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Do You Need A FLV Player For Your Mobile Phone?

by Joni Blecher on December 7, 2012

mobile flv playerEver get sent a link to a video in email, check it on your phone only to find you can’t play the video? It can definitely be frustrating. There could be a few reasons why you can’t play the video, and all of those reasons are variations of your phone doesn’t support it. Often it might be because the video file format is FLV (Flash). Does that mean you’re out of luck and have to wait until you get to a computer to watch the video? Not necessarily.


Adobe’s Flash file format and phones – it’s a long story. Every year a new feature for phones emerges. At first, the special feature can only be found on a few phones. If it’s something that gets widely adopted by the mobile industry or if people start using it a lot then more and more phones will come out with support for that feature. We’ve all seen it happen; cameras on phones, the ability to add storage via removable miniSD and microSD cards, and the ability to access high-speed data networks.

A FLV player for mobile was one of those features. A few years ago, support for Flash started to appear on smartphones and people had access to a FLV player. Android phones started to come out with this feature.  At the time, it wasn’t exactly clear why that feature should be included on phones. People weren’t really watching a lot of videos on phones and most of the websites visited were mobile sites that didn’t have Flash. Still, more and more phones started to support Flash with a FLV video player.

In the next year, smartphones started to improve giving people more reasons to start watching videos on a mobile phone. Screens got bigger. Displays became more vibrant. Processors for phones were more powerful. As the smartphones improved, the way people used them began to change.  We started watching more videos on phones and the minimal information provided on mobile websites wasn’t enough. People began to download mobile browsers that could display full websites. There were plenty of sites that had Flash built-in to their web pages. If your phone didn’t support Flash and have a .flv player, you wouldn’t be able to view it.


Of course while all this was happening there was a move to try to eliminate Flash on mobile devices led by Apple. Simultaneously, the Internet was changing and moving to a different programming language – HTML5. Adobe, the creators of Flash, had some serious thinking to do. At the end of 2011, the company decided to abandon the Flash plug-in for mobile devices.

While that put an end to the FLV player for mobile question, it doesn’t change the fact that Flash is still around. There are still plenty of websites that use Flash, though that’s changing as more sites adopt HTML5. Now that Adobe is no longer supporting mobile Flash, the company has increased its efforts with the Adobe Air app. Many mobile video apps support AIR.


Let’s start with the phones that don’t support Flash or a .flv player. Feature phones don’t support Flash. These are more basic phones. They typically have a mobile web-browser, can take pictures, play music, screens are much smaller, and have some type of tactile keyboard. If you have a feature phone, you’re probably not watching mobile videos so needing .flv player isn’t an issue.

FLV players are really only an issue on smartphones released in the past couple of years. If you’re still using a phone you got in 2008 or prior, it likely doesn’t have a FLV player for mobile (FYI…It’s time to get a new phone). Similarly, if you have a newer Android phone running Android 4.1 it won’t have a FLV video player. If you upgraded an existing Android phone from the 4.0 OS to the 4.1 OS you may experience issues with the Android FLV player. Windows Phones don’t have a FLV player. The new Windows Phone 8 is vastly different from the existing Windows Phones. Those models won’t support a Flash Player since they are coming out this year, and Adobe has stopped supporting Flash on mobile devices. Finally, if you have an iPhone it doesn’t have a built-in Flash player.

In short, really only Android phones running version 2.0 or version 3.0 can support the FL player for mobile. In that case, you might already have a FLV player on your phone or you can download a third-party FLV video player from the Google Play store. To find out which Android OS you’re running select Settings on your phone and choose About Phone. Scroll to Android version and you’ll see the OS version running on your smartphone.


Going forward, Adobe AIR will help you play many mobile videos on a smartphone. If you’re having issues viewing some content on mobile video websites then download the Adobe AIR app from the Goolge Play store. That should help. If you want to watch YouTube videos, chances are your smartphone already has a dedicated YouTube app. Select that to watch YouTube videos.

There is another option for people who want to transfer videos to a smartphone from a computer. Download the free version of RealPlayer Plus by clicking the orange button in the top right corner of this page. Even if it’s a FLV video you can convert it with RealPlayer. Then add those videos to the RealPlayer library. Connect your phone to the computer via a USB cable. Click on a video and then click Copy To and pick your device.  RealPlayer will automatically convert the video into the format that will work with your phone. Then there’s no need to worry about if the video will play on your phone. You can even download the free RealPlayer Android app to play the videos on your phone.

For those still wondering if you need a FLV player for mobile phones, the quick answer is probably not.  The Internet moves fast and the need for a mobile FLV player will soon become obsolete. Do you have problems playing FLV files on your phone? Would you rather convert videos first and then transfer them to your phone so you know they’ll work? Let us know in the comments below.


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ricky Rott December 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

why wont it let me deleat music from my documents tourrent

2 Joni Blecher December 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I’m not sure what you want to do. If it’s an issue with your RealPlayer library, please contact customer support at:

3 Ken Korzeniowski December 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I need a FLV player for my Winphone 7.5.
While they may become obsolete some day, they are currently the standard.

4 Joni Blecher December 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Unfortunately, there isn’t Flash player available for Windows Phone.

5 mike robbins December 28, 2012 at 4:55 am

I order real player 16 threw trilpay and all i got was a number for Real player 15.. I already had it. I want the 16 and need to know what to .

6 RealPlayer December 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm

You’ll need to contact customer support at: They will be able to get it straightened out for you.

7 Danny February 1, 2013 at 10:41 am

Our company streams .FLV files. My old phone used to allow me to listen to our broadcast. However, it had flash Player. The new phone I got is a Motorola Razo M. I called verizon about this and they called motorola who said their programming did not support flash. Ive downloaded AIR, I’ve downloaded other browsers….dolphin, firefox, opera…and nothing. THis is a deal breaker when it comes to doing business with a cell company or purchasing its phone. Any suggestions?

8 Joni Blecher February 1, 2013 at 11:32 am

Unfortunately, the phone you have is likely running the latest version of Android, which doesn’t support Flash. Your phone also doesn’t support Flash. Trying different browsers was a great idea, but the browsers aren’t supporting Flash for the later Android OS versions (which you have). This article can give you more information about it:,2817,2406667,00.asp. If you just wanted to play Flash videos there may be a workaround by storing them on the phone’s microSD card, but even that is hit or miss. As noted in the post, you could use RealPlayer to convert Flash videos on your computer to a format that works with your phone and then transfer them to the phone. Ultimately, it sounds like you want to stream .FLV files and there really isn’t a solution for that and likely won’t be.

9 Danny February 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

Sad. :( But thanks for the reply Joni. Sounds like maybe I will have to down grade to something that runs less than 4.0. Ugggg

10 Joni Blecher February 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

I know it sounds cumbersome, but you can always get an Android 2.0 – 3.0 phone and stream the content you want over a WiFi connection. That way you can still keep all the benefits of the new phone. Be sure to read the post before getting a new phone, it points out which Android OS version will work with Flash. Feel free to send over possible phone choices and I’m happy to verify if it will indeed work with Flash or not.

11 Danny February 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Thank you kindly. Im going to check up on a different phone tonight. Pry won’t be able

12 March 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

If I have FLV files in my RealPlayer library, can I watch them on my Android?

13 Joni Blecher March 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

It really depends on the type of Android phone you have. You can download the free Android RealPlayer app and then transfer the videos to your phone and see if it works. If that doesn’t work, use RealPlayer to convert the video to MP4 and then transfer it to your phone. Then you should be able to play it.

14 RealPlayer Team March 13, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Dear Customer,

You can transfer FLV files from your desktop to your Android phone via USB. RealPlayer will automatically convert the video into the format that will work with your phone. If you have additional questions, email us at

15 Arnor244 March 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

I cannot seem to watch flash player videos on my browser :( I have a Samsung Galaxy S2
Bought it just recently i did not want to buy a very expensive phone, so i just bought one of the little older versions, and i tried downloading flash player but it says my device is not compatible :(

16 Joni Blecher March 26, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Unfortunately, most phones made in the past few years aren’t going to be able to play Flash files. The easiest way to watch a flash video on your phone is convert it to a file that works with your phone. I know, it sounds complicated. If you have the video on your computer you can use the free version of RealPlayer to convert the file and transfer it to your phone. All you have to do is pick your phone from the list provided by RealPlayer and it does the rest.

17 Carole Cross April 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Hi Joni -

If there are flash elements within a website (flash countdown clock, flash menu), would a person not be able to see those because of their phone/browser or both on a mobile device? Thanks in advance. Very informative discussion and article.

18 Joni Blecher April 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Hi there,

Flash elements should work, although they may not work the same across multiple mobile browsers. The bigger issue phones are having with flash comes down to playing videos. Hope that helps.

19 Ian Barber April 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

There is a version of the flash player that works on most android phones, even those running the very latest jelly bean OS. It is not in the play store but you can install the apk file yourselves. Just Google it. It is very easy.

20 RealPlayer April 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm

The only downfall if it’s not in the Play store, there’s no guarantee that it’s safe to use.

21 Anonymous April 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Flash is working on my cell it’s slow but I can play games and watch movies on my Samsung galaxy and I’m running android 4.0.4

22 Suhail June 23, 2013 at 3:25 am

Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100

23 RealPlayer June 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Are you wondering if you can play FLV videos on it?

24 B---T July 25, 2013 at 10:15 am

Does it have Windows Phone version?

25 RealPlayer Team July 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

RealPlayer mobile applicaton is available for only Android devices.

26 Agustini July 28, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Hi Joni how to made streaming then i have real player could not open

27 RealPlayer July 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm

What device are you using and did you convert the video you want to watch from the FLV format?

28 max August 24, 2014 at 7:51 am

What about Nokia 1520 and windows mobile 8? Are we out of luck?
At least apple can play all those files with their html5!
I am never going to change to apple, but come on. Is that what we get for loyalty in return?

29 Brinton Felixraja August 24, 2014 at 8:27 am

I understand that you need some help; however, the exact nature of the problem you are having is not clear to me.

Before I can help you, I will need some more information. Could you please be more specific about the problem you are having? Please describe exactly what it is that you are trying to do and include any error messages that you may receive. It can also be helpful to include what your computer’s operating system is and what web browser you’re using. The more specific you are, the better I will be able to assist you.

30 Tanya October 4, 2014 at 9:50 am

Can you suggest a user friendly app for streaming/downloading video straight to my Lumia 625?

I, like Max, have stuck with Nokia out of loyalty since my very first phone more thana decade ago, but several issues have been making me reconsider whether to stay with Nokia for my next upgrade. And a lot of the app developers aren’t helping with a lot of them giving the wrong information or missing basic instructions.


31 Brinton Felixraja October 12, 2014 at 2:34 am

Sorry for the delay.

Download feature is not available in the RealPlayer Cloud app. This feature is available only in the desktop version of RealPlayer Cloud. Also, RealPlayer Cloud app is currently not available for Windows Phone.

We are in the process of expanding the compatibility to all available devices, so I hope you will check again later. In the meantime, you can access the RealPlayer Cloud web site, to watch and share your Cloud Videos.To do so, install RealPlayer Cloud in your computer and then upload the videos.

Visit the below link to know more about uploading files:

After it is uploaded, go to using the mobile browser and then enter your login credentials to watch and share the Cloud videos.

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