How to Capture Flash Files for a Mac


Flash video files are found on most websites because the Flash format is small and optimized for online use. Flash videos are also designed to only be watched through a web browser, so you can’t view them using a video program on your Mac computer instead. You can capture a Flash video file from a website and download it to a Mac once a Flash video capture plug-in is installed into your web browser. The Flash video capture plug-in lets you take the Flash video file from the online server and save it to the Mac’s hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • Macintosh computer
  • Firefox web browser
  • Internet access
  • Run a web browser, such as Firefox. Download and install a Flash video capture plug-in, like the free Web Video Downloader for Firefox (see link in Resources). Quit the web browser once the plug-in has been installed. Run the web browser again.

  • Navigate to a web page that is displaying an online Flash video. Click the online "Play" button and watch the online Flash video through once.

  • Click the icon of the Flash video capture plug-in that is residing in the tool bar at the top of the web browser's window.

  • Select the name of the Flash video that you watched from the drop-down menu. A new tab will now be created with the window displaying the name of the Flash video. Wait as a progress bar goes to 100 percent and proclaims that the Flash video has been captured and copied to the Mac's hard drive.

  • Bring up a "Finder" window on the Mac's desktop by clicking "Command+F" on the keyboard. Type in the name of the Flash video in the small open column at the right top end of the window. Select the Flash video from the list presented in the body of the window by clicking once on it. Drag the Flash video that was captured from the web page out of the window and desposit it onto the Mac's desktop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Large Flash videos will be captured faster if you go to the web page where the video is late at night or at other times when Internet traffic is light.
  • Don't copy Flash videos that have a copyright notice attached to them.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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