HEIC File Extension! What is a .heic file, and how do I open it?

What is a HEIC file?

In 2017, Apple started using the macOS High Sierra and the High-Efficiency Image Container (HEIC) in iOS 11. This new format comes with various advantages, such as smaller file sizes than JPG and PNG, which support valuable features convenient for users. Recently, Google and Microsoft announced their support for HEIC in the upcoming versions of their OS.

heic files

A HEIC file can hold one or more images saved in the High-Efficiency Image Format or HEIF. This file format is generally used to save images on iOS devices. It generally holds pictures or picture sequences created by iPad or iPhone’s camera application and metadata that describe the picture.

How are the files saved?

Well, it is done in the .heic extension or the.HEIF files.


HEIC: The container or file extension that supports HEIF images. It takes technology from the High-Efficiency Video Compression (HEVC) codec or h.265. Developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), HEVC and HEIF are both proprietary technologies.

HEIF: It came into the limelight when Apple made it the default format for its images on Ios11 devices and macOS High Sierra. But it would help if you kept in mind that other operating systems or websites do not support the file extension yet. This is why Apple’s operating systems will convert the pictures into JPEG when individuals want to share them with friends who do not use Apple products like iPhone or MacBooks.

Convert to JPEG files

If you want to save as JPEG files, you can open your iOS device’s Settings application, select camera – formats – most compatible. After that, your device will start saving pictures as JPEGs. Some may also save them in the HEIC format. To know this in detail, please visit setapp.com.

HEIC files can also be converted to other file formats, such as File Viewer Plus and HEIC image viewer decoder.

Benefits of using HEIC

Here we are going to talk about the advantages of HEIC. First, it has half the size of JPEG images. What more do you want? But yes, that doesn’t mean that the quality is poor. On the contrary, it comes with better quality; HEIC effectively replaces file extensions that support images like GIF and GIFV.

They can store multiple images and image properties, alpha and depth maps, thumbnails, etc.

Cons of HEIC

HEIC, however, can have some patent issues as MPEG develops both HEIC and HEIF. This is because they are based on HVAC technology.

Patent groups other than MPEG claim to have patents on HEVC technology. This means that there could be the same claims against HEIC. This could affect the more significant platform owners like Apple and small websites publishing pictures in the HEIC format.

When it comes to the disadvantages of HEIC, you must know that it doesn’t have widespread adoption beyond iOS11 and macOS High Sierra. So it could just be restricted to Apple users, which is a significant con.

However, Windows 10 Build 17123 has announced that it might support HEIC in its Photos application soon. Moreover, Google even promised support for this particular file format in Android P. The operating systems are expected to be launched later in the current year. It will take some time before most individuals are on Windows 10 Build 17123 or newer or on Android P or newer. HEIC adoptions will not happen instantly, even if all the patent issues are solved.

HEIC file open in Apple Preview

HEIF or H.265 is a digital photo storage format that saves images at better quality and in smaller files. JPEG format.

It decreases the space that pictures take up on memory cards and phones. In 2017, Apple made HEIF the default picture storage format for iOS devices with the release of Ios11. iPhones and iPads began saving user’s pictures as HEIC files with this change.

When Apple added HEIF support to iOS, they added HEIF support to macOS with the release of High Sierra. In 2018, Google followed them by adding HEIF support to Android devices, and Microsoft added HEIF support to Windows. To open HEIC files in Microsoft applications, people using it should manually install the Microsoft HEIF Image Extensions and HEVC Video Extensions packages from the Microsoft Store.

If a picture is captured on an iOS device’s camera application to a non-iOS device or application, the photo is converted from a HEIC file to a . JPG file or JPEG.

How do I open a HEIC file?

In both iOS and macOS, you can open and view HEIC pictures in Apple photos.

In macOS, you can even view HEIC files in Apple Preview.

How to open a HEIC file in Windows?

In Windows, you can open the files in Microsoft Windows Photos after installing Microsoft HEIF Image Extensions and HEVC Video Extensions packages from the Microsoft Store.

There is a minimum charge for the HEVC Video Extensions package. You can even open HEIC files and change them to other kinds of picture formats in File Viewer Plus.

How do I open a HEIC file in Android?

In Android, Chrome OS, and the web, you can easily open HEIC photos via Google Photos.

To know about the latest iPhone news, kindly check this blog by Forbes.

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