What is HEIC, and how to convert photos from HEIC to JPG? (guide 2023)

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For iOS 11 or newer versions, you might have noticed that your iPhone camera saves pictures in the HEIC format instead of the traditional JPG format. This change was introduced to provide better compression without compromising the image quality. However, the HEIC format isn’t widely supported by many apps or devices, and you may not be able to open an HEIC photo on your computer. In this article, you will learn how to convert HEIC files to JPG format, or even stop taking pictures in HEIC format altogether.

What is the HEIC format, and why does iPhone take HEIC photos?

HEIC (High-Efficiency Image Container) is a new image format developed by the MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group) organization. It was introduced by Apple in iOS 11 as a replacement for the traditional JPEG format. HEIC files are similar to JPEG files in that they store high-quality images, but they are more efficient and take up less storage space.

The reason why iPhone takes HEIC photos is that the HEIC format offers several advantages over JPEG. Firstly, HEIC images take up about half the storage space compared to JPEG images. This means that users can store more photos on their devices without worrying about running out of storage space. Secondly, HEIC files support advanced features like transparency, 16-bit color, and dynamic range, allowing for more detailed and higher quality images.

Moreover, HEIC images support multiple images and animations within a single file, allowing users to save multiple images in a single file without losing image quality. This feature is especially useful for creating Live Photos, which are short video clips created from a series of photos.

However, one disadvantage of the HEIC format is that it’s not widely supported by many apps or devices outside of Apple’s ecosystem. This can make it difficult to open and edit HEIC files on non-Apple devices or software.

Is HEIC better than JPG?

HEIC and JPG are both image formats with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

HEIC format offers better compression while preserving high image quality, and it supports advanced features like transparency, 16-bit color, and dynamic range. Additionally, HEIC can store multiple images and animations within a single file, making it suitable for creating Live Photos.

On the other hand, JPG is a widely compatible format that can be opened and edited by almost all devices and software. It has been around for a long time and is widely accepted as a standard image format.

In terms of storage space, HEIC images take up less storage space compared to JPG images. This is because of its better compression algorithm that preserves high image quality without compromising the file size.

However, HEIC is not as widely supported as JPG. Many non-Apple devices or software may not support the HEIC format, making it difficult to open and edit HEIC files on these devices. So, whether HEIC is better than JPG or not depends on the user’s specific needs and preferences.

How to set your iPhone to stop taking HEIC photos

Thankfully, if dealing with HEIC photos becomes too much of a hassle, you can have your iPhone camera stop taking HEIC pics by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Camera > Formats.
  3. Select Most Compatible.
Camera screen in the Settings app of iOS 14

How to send photos from your iPhone as JPG, not HEIC

Another option you have is to keep shooting pictures as HEIC but to share them as JPGs. Here’s how to convert a HEIC to JPG when you share it from your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Photos.
  3. Scroll down to the Transfer to Mac or PC section.
  4. Choose Automatic. 
Settings app in iOS 14

How to convert HEIC to JPG or PNG on a Mac

If you’ve transferred HEIC photos from your iPhone to your Mac and find that you’re unable to open them, there’s no need to panic. Instead of deleting those pictures and transferring them again, you can use various apps that can open HEIC files. In case the app you prefer doesn’t support HEIC, there are simple methods to convert HEIC files to the more widely compatible JPG format.

What apps can open an HEIC file?

Apple-designed and supported apps such as Preview, Photos, and iMovie will naturally open HEIC files without any issues. Other apps like Adobe Photoshop can open HEIC files on Mac, but not on other devices. However, Adobe Lightroom offers an option to import HEIC files, although it automatically converts them to the more widely compatible JPG format.

How to convert HEIC to JPG or PNG using Preview

One of the easiest ways to convert an HEIC to a JPG on Mac is to use the Preview app:

  1. Open the HEIC file in Preview.
  2. Click File > Export.
  3. From the Format drop-down menu, select either JPG or PNG.
  4. Click Save.
Convert HEIC to JPG with Preview app in macOS

How to change HEIC to JPG or PNG using Photos

Another straightforward way to convert your picture from HEIC to JPEG or PNG is with your Mac’s Photos app. Just follow these steps to convert your picture:

  1. Open the Photos app and find the file you want to convert.
  2. Select the file.
  3. Click File > Export > Export Photo.
  4. Choose JPG or PNG from the Photo Kind drop-down menu.
  5. Click Export.
  6. Select the location where you want to save your picture and click Export.
Export pictures as JPG using Photos app in macOS

How to convert HEIC to JPG on a Windows computer

Converting HEIC files to JPG format on a Windows computer is a simple process that can be done using the following methods:

  1. Using the Microsoft Photos App:
    • Open the Microsoft Photos app on your Windows computer.
    • Click on the HEIC photo you want to convert.
    • Click on the “…” icon at the top right corner of the screen.
    • Select “Save as” and choose JPG as the file format.
  2. Using a Third-Party Converter:
    • Download and install a third-party HEIC to JPG converter, such as CopyTrans HEIC for Windows or iMazing HEIC Converter.
    • Open the converter and select the HEIC file you want to convert.
    • Choose JPG as the output format and click on the “Convert” button.
    • Once the conversion is complete, you can save the JPG file to your desired location.

By following these simple methods, you can easily convert HEIC files to JPG format on your Windows computer.

What software can open HEIC on Windows?

Microsoft has released a codec called HEIF Image Extensions, which will allow you to view and open HEIC files. Once you have it installed, your computer will see HEIC photos just like any other image file. But the codec is only available for Windows 10, so if you’re running an older operating system, then you’ll need to use one of the apps below to convert your pictures.

How to convert iPhone HEIC to JPG using CopyTrans HEIC for Windows

When you install CopyTrans HEIC for Windows on your computer, it also installs an extension that will allow you to not only open HEIC files but convert them to JPG as well. After you have it installed, just follow these steps:

  1. Find the HEIC photo you want to convert on your computer.
  2. Right-click and select Convert to JPEG with CopyTrans.
CopyTrans HEIC Converter for Windows 10

The JPG copy of your picture will appear in the same folder. That’s all there is to it! 

How to change the HEIC format to JPG using iMazing HEIC Converter

Another easy-to-use app is iMazing HEIC Converter. There’s a bit more of an interface to this one, and you gain additional control over your conversion settings. When you have iMazing HEIC Converter downloaded and installed, this is how you convert your HEIC files:

  1. Open iMazing HEIC Converter.
  2. Drag and drop your pictures into the app.
  3. Choose whether you want to convert to JPG or PNG.
  4. Drag to set the Quality slider.
  5. Click Convert.
  6. Select where you want to save the JPG on your computer.
  7. Click Ok.
IMazing HEIC Converter for Windows 10

Although working with HEIC files can sometimes be inconvenient, it’s important to remember that they do offer benefits such as optimized picture size while maintaining image quality. It may be best to leave your photos in HEIC format if possible, especially for long-term storage. However, if you need to convert HEIC files to JPG format, there are several easy and efficient ways to do so.

Douglas L Quintero

Douglas L Quintero is a technology expert and lives in New York. Previously, he was working on Symbian OS and was trying to solve many issues related to it. From childhood, he was very much interested in technology field and loves to write blogs related to Android, iOS and other OS.

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