What is HEIC?
History of HEIC and HEIF files
On September 19, 2017, Apple released iOS 11 where they implemented support for the HEIF graphics format. Images and video files encoded with the HEIF codec have a HEIC extension.
The advantage of files with the HEIC extension is the increased efficiency of graphic compression with absolutely no loss of quality (the file size is reduced by half compared to JPEG format with the same quality). HEIC also preserves transparency information and supports a 16-bit color gamut.
The only downside to the HEIC format is that it is slightly incompatible with Windows 10. You need to install a special plugin from the Windows app catalog, or use our online JPEG converter to view these files.
In order to view these files, you need to install a special plugin from the Windows app catalog, or use our online JPEG converter.
If you take photos on your iPhone or iPad, the default file format for all photos is HEIC. And HEIC files are not limited to just graphics. You can also choose to store the audio or video (HEVC encoded) in the same container as the image.
For example, in Live Photos mode, iPhone creates a file container with a HEIC extension, which contains multiple photos and a short audio track. In previous versions of iOS, the live photo container consisted of a JPG image with a 3-second MOV video.
How to open HEIC files on Windows
Built-in or additionally installed graphics editors, including Adobe Photoshop, do not recognize HEIC files. To open such images, there are several options
- ⓵ Install an additional system plugin on your PC from the Windows add-on store
- ⓶ Use our service to convert images from HEIC to JPEG
To install the plugin, go to the Microsoft Store directory and search for "HEIF Image Extension" and click "Get".
This codec will allow the system to open HEIC images, like any other image, simply by double-clicking. Viewing takes place in the standard "Photos" application. Thumbnails for HEIC files also appear in "Explorer".
How to make the iPhone shoot JPEG images with the camera
Despite the advantages of the HEIC format, many iPhone users prefer to view and edit images in the universal JPEG format, which is supported by most devices and applications.
To switch, open Settings, then Camera and Formats. Check the "Most Compatible" option.
The advantage of this method is that you no longer have to convert images or look for plug-ins to view them.
The disadvantage of this method is that the iPhone camera will stop recording video in Full HD mode (240 frames per second) and 4K mode (60 frames per second). These modes are only available if "High Performance" is selected in the camera settings.