HEIC Format on iPhone: What Is an HEIC Image?

Brandon Wood
May 23, 2023

Ever since iOS 11 was released in 2017, Apple has introduced and made the HEIC file format the default image format on iOS devices. When the new Apple HEIC photos offer better image quality under compression, you will find they are not compatible with other devices, like Windows PC and Android devices.

So, a series of questions may occur to you: what is HEIC photo on iPhone? What does HEIC stand for? How to open HEIC photos on Windows and Mac? Can you convert the HEIC image format on your iPhone?... In this article, we will elaborately explain all your concerns.

First of all, let's see what an HEIC file is.

what is an heic file

Part 1. What Is an HEIC File and Why Are iPhone Photos in HEIC Format?
Part 2. Is HEIC Better than JPG?
Part 3. How to Stop Your iPhone from Taking HEIC Photos?
Part 4. How to Share HEIC Photos as JPG Format?
Part 5. How to Open HEIC Photos on Windows PC?
Part 6. How to Open HEIC Photos on Mac?
Part 7. How to Convert HEIC into JPG/PNG Format on Windows?

Part 1. What Is an HEIC File and Why Are iPhone Photos in HEIC Format?

Well, what does HEIC photo mean? As we mentioned above, HEIC is an iPhone's proprietary picture format. It stands for the High-Efficiency Image Format (HEIF), compressed with HEVC - the High-Efficiency Video Compression codec. HEVC is also known as H.265 and is created by the MPEG company.

HEIC firstly greeted people's eyes in iPhone 7 running iOS 11 in 2017. Compared with the JPG format, the HEIC file format saves pictures in a smaller size while preserving high photo quality. That's the major cause why iPhone photos are in the HEIC format.

Apart from this, there is also much other evidence to show that HEIC is better than JPG. Let's continue reading.

Part 2. Is HEIC Better than JPG?

Yes, HEIC is a better image storage format than JPG in many aspects.

  1. an HEIC photo is half of a JPG/JPEG photo size but with the same image quality.
  2. an HEIC file contains multiple photos, significant for consecutive shoot multiple scenes and live pictures.
  3. HEIC supports 8-bit and 16-bit colors, while JPG only supports 8-bit colors.
  4. HEIC supports saving image modifications and allows you to edit an image step by step.
  5. HEIC supports transparency like GIF and GIFV.

Part 3. How to Stop Your iPhone from Taking HEIC Photos?

Considerate as Apple is, it allows you to switch between HEIC and common photo formats. If you need to stop your iPhone from taking HEIC photos, a few settings are enough!

  1. Open iPhone's Settings, navigate to the Camera tab and choose Formats.
  2. Tap the Most Compatible option to switch to the JPEG/H.264 format.

heic file format	in iphone camera settings

Check if you needed:

[Comprehensive Guide] iMazing HEIC Converter Review & Its 7 Alternatives

[Updated] CopyTrans HEIC Review: Is CopyTrans HEIC Safe, Free, and Best to Use?

Part 4. How to Share HEIC Photos as JPG Format?

If you consider converting HEIC to JPG as a hassle, one easy way to save HEIC photos in JPG format is by sharing the HEIC photos via email. After adding the HEIC photos as the attachments, those photos will automatically be saved with a .jpeg extension.

1. Head over to the Photos app on your iPhone.

2. Click the wanted HEIC photos to transfer and tap the Select button.

3. Choose Mail from the pop-up window and sign in with your email account and password.

4. Complete the recipient and send the email.

share heic photos

Part 5. How to Open HEIC Photos on Windows PC?

It is a bit touchy to open HEIC photos on a Windows PC. However, if your computer runs Windows 10, it will be easy for you to open and view HEIC pictures.

Microsoft has launched a codec program named HEIF Image Extensions, enabling you to open any HEIC photos as simply as possible. However, this extension program only works for Windows 10. If your PC runs another OS, you can upgrade it to Windows 10 before trying the following steps.

How to open the HEIC file in Windows 10?

1. Install HEIF Image Extensions and HEVC Video Extensions packages on your computer from the Microsoft Store. Both of the packages will charge you a bit.

2. Double-click an HEIC file, and it will open in the Photos app.

open heic file format	on windows via heif image extensions

People also read: What Is the Difference Between HEIC and JPEG?

Part 6. How to Open HEIC Photos on Mac?

If you have a Mac, you can open HEIC photos with the built-in Preview feature and convert HEIC to PNG, JPG, TIFF, or PDF format without trouble.

Here's how it works.

1. Sync HEIC pictures to your Mac and open a file with Preview.

2. Click File on the Apple menu and select the Export option.

3. Choose the output format like JPEG, PNG, PDF, or TIFF, and hit the Save button.

open heic file using preview on mac

Part 7. How to Convert HEIC into JPG/PNG Format on Windows?

There is a zero-failure method to convert HEIC to JPG on Windows computers - using Coolmuster HEIC Converter. With this professional tool, you can convert multiple HEIC images to JPEG or PNG simultaneously on Windows and Mac without compression. Moreover, you can also store the Exif data during conversion.

Key features of HEIC to JPG Converter:

* Convert unlimited HEIC (HEIF) photos to JPEG/JPG/PNG files on a Windows PC simultaneously.

* You can batch convert HEIC to JPG easily.

* Allow you to adjust the picture quality before conversion and keep the Exif data during conversion.

* Convert the first 10 HEIC files for free.

* Easy, fast, and no image quality loss.

* Time-saving and read-only.

* Support most Windows OSes, such as Windows 11/10/8/7, and more.

windows version of coolmuster heic converterheic to jpg converter mac version

How do I convert HEIC to JPEG in minutes?

1. Install the software on your computer.

Install and launch the app on your computer. If you wish to convert HEIC photos from your iPhone directly, please connect your iPhone to the computer.

install heic to jpg converter on your computer

2. Add the HEIC photos to the software.

Tap the Add HEIC button to access your HEIC files on the home interface, or drag the HEIC files onto the window and click Drag and drop here to add pictures. When added, it will display the HEIC images on the interface.

add heic files to the program

3. Convert HEIC to JPG in one click.

From the right panel, select the output format as JPG/JPEG, define the photo quality and the storage path on the computer, and tap the Convert button. If necessary, tick off the Keep Exif Data option to save the Exif to your PC. When the conversion process is over, you can click the Open folder button to view the converted JPEG photos.

how to convert heic to jpg in one click

Words in the End

What is an HEIC file? I believe you have already had a complete understanding of it. By now, HEIC files compatibility issues still exist on other devices except for iOS devices. If you have great HEIC photos on iPhone and need to use them on other operating systems, you can make Coolmuster HEIC Converter your prior choice to convert the HEIC to a wider compatible JPEG format.

Besides, you can also install the two extension packages on your PC Windows 10 and view HEIC photos in the Photos app. But if you don't want to make things complex, HEIC to JPG Converter is more suitable for you.

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Batch convert HEIC to JPG/JPEG/PNG without losing image quality.
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