Since the iOS 11 update, Apple has decided to switch to a new format for photos and images, they now have the .heic extension.
This makes it possible to reduce their size, free up more space on your iPhone or iPad, store more and edit your images more easily.
This format is therefore very practical, but Windows still need to be able to support it for users with a PC. Fortunately, there are several tricks to open HEIC files and convert them.
What is a HEIC file?
If you copy photos taken with an iPhone or iPad to a PC (desktop or laptop), then you will find that they have the .heic extension.
HEIC is a format developed, not by Apple, but by MPEG; it may even soon replace the JPG format. This new format for photos and images is supported by iPhone and iPad with the A9 chip, and newer models.
The HEIC format has several advantages:
- it retains a quality equivalent to JPG.
- it is less heavy, allows a faster transfer.
- it can save multiple photos under one folder.
- it supports transparency (like that of GIFs) and 16-bit color.
- it can save image modifications (cropping, rotation, etc.) and their deletion.
Open a HEIC file in Windows 10
Make sure you have Windows 10 version 1809 or later. (If you are not sure, type winver in the Windows search bar, then press Enter). If the version is earlier than 1809, then open Settings, go to Update and Security → Windows Update and update your device.
Now you need to install HEIF support.
Click on this Microsoft Store link to get the HEIF Image Extension tool. If you go further down the page, you will see the HEIC Image Converter Tool app for 0.99 €, but the link we provide allows you to enjoy the manufacturer’s version, it is completely identical, and what’s more, free.
Click on Download, then on Launch.
Now, if you double click on a .heic file, it will open in the Windows 10 Photos app by default.
If this is not the case, then in the window that opens asking you with which program you want to open your photo, click on the box suggesting that you always use this application [Photos] to open HEIC files.
Convert HEIC file to JPG
When you open a file, it behaves like a standard JPG. You can edit it using Photos tools, and even when you don’t edit it, you can save it in JPG (or whatever) format.
This method is suitable if you want to convert a photo occasionally, but there are much easier ways to convert more than one photo to JPG at a time.
If you opt for iMazing HEIC Converter, a small window will appear in which you just have to drag and drop your files and convert them to JPG or PNG.
For more control, such as renaming your image, JPG compression level, etc. then there isThe HEIC Image Converter paid app available from the Microsoft Store
Do not convert HEIC files
To avoid having to convert your photos, you can share them via emails or store them in a cloud, such as Google Drive.
By doing this, they will be automatically converted to JPEG format, then all you have to do is choose their size.
Otherwise, save HEIC files to Dropbox, this storage service already supports .heic format.