Guide To Flash Videos: Downloading and Converting Flash is Easy

how to save and convert flahsThe overwhelming popularity and use of Flash (FLV) video online has created an entire cottage industry of software products devoted just to downloading Flash videos. Some of the Flash download products even refer to themselves as a “YouTube Downloader” because of the vast amount of Flash videos available on YouTube. In this post, we discuss how to download Flash video and save it on your computer. We will also cover what you can do with the video you download — such as converting Flash to other file format — and how to download a Flash player such as RealPlayer to watch those videos. It’s easy to use, fast, and free.


You can’t simply click on a Flash video and expect to download it through your browser. That’s why there are so many specialized Flash download products online.

That said, the free RealPlayer provides one-click capability to download Flash videos. It also answers the question of how to save downloaded Flash videos and then organize them in the RealPlayer library. If you don’t already have RealPlayer, you can download the free version by clicking the orange button in the top right corner of the page. In addition to using it as a way to download Flash video you can also use it as Flash video converter.

First, we have to find a Flash video to download. Since I like math, I went to the Khan Academy to see what videos were available.

Scrolling all the way to the bottom of the list of topics, I found ”Vi Hart –Recreational mathematics and inspirational videos by resident mathemusician Vi Hart.” I started with Doodling in Math Class: Binary Trees and Visual Multiplication. The videos are fascinating and open a new way of thinking about math. They’re short, great fun and you learn something new, even if you’re not into math.


These are all Flash videos, so here’s what you need to do to download Flash video using RealPlayer:

  1. Select a video to download. This example will use a Flash video on the Khan Academy website.
  2. Play it.
  3. Hover the cursor within the frame.
  4. The RealPlayer “Download This Video” box appears in the upper right corner of the video frame.
  5. Click on it.
  6. RealPlayer Downloader opens and shows the progress of the download.
  7. The Flash video is automatically saved to the RealPlayer Library.


After, downloading Flash videos from the Khan Academy website and played them on the computer. Why bother converting to MP4 or another other video format? More and more, the answer is mobility.

Who wants to be tied to a desktop or even to lugging around a laptop computer. People want to really be portable and play that downloaded Flash video on a mobile device such as an iPhone while at the coffee shop or waiting for a flight to board. Only problem is that iPhone doesn’t support Flash video. Apple doesn’t permit Flash to run on its operating system for technical reasons.The Flash video needs to be converted to another format, namely MP4.

You’re not just downloading a Flash player when you get the free version of RealPlayer. It also has several other features including a Flash video converter. You can “Convert” or “Copy to formats and devices” through the RealPlayer Downloader and through the RealPlayer Converter itself.

One example, is to click on “Copy to” under the video while it is playing in the RealPlayer library, and select the device you want to convert the downloaded Flash video to play on. Choosing iPhone opens RealPlayer Converter and starts the process. When finished, just send the video to the iPhone through iTunes.


The converted MP4 file is also conveniently saved in the RealPlayer Library so you can easily transfer it again to other devices or share.


We can ask the same question here, about why bother converting the downloaded Flash video to Windows Media Video (WMV)? WMV is a popular and powerful format. It can handle highly compressed video, making it good for high definition. Your library may contain several videos in WMV. It’s a good storage format, and converting the Flash video into that format makes it compatible with the rest of your video collection.

The conversion process with RealPlayer is the same as converting Flash to MP4. Xbox 360 and several types of cell phones also accept WMV, but will not play Flash videos. So, it’s a similar situation to the iPhone requiring MP4. Another reason is to convert the downloaded Flash video to WMV is to edit it. There is special video editing software for FLV, but many other editors don’t accept Flash.

To edit the video you want to integrate the FLV video into some of the WMV clips, and add subtitles or special effects. WMV isn’t necessarily the best format to edit with due to its compression, but many people do. Converting Flash to WMV enables programs like Windows Media Maker and other editing software to import and edit WMV, AVI, MPG and other formats into the same video.


That pretty much sums it up. RealPlayer offers a one-click solution for downloading Flash videos from numerous websites. Converting them to MP4 or WMV for use in other devices is equally simple and fast.

Please let me know if you have any questions on how to save and download Flash videos by leaving a comment below. As always, I look forward to your questions.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • bryan November 23, 2013, 2:23 pm

    Hi. Tom.
    a great article, but how do you find out which videos are flash.

  • richard December 2, 2013, 1:22 pm

    I use realplayer to download videos from youtube and it workt perfect until one day when I moved my cursor into the frame of the video, the box whit “download this video” did not appear anymore. how do I fix this?

  • alberto December 12, 2013, 4:39 am

    ugrage to real layer 16

  • Duncan May 2, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Hello Tom. I am just converting from my Desktop Windows XP PC to a new Windows 8.1 laptop. I have many short hobby videos collected over several years by downloading using Realplayer, stored as .flv files. I’ve copied them into This PC … Videos on my new PC. I don’t (yet) want to play these video files on everything in the world from my phone to my iPad (I don’t have one), just playing them as before on my PC will do for starters! I’ve downloaded 2 apps – RealPlayer Cloud and Real Player Daily Videos – but can’t figure out how to get anything to actually access and play these existing .flv videos. What do I need to do next??

    • UK Editor May 6, 2014, 12:23 pm

      Hi Duncan,
      The easiest way to be able to see and play your videos in RealPlayer would be to import them to your RealPlayer Library. To do that, you just need to click the logo in the top left corner of your player and go to File > Scan Disk For Media. Let the software take you through the steps and your videos will appear under Videos in the PC Library section. For more instructions on adding content to your RealPlayer Library, please see:

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