Adobe Flash Player on Windows showing the Trogdor Flash game from Homestar Runner

Web browsers are dropping support for Flash, but what if you have an SWF file to open? Never fear: Adobe offers a hidden Flash Player download for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can open an SWF file outside your browser.

Adobe hides the standalone Flash Player very well. It’s actually called the “Flash Player content debugger” on Adobe’s website.

To get it, visit the Debug Downloads page on Adobe’s Flash Player website. Click the “Download the Flash Player projector content debugger” link under Windows, Mac, or Linux, depending on which operating system you’re using.

Downloading the standalone Flash Player from Adobe's website

On Windows, you’ll have an EXE file that needs no installation. Just double-click it to run it.

Running the standalone Flash Player EXE file

You’ll get a simple Adobe Flash Player window. To open an SWF file, either drag and drop it to the window or click File > Open. You can browse to an SWF file on your local system or enter a path to an SWF file on the web.

Opening a Flash file from the web in the standalone Adobe Flash Player

Resize the window to zoom in if the Flash object appears too tiny. Now, you can watch and interact with the SWF file as you usually would.

You can right-click the Flash object or use the menu bar to control standard options like zoom settings, image quality, and toggling the full-screen mode off and on.

Trogdor game splash screen in the standalone Adobe Flash Player on Windows

The best part: This Flash Player will keep working in the future, even after web browsers ax Flash completely. It’s not just a debug tool for developers; it’s an extremely useful compatibility solution for anyone that needs Flash.

RELATED: How to Enable Adobe Flash in Google Chrome 76+

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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