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Best free FLV players for watching Adobe Flash

About FLV players

FLV players play Adobe Flash videos. Most Internet browsers have built-in support for playing FLV files, with the notable exception of Safari on iOS, which will not play Flash for a number of reasons. (Apple has cited security, battery usage, the lack of a touch interface, poor performance on mobile devices, and licensing costs.)

  • Adobe Media Player

Best FLV Players

Whether you're streaming a Flash video over the Internet or viewing a file already on your device, you have a variety of options for playing FLVs, no matter which platform you're on. Even iOS users have options, despite Safari not playing Flash files. Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android each have free apps that will let you play Flash videos.

Best FLV Player for Windows: VLC

You can click-and-drag a video file into a Web browser like Google Chrome ( Windows, Mac, Android, iOS) or Mozilla Firefox (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS) and play it -- but if you want to control things like color, contrast, and brightness, VLC Media Player is arguably your best bet for playing an FLV that's already on your Windows PC.

Best FLV Player for Mac: Safari


Apple's Safari browser can play Flash videos, but the function is disabled by default in version 10. A pop-up window will ask you to confirm that you want to play the file. If you click the Use Once button, you will grant permission one time, for that particular file or stream. If you click the Use Every Time button, then Safari will automatically play Flash videos from that point forward, instead of asking you.

To re-enable this pop-up window, access your Safari preferences by pressing the Command and comma keys at the same time. Click the Security tab and confirm that the boxes next to Enable Javascript and Allow Plug-ins are checked. Click Manage Website Settings, select Adobe Flash Player, change When Visiting Other Websites to Allow, and click Done to save your changes.

Best FLV Player for iOS: PlayerXtreme Media Player


While Safari on iOS does not play FLVs, you can use a third party app like PlayerXtreme Media Player. It's compatible with a variety of video files formats, including MP4 and WMV. However, PlayerXtreme doesn't stream Flash content from a website, only videos that are saved on your device or available on your local network. If you want to view online Flash content, you will need to pay a few dollars for an app like Puffin Web Browser.

Best FLV Player for Android: MX Player

Like iOS, Android no longer has built-in support to play Flash videos; it automatically switches to HTML5 when available. Your best bet for watching Flash on Android is to view it in a media player like MX Player. Third-party Android Web browsers such as Dolphin or Puffin can also stream an FLV video from a website.

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Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at