How to open a HEIC (HEIF) file in Windows (or convert HEIC to JPG)

Recently, users have been encountering photos in HEIC/HEIF (High Efficiency Image Codec or Format) format - the latest iPhones with iOS 11 are taken in this format instead of JPG by default, the same is expected in Android P. At the same time, these files are not opened by default in Windows.

This guide details the ways to open HEIC in Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7, and also about, how to convert HEIC to JPG or set up iPhone this way, so that he saves photos in the usual format. Also at the end of the material is a video, where all of the above is clearly shown.

Opening HEIC in Windows 10

Starting with version 1803 of Windows 10, when trying to open a HEIC file through the photos app, it offers to download the necessary codec from the Windows Store and after installation, the files begin to open, and for photos in this format, thumbnails appear in the explorer.

However, there is one ‘But’ - yesterday, when I was preparing the current article, the codecs in the store were free. And already today, when recording a video on this topic , it was found, that Microsoft wants $2 for them.

If you don’t particularly want to pay for HEIC/HEIF codecs, I recommend using one of the free ways described below to open such photos or convert them to Jpeg. And maybe Microsoft will ‘come to its senses’ over time.

How to open or convert HEIC to Windows 10 (any versions), 8 and Windows 7 for free

CopyTrans developer introduced free software, which integrates HEIC support in Windows of the latest versions - ‘CopyTrans HEIC for Windows’.

After installing the program, thumbnails for photos in HEIC format will appear in the explorer, as well as the context menu item ‘Convert to Jpeg with CopyTrans’, creating a copy of this JPG file in the same folder, where is the original HEIC. Photo viewers will also be able to open this type of images.

You can download CopyTrans HEIC for Windows for free from the official website https://www.copytrans.net/copytransheic / (after installation, when will I be prompted to restart my computer, be sure to do it).

With a high probability, popular photo viewing programs, in the near future, they will begin to support the HEIC format. At the moment, XnView version 2.4.2 and newer can do this when installing the plugin. http://www.xnview.com/download/plugins/heif_x32.zip

Also, if necessary, you can convert HEIC to JPG online, several services have already appeared for this purpose, for example: https://heictojpg.com/

Setting up the HEIC/JPG format on iPhone

If you don’t want to, to make your iPhone save photos in HEIC, a regular JPG is required, you can configure this as follows:

  1. Go to Settings - Camera - Formats.
  2. Instead of ‘High Efficiency’, select ‘Most Compatible’. 

Another possibility: you can do this, so that the photos on the iPhone itself are stored in HEIC, but when transmitted via cable to a computer, they were converted to JPG, to do this, go to Settings - Photos and in the ‘Transfer to Mac or PC’ select ‘Automatically’.

I hope, the presented methods will be enough. If something does not work out or there is some additional task to work with this type of files, leave comments, I will try to help.