Background: SWELL1 was recently demonstrated to be an indispensable part of the volume-regulated anion channel (VRAC). VRAC is reported to participate in cell proliferation, survival, and migration. However, the correlation between SWELL1 and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains poorly-understood. In this study, we tried to explore the role of SWELL1 in HCC. Methods: Immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time-PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to measure SWELL1 expression in HCC samples obtained from patients with HCC. The effects of SWELL1 on HCC cell proliferation, apoptosis, and metastasis were analysed by corresponding cytological experiments including Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK8), colony-forming, 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU), cell cycle analysis, TUNEL, Annexin V and PI staining, wound healing, transwell, and so on. BALB/c nude mice were used for the in vivo assays. qRT-PCR and western blotting was performed for molecular mechanisms. Findings: SWELL1 was highly expressed in HCC tissues, and related to the poor prognosis. In vitro, the over-expression of SWELL1 significantly induced cell proliferation and migration, and inhibited apoptosis, whereas suppressing SWELL1 had the opposite effects. Moreover, knockdown of SWELL1 suppressed the growth and metastasis of HCC in vivo. Further experiments revealed that SWELL1 induced cell growth by activating the cyclinD1/CDK2 pathway via the connection with PKCa at the signalling level, and regulated cell migration through the JNK pathway in HCC. Interpretation: SWELL1 acts as a promoter in the growth and metastasis of HCC cells and may be a potential intervention target for HCC. Fund: This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81572422, 81700515).