Windows 10 and 11: How to open a HEIC photo and convert it to JPG or PNG?

Article by Pierre-Edouard Laurent

By importing one HEIC official From your iPhone or iPad to your device computer under windows, you may have noticed that your computer cannot read it. It’s not a matter of PC/Mac compatibility, just that this image format is exotic for your computer. On your latest Mac (High Sierra and higher), HEIC is fully recognized by macOS. Don’t panic, but it’s possibleView and convert a HEIC image on Windows In other formats such as JPG or PNG.

What is HEIC/HEIF file?

HEIC (for High Efficiency Video Codec) is the default video format for iPhone and iPad. It appeared with the release of iPhone 7 (with A9 chip) and iOS 11 in September 2016. Contrary to popular belief, HEIC technology was not invented by Apple. It is the work of the independent MPEG group (Moving Picture Experts Group), to which we already owe the famous MPEG video codecs. This international group of experts developed the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File format) standard in 2013 and only finalized it in 2015. With the development of video sensors, the idea was: A less storage-intensive codec than JPEG, but also higher quality. The HEIF image format itself is actually based on developments in the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) video codec, commonly known as H265 as it is later than H264 (= MPEG 4). The idea was to find a replacement for the aging JPEG from 1992.

How to convert HEIC photos

What are the benefits of HEIC?

Unlike JPEG, which is a simple photo codec (program encode/decode multimedia information), HEIF (and therefore HEIC) is also a container. So,‘can collect one or more image files, may also collect additional data.

This metadata can be EXIF tags (information about each shot, such as ISO, shutter speed), XMP (snapshot editing steps such as rotation or saturation), a alpha channel (for transparency) or depth map (save a “cropped” face in portrait mode). apple added other metadata especially for HEIC standard like filters.

How to convert HEIC photos

Always possible thanks to HEIF Find an original photo on iPhone/iPad, despite resizes, emojis and other tweaks. In the effect, All changes in the HEIC/HEIF file are non-destructive, to use computer jargon. In other words, it is always possible to revert to the original photo despite further cropping or editing. A file invisible to our eyes (and contained in the HEIC file) preserves the different editing steps and applies it to the original image file in real time, somewhat like a gigantic Photoshop layer. This is a significant advantage over JPEG as image quality deteriorates when editing.

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Also, HEIF a container that can collect several images. HDR, GIF sequences or burst shots captured on iPhone/iPad are therefore the fruit of HEIC.

How to convert HEIC photos

Finally, HEIC offers Better compression than JPEG. Apple has announced that the HEIC codec reduces the size of a JPEG file by 50% for equivalent or better quality. While a JPEG image is truly encoded on 8 bits, HEIC allows encoding on 16 bits (hence more nuances in dark and light hues). The disadvantage of this new codec is that it requires more computing power.

How to View HEIC/HEIF File in Windows Photos App

By default, none Windows 10 or Windows 11 cannot read this format file set. HEIC files will become unrecognizable and unreadable in Windows File Explorer or Photos app. Thereforeinstall some software so your HEIC file will be accepted by Windows, especially in file explorer. Peace of mind, no need to pull out the credit card. There are lots of HEIC apps (usually paid), but Microsoft offers one for free.

How to convert HEIC photos

She bears the sweet name HEIF Image Extensions » [  ]. Then click “Get” from the dedicated page on the web (which will take you to the Windows Store) or enter “HEIF image extensions” in the Windows Store search field. The 1.52 MB program is installed and your images will then appear in the file explorer as well as in the native Photos app. If you have updated your Windows 10 version (version 1803 and above), HEIC/HEIF files will be read correctly by your operating system.

How to convert HEIC/HEIF file to JPEG on Windows?

HEIC is an asset-packed format, but still little used by many software (Office suites, certain editing software, etc.) or web services (WordPress, etc.). Therefore, we recommend converting it to JPEG or PNG for easier use. After installing “HEIF Image Extensions”, the application picturesInstalled by default on Windows, the viewer can open a HEIC file, but can also save in JPEG and also PNG, TIF, BMP, GIF…

Moreover, to paintThe basic Windows image editing program can also open and convert a HEIC/HEIF file. However, Photos or Paint are limited to converting images as they cannot batch process them.

How to convert HEIC photos

It is therefore preferable to resort to specialized software to perform batch conversions of HEIC/HEIF images. Various applications (free and paid) are available for conversion:

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CopyTrans especially easy to use. After installing the app, open the file explorer and right-click on the HEIC photo(s) to convert. A menu will pop up and then offer the option “Convert to JPEG with CopyTrans”. Confirm with left click. Photos are converted to JPEG in the same folder. The original HEIC files are not deleted.

How to convert HEIC photos

Which apps can open a HEIC/HEIF file?

Latest photo editing apps can open (and convert) HEIC files. Pay tenors are thus specified as: photoshop Where Close-Up Photographyas well as open source software GIMP (since version 2.10) or krita.

How to convert HEIC photos

Which web services are used to convert HEIC/HEIF file to JPEG?

If you only need files occasionally, a web service may suffice. Unlike an application, there is no need to install an executable (sometimes prohibited on some desktop computers). Only a new web browser is required. Like any file sent to a web platform, it can be potentially hacked and accessed by malicious people. Therefore, we recommend against using a cloud conversion service for professional (sensitive data) or private images.

List of online converters (cloud computing) HEIC > JPEG:


How to Disable HEIC Recording on iPhone/iPad?

By default, photos and videos are saved in HEIC. It may be more convenient to change your settings for better portability of your data. just get in Settings > Camera > Dimensionsthen mark Most Compatible. From then on, photos will be saved in JPEG format and videos in MOV format (with MP4 codec). Note that screenshots are not affected as they are stored in PNG format.

How to convert HEIC photos