded SWF Flash file that you want to download. Let the SWF file stream through once completely.

  • On any empty part of the page, right-click and select the Page Info context menu option. Or alternatively, go to Tools – Page Info.


  • The Page Info box has five tabs. Select the Media tab. As long as the page has any media in it, the Media tab lists all image elements like icons, style sheets and Flash files on the particular webpage.


  • There’s bit of work involved as you have to sift through the cached elements to locate the SWF file. You can make it quicker by sorting the elements by type and narrowing down to the one that says Embed. Highlight the file and click Save as to save the file on your hard drive.

Download Flash files Using Internet Explorer

Earlier versions of Internet Explorer made it easy to go into the Temporary Internet Files and copy the cached SWF files. You could access the Temporary Files from the browser’s Internet Options. Since Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 7 (as far as I can recall), you have to take a more roundabout route. Here are the steps which will allow you to grad SWF files if you are using Internet Explorer.

  • Log into your machine with your Administrator account.
  • Open IE and load the video of your choice completely.
  • You have to go to the Folder Options from the Control Panel or Explorer to tweak a few visibility settings i.e. enable “Show hidden files and folders”, uncheck “Hide protected Operating System Files” and also uncheck “Hide Extensions for Known Filetypes”.


  • Now, navigate to Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\
  • Add “Low\Content.IE5” to the location in the address bar.
  • There will be some folders with random alphanumeric names.


  • Open these folders search through them manually for the SWF file. For an easier search, you can click on the “Type” column header and arrange all similar files together.


  • Copy the SWF file to a location of your choice.

All Done!

The downloaded Flash files can be viewed in players like Media Player Classic Looking For A Lightweight Media Player? Try Media Player Classic - Home Cinema [Windows] Looking For A Lightweight Media Player? Try Media Player Classic - Home Cinema [Windows] As of 2012, there are a ton of media players available on the market, and many of them are free. With such a large selection, sometimes it can be hard to pick which software will... Read More and the excellent Daum PotPlayer Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows] Does Your Media Player Suck? Try A Unique Alternative: Daum PotPlayer [Windows] Whenever we have written an article about great media players, people were quick to remind us of PotPlayer. Once we checked it out, we had to agree that it was indeed pretty awesome. So the... Read More among others. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop it into your browser. The next time you come across a cool animated interactive, think about downloading it and keeping it offline. You now have the methods now, or you probably knew them and this information is old hat.

Either way, tell us if you prefer browser extensions for the job or would you go back to the basics as explained here. What do you usually look to download?

  1. pablo
    September 24, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Thank you!

  2. pablo
    September 24, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    thanks for showing me the way to extract a .swf from year 2004

  3. mrinal
    August 3, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I have followed the steps but could not download it.I am downloading from the link>>

    On inspecting the page source I further got the link >>


    but could not able to download.

    Can anyone help me in this regard.

  4. Dank Memes
    March 9, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Lifesaver, thank you so so much, time to listen to some dope beats

  5. moranche
    January 30, 2016 at 4:51 pm
    • Anyone
      February 11, 2016 at 9:01 am

      If you want to download the videos, FlashGot for Firefox does the trick.

  6. Treejog80
    January 24, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I am a Sploder member. On Sploder, you can create your own Flash games. But I cannot download my own games onto my PC. How can I do this? (Chrome)

  7. Wayne
    January 23, 2016 at 10:21 am

    It works but sometimes you have to dig deeper into the code shown in the developer window to find to find the video. A page from which I wanted to download what I thought was an embedded Flash video turned out to have a URL to an MP4 video embedded in the Flash element. Moreover, the video URL was encoded and I had to use to first decode it, then copy and paste it to my browser's address bar. Initially, the page showed a 404 error but then a window popped up which allowed me to download the video.

  8. schwack
    November 29, 2015 at 3:17 am

    To get the files to play, locate the swf on your computer and right-click it. Select properties from the menu. Under the 'General' tab, at the bottom will be a notice that the file came from the web and might be unsafe.

    Before you simply click to enable the file, remember: the file came from the web and might be unsafe.

    Enable with discretion.


  9. Russel
    November 11, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Hello Saikat,
    Hope you're good.
    I'm tried to download this:

    And I did download the embedded file, but all it shows – using PotPlayer – is a white screen with a spinning circle inside.
    What shall I do?

  10. Sami Shokry
    August 28, 2015 at 5:12 am there a way for opera browser?

    • Saikat Basu
      August 31, 2015 at 2:45 am

      Not the right person to advise you on this as I don't use Opera now. They use the same open-source Chromium engine now. Maybe you can try Opera extensions like Flash Video Downloader and FVD Video Downloader.

      Look into the comments as well. They seem to be all favorable.

  11. Olaoluwa Loko
    July 14, 2015 at 5:31 am

    thank u Saikat. i used your information to download for a while and it worked with firefox, but then i had to download adobe shockwave and adobe air. now whenever i try to download i find object in place of embed in the type column of the the media option. please, how can i make it return to the way it was before?

    • Saikat Basu
      July 23, 2015 at 4:49 am

      Hey Olaoluwa, the solution escapes me right now. Could you ask our wider community in the Ask The Experts section.

    • schwack
      November 29, 2015 at 3:18 am

      Uninstall shockwave & air

  12. Josef Dickens
    July 6, 2015 at 3:39 am

    It doesn't work on my chrome. When I paste the code to the address bar I get "400. That's an error. Your client has issued a malformed or illegal request. That’s all we know." Ah well.

    • Saikat Basu
      July 7, 2015 at 3:51 am

      I think Chrome has disabled that workaround now. It's much easier now in 2015 with third-party extensions. Flash Master is a good one.

  13. Cheryl Alvarez
    May 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    It looks like the ones I'm trying to download have some sort of block on them. I tried it in both Chrome and Firefox, and was able to locate the file, but when I tried to access it directly, in Chrome I got the message "error loading player: could not load player configuration" and in Firefox the file is listed as type "object" not "embed" and it is grayed out. Is there any way around this?

    • Saikat
      May 7, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      I think sometimes, the files you are trying to download get uploaded with the wrong file permissions. That could be one of the reasons for this error at your end. Couldn't find a solution so far.

  14. Lasting
    March 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Great information! I try it on Chrome, it works. Thank you.

  15. TheShadyColombian
    March 1, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Great Tutorial! unfortunately, Nitrome thinks the game is being run on a different server, so it won't work, but that's just the DRM. Thanks!

    • Saikat
      March 2, 2015 at 6:57 am

      Ah, a lot has changed in SIX years :)

  16. Fatima
    February 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I LOVE YOU!!!!!! omg thank u so much!

  17. Imtiaz
    January 20, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Good information Thank you for sharing:)

    • Saikat
      January 21, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      You are welcome. This is a very old article. Glad to see that it is still useful.

  18. Robo
    January 9, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Some obsolete info. In nowadays flash isn't anymore embedded, it is downloaded in real-time into the player consequently.
    Will there be updated methods?

  19. dan
    January 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    This is all obsolete. Chrome doesn't support Flash. Right-clicking in Firefox just brings up the Flash-options, etc.

    • Saikat
      January 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Adobe Flash Player is directly integrated with Google Chrome and enabled by default.

  20. Utku Demir
    January 24, 2010 at 2:41 am


    Another way to download with Chrome is typing "about:cache" in adress bar. Right clicking and clicking "Download" works. Like Firefox.

    And sorry for my bad English :).

  21. satya
    November 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    thanx a lot

  22. dOPEpHIZH
    October 7, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Is there a easy way to download .SWF files that are "hidden" behind a preloader?

  23. flash files
    September 30, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    great information on flash files. thanks

  24. hannah
    September 21, 2009 at 1:39 am

    safari is just option+command+a
    already knew how to do this, though. I was thinking maybe there was another option..

  25. Saikat
    July 12, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for the info. I guess this is the link to the freeware.

  26. Kurt
    July 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    For anyone who isn't helped by the above: I found a flash file that, for whatever reason, was not downloaded into the cache, but into the Documents and Settings\Default\Local Settings\Temp directory as a .tmp file. If I tried to copy it, even when the movie was stopped, I'd get a "file in use" error. If I closed the window containing the movie, the .tmp file disappeared. If I used the source code window to find the file, there was none. I solved the problem by using freeware program ShadowCopy, which can copy files that are still open. Info for anyone else who has this problem.

  27. ggstarling
    June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Hello all!
    This morning I have found a very fresh cartoon about the office workers everyday life.
    I recommend this for all to elevate your mood.
    I helped))
    You can watch this toon <a href=

    Dont be sad - be happy))

  28. vas
    June 13, 2009 at 2:10 am

    hi, Nacho
    thanks for your reply
    i want to give you url for that photo gallery but here it doesn't allow me so how can i give to you.
    and i use that downThemAll but still i can't download it.

    many thanks.

  29. vas
    June 9, 2009 at 12:45 am

    hi, all frnds....

    I want to download one photo gallery from one webpage but it cant download. pls anyone help me... thanks..

  30. vas
    June 9, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Hi, all frnds....

  31. Saikat
    June 8, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Thanks Sid, actually I tried this before I wrote the article. but the files wouldn't play. While it would when downloaded thru the remaining browsers. Probably a glitch, I couldn't figure out at that time. There are of course a few programs that help out Chrome with this job just like the many add-ons for FF.

  32. Diego Ripley
    June 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm
  33. monte cabet
    June 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    The firefox addon downthemall works here too. Look for it in the "Pictures and Embedded" tab...

  34. cristiano007
    June 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

    AdBlock Plus is the way to go for dynamically loaded media! Thanks!

    • Bunda
      June 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      Well, Adblock is not for that certainly - but is there any sense in installing one more Firefox-addon just for downloading a few files? For me not.
      If I want to make an offline collection of hundreds of flash games - I use an addon.

      So if I stumble into a good flash game or video once in 1-2 months - I use a simple way but without installing another addon.

    June 2, 2009 at 4:57 am

    yea..... Downloading flash files using Google chrome is the most simplest.

    Thanks for this article

  36. ChromeISCool
    June 1, 2009 at 9:23 am

    You can find it in Google Chrome by typing "about:cache" into the address bar. It helps if you clear the cache out first.

  37. Sid
    June 1, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Doing this in Chrome is as easy too.

    1. Ctrl+U [Page Source].
    2. Ctrl+F [Find]
    3. Type "swf"
    3. Keep hitting F3 till you come to the swf file you need.
    4. Chrome will present it to you as a clickable hyperlink - so all you have to do is to right-click and save.

    PS: I do this ALL the time :)

  38. Brave Littlle Meme
    June 1, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Safari can do this without any third-party add-on. Just load the window containing the flash file and look under the Activity Window (Manu > Window > Activity) for whatever has a rapidly growing byte count. Double-click that entry and the file will be saved in your download folder.

    • undahpresha
      July 29, 2009 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you for this tip! Never had a clue that Safari was capable of this!

  39. aerobroken
    June 1, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Sweat find and share! I have been looking for this hack..

  40. Yanguang
    June 1, 2009 at 6:20 am

    I use my own little method to download embedded flash media, using Adblock Plus (as weird as it sounds)

    • striipes
      September 25, 2009 at 12:18 am

      Thanks for the tip of using adblock
      Works perfect for what I needed to download

  41. Abhijeet Pathak
    May 31, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    From "Shockwave Flash" to "Small Web Format" becaure Macromedia acquired it.. Then I guess it should be now called ASWF (Adobe Small Web Format) as Flash is their product now.. :-P

  42. Adam Hill
    May 31, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Try Flashgot plugin for Firefox

  43. fractal
    May 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    One problem that is overlooked here is the fact that Flash files have the ability to load content dynamically. For instance, the swf that you save locally may need to load images, text, code or even other swf's in order to render correctly.

    If a Flash developer doesn't want you getting at the Library or ActionScript, you're likely going to be left with an empty container that does nothing at all. This is usually the case with games and more complex animations or interactive movies.

    • cristiano007
      June 1, 2009 at 8:57 am

      You're right, I've seen this in many photo galleries sites, very bad. Anybody has a walkaround for this problem?

  44. Gringo
    May 31, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Yeah ! But doesn't work for some sites, even with software like Orbit that are almost perfect for retrieving content from youtube, or dailymotion.

  45. Mickey
    May 31, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Shaneecy, SWF was originally called Shockwave Flash but Macromedia changed it to Small Web Format

    Nice article, and I am sure this will come in handy for some people

    • Saikat
      June 8, 2009 at 10:11 am

      Yes, Mickey...that's true. But what's surprising is that this fact is so difficult to establish. In fact, it's not even mentioned in the SWF specification doc which is 278 pages long!!!

  46. Hal
    May 31, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    The most simple way to do this is use the Firefox extension Downloadhelper. Easily download just about any media without opening backend windows.

    • Andrew J
      June 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm

      I also use the Downloadhelper extension for Firefox. It really is the simplest way to capture flash video - what could be easier than clicking the extension's browser icon and saving the flash file?

  47. shaneecy
    May 31, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    "Flash animation files are embedded as SWF (Small Web Format) files in webpages."
    --i believe that SWF means "Shockwave Flash" file, not small web format file.

    good article, though i still prefer to use (thx to whoever wrote the offline flash game tut) because its less complicated :)

  48. The Computer Lady
    May 31, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks so much for the information. I have been trying to figure this out for a while? What about embedded videos?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *