HEIC (short for High-Efficiency Image Container) has been the default format on iPhones since iOS 11. As its name suggests, a HEIC file is incredibly efficient at storing images, often taking up only half the size of a JPG file without sacrificing image quality. However, the format has not yet been popularized outside the Apple ecosystem.
Due to compatibility issues, iOS automatically converts HEIC images to JPGs when you share them with other apps. But if you are using an iPhone and a PC, you are bound to run into a HEIC file sooner rather than later. iCloud for Windows, for example, does not sync your HEIC photos into a computer-compatible format.
If you want to open HEIC files on Windows, you must either download the relevant codecs or convert them to a compatible format manually.
- 1 How to open HEIC files in Windows 10 using codecs
- 2 Open HEIC files on Windows with CopyTrans
- 3 How to Convert HEIC Images to JPG in Windows 10
- 4 Convert HEIC photos to JPEG online
- 5 Other ways to view or convert HEIC files
How to open HEIC files in Windows 10 using codecs
If you have Windows 10 version 1809 or later running, you can open HEIC files by installing two codecs from Microsoft — HEIF Image Extensions and HEVC Video Extensions. HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) is another effective format used by iPhones to store videos.
but there is a problem. Although HEIF Image Extensions are completely free, HEVC Video Extensions cost $0.99. Even if you have no intention of opening HEVC-encoded videos, you must have both codecs installed to open HEIC files in Windows.
1. Open the Microsoft Store app.
2. Find and open the HEIF Image Extensions page.
3. Select get To install the HEIF Image Extensions codec.
4. Find and open the HEVC Video Extensions page.
5. Select Purchase To purchase and install the HEVC Video Extensions codec.
6. Reboot your computer once you have finished installing both codecs.
7. Try to open the HEIC file. It should open in the Photos app. If instead you see a popup asking you to select an app to open the file, select Photos, and check the box next to Always use this app to open .HEIC files , then select to open.
If you want to open the HEIC image in a different application (such as Praint 3D or Windows Photo Viewer) at a later time, simply right-click on the file, and point to opened by using , then select Choose another app.
Open HEIC files on Windows with CopyTrans
CopyTrans HEIC for Windows is a completely free (for personal use) application that adds support for HEIC files to your Windows device. It actually adds native support for the HEIC file format which means you can view HEIC using your current image viewer after you install it.
Your HEIC photos will open just like your other photos in Windows Photo Viewer once you install this applet.
Here’s how to get and use the app on your computer:
- Head over to the CopyTrans HEIC for Windows website and download and install the app on your computer.
- Right-click on one of your HEIC images and select Properties.
- Make sure you are on the tab.general, then click onA change.
- Select Windows Photo Viewer as the default application to open your HEIC photos.
- Click “Application” Then “OK” At the bottom.
- Double-click any of your HEIC files and it will open built in Windows Photo Viewer.
One of the good aspects of this application is that it allows you to convert your HEIC images to the widely recognized JPEG format. You can easily perform this conversion from the context menu.
To convert an image, select your HEIC images in the file explorer, right-click on it, and select Convert to JPEG with CopyTrans. The application will convert and save the resulting images in the same folder as your original images.
Your original photos remain intact.
How to Convert HEIC Images to JPG in Windows 10
Regardless of the codecs, there are many cases where you might want to convert HEIC files to a widely compatible image format in Windows.
- You are dealing with a one-time batch of HEIC files.
- You don’t want to pay for the HEVC Video Extensions codec.
- You are using an older version of Windows that does not support the HEIF Image Extensions and HEVC Video Extensions codecs.
- You want to share HEIC files with someone who is using a non-HEIC compatible device.
- Your computer is experiencing performance issues while opening HEIC images.
In these cases, we recommend iMazing HEIC Converter. It is a free utility application that you can use to convert batches of HEIC files to JPG or PNG formats easily.
1. Download and install iMazing HEIC Converter from Microsoft Store. You can also download the traditional desktop version of the app from iMazing.com.
2. Launch iMazing HEIC Converter. Next, open the file menu and select open files Select the files you want to convert.
Alternatively, you can choose to drag HEIC files directly into the iMazing HEIC Converter window.
3. Choose the output format (JPEG or PNG), use the quality slider to set the output quality, then select Conversion.
4. Select the output destination or you can press the button Create a new folder Create a new folder if you want. Locate “OKto start the conversion process.
5. Click Show files to open the converted files in File Explorer. or select “OKTo go back and convert more HEIC files.
If you have both HEIF Image Extensions and HEVC Video Extensions installed, you can also use the Photos app to convert HEIC files to JPG. While viewing the image, open a menu Edit and Create , and select Release , then use the Save a copy option to do so. You cannot convert images in batches.
Convert HEIC photos to JPEG online
Another way to open HEIC images on your Windows device is to convert your images to a web-compatible format. There are many free tools online to help you upload your HEIC images, edit them if you want, and convert them to a popular format like PNG or JPEG.
HEIC to JPEG is one such online tool for making the conversion. Here’s how it works.
- Open the HEIC to JPEG website in your browser.
- Drag all HEIC images you want to convert to JPEG to the box on the website. Supports a maximum of five images at a time.
- The tool will start converting your files as soon as you upload the files.
- Download the resulting JPEG files to your Windows computer.
Other ways to view or convert HEIC files
You can take advantage of a few additional ways to work with HEIC photos if you are using an iPhone and a computer.
Use the iCloud Photos web app
If you use iCloud Photos, you can view any photo taken in the HEIC format via the iCloud.com web app in Windows. You can also download any HEIC image from iCloud.com in JPG format.
1. Visit iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
2. Select Photos to open the iCloud Photos web app.
3. Double click on any HEIC image to open it in the web app. Use the sidebar to navigate through your iCloud Photo Library.
4. Select the download icon from the top right of the iCloud Photos web app to download any open HEIC image in JPG format.
You can also download multiple HEIC images in JPG format simultaneously. Hold down the . key
Ctrl While selecting the photos you wish to download.
Transfer photos via USB
Your iPhone can transfer HEIC photos in a compatible format to your computer whenever you copy them via USB.
1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB.
2. Click “AllowOn the iPhone to give the computer permissions to access photos and videos.
3. Open File Explorer and select Apple iPhone on the sidebar. Then select Internal Storage. Follow this by selecting the DCIM folder.
4. Copy any HEIC image from camera gallery. It should be automatically transferred to your computer in JPG format.
If it doesn’t, open the Settings app on your iPhone, select Photos, scroll down, then select automatic. Try again.
Take photos in JPG format on iPhone
You can also take photos on iPhone directly in JPG format. This can eliminate future compatibility issues with Windows, especially if you have iCloud Photos set up on your PC.
However, JPGs will occupy approximately twice the size of HEIC images, so you may not want to do this if your iPhone storage space is a concern.
1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select Camera.
2. Select Formats.
3. Select Most compatible.
Your iPhone will now take photos in JPG format. iCloud Photos should also sync photos in the same format to your computer. This does not affect any old HEIC photos stored on iPhone or iCloud.