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Understanding HEIC Files and Converting to JPG

Understanding HEIC Files and Converting to JPG

Understanding HEIC Files and Converting to JPG

In the rapidly evolving world of digital photography, new file formats are constantly emerging. One of these is the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIC), which has been making waves due to its impressive capabilities. But what exactly are HEIC files? And how can they be converted to the more universally recognized JPG format? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into these questions and more.

What is a HEIC File?

A HEIC file is a high-efficiency image format that was introduced by Apple with iOS 11. It's based on the High Efficiency Video Compression (HEVC) standard, also known as H.265. The primary advantage of HEIC files is that they provide superior image quality while maintaining smaller file sizes compared to traditional formats like JPG.

HEIC files also support 16-bit color images, which means they can display far more colors than the 8-bit JPG format. This makes them ideal for high-quality photographs and digital artwork. Additionally, HEIC files can contain multiple images, making them perfect for Live Photos and image sequences.

Why Convert HEIC to JPG?

Despite the many advantages of HEIC files, they are not as widely supported as the JPG format. While Apple devices and some newer Android phones can handle HEIC files, many other devices and platforms struggle with them. This can make sharing HEIC images a challenge.

Converting HEIC files to JPG can solve this problem. The JPG format is universally recognized and can be opened on virtually any device. While you may lose some of the benefits of the HEIC format in the conversion process, the resulting JPG file will be much easier to share and view on a wide range of platforms.

How to Convert HEIC to JPG

On an iPhone: If you're using an iPhone, you can convert HEIC files to JPG directly on your device. To do this, go to Settings > Camera > Formats and select "Most Compatible". This will ensure that all future photos are saved as JPG files. To convert existing HEIC photos to JPG, you can simply share them via email or upload them to a cloud service like iCloud or Google Photos, which will automatically convert the files to JPG.

On a Mac: On a Mac, you can use the Preview application to convert HEIC files to JPG. Open the HEIC file in Preview, then select File > Export. Choose JPG as the output format, then click Save.

On a PC: Windows 10 supports HEIC files, but you may need to download a free HEIC codec from the Microsoft Store. Once this is installed, you can open HEIC files in the Photos app and save them as JPG files. If you're using an older version of Windows, you may need to use a third-party tool to convert the files.

Online Conversion Tools: There are also numerous online tools that can convert HEIC files to JPG. These tools are typically free to use and don't require any software downloads. However, be sure to use a reputable service to ensure the privacy and security of your files.

Preserving Image Quality

One of the concerns when converting HEIC files to JPG is the potential loss of image quality. This is because JPG is a lossy format, which means some data is discarded during the compression process. However, there are steps you can take to minimize this loss.

When converting a HEIC file to JPG, choose the highest quality setting available. This will result in a larger file size, but it will also preserve more of the original image's detail. Additionally, avoid converting the file multiple times, as each conversion can degrade the image quality further.


HEIC files offer many benefits, including superior image quality and smaller file sizes. However, their lack of universal support can make sharing these files a challenge. Converting HEIC files to JPG is a simple solution to this problem, and with the right tools and settings, you can do so without significant loss of image quality.

Whether you're an iPhone user looking to share your photos more widely, or a digital artist seeking to preserve the integrity of your work, understanding HEIC files and how to convert them to JPG is a valuable skill in today's digital world.

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