How to Convert Image Files from HEIC to JPG
Since iOS 11, Apple has been using the HEIC image format and, in some ways, it’s superior to JPG. For example, HEIC images are much smaller than JPG, making them perfect for mobile devices.
Nevertheless, the format causes issues with certain apps and that’s why you might want to convert the images. The conversion itself isn’t tricky, but it requires a few steps (on a Mac). And if you’re not a Mac user, you might need to use third-party apps.
On a Mac
The easiest way to convert image files from HEIC to JPG is to use Quick Action. However, you need to set it up first, and here’s how to do so.
Hit Cmd + Space to access Spotlight and type Automator, then select New Document at the bottom left of the window.
In the document template window, select Quick Actions, and confirm by clicking on Choose.
Note: Make sure your Mac is up-to-date because the Quick Actions template might not be available.
Go to the search bar on the left side of the menu window and enter “copy finder”. Under search results, you’ll find “Copy Finder Items” – drag and drop this into the right section of the screen.
In the menu window on the right, you can also select the destination of the converted images.
Tip: Omitting the “Copy Finder Items” action won’t create a copy of the HEIC image on your desktop.
Select the search bar on the left again and enter “change type”. The “Change Type of Images” command should appear under results, and then you drag and drop it to the right.
Now, you should be able to see a drop-down menu next to “To Type”, click on it and select JPEG.
Navigate to the menu bar, select File, and choose Save from the drop-down menu.
Name the Quick Action in the drop-down window, and hit the Save button to finalize the process.
How to Use Quick Action for HEIC to JPG Conversion
Once the Action is set-up, you’re only a couple of clicks away from making the conversion. Select the image file you’d like to convert, right-click on it, and choose Quick Actions.
The pop-out menu reveals the options and “Convert to JPG” should be the second one. Click on it and the system creates a JPG in the destination folder you chose earlier.
Quick Note: The Action works the same when you bulk-select images.
On a Windows 10 Device
There are two methods to convert HEIC images to JPG and both require you to install additional software. But first, let’s see how to make your PC recognize and open HEIC files.
HEIF Image Extension
If the Photos app is running on your PC, close it, then access the Microsoft Store and search for HEIF Image Extension.
Hit the Get button and install it on your computer. Then, open the Photos app to access the HEIC files on your computer.
Note: From Windows 10 update onward, Microsoft prompts you to download codecs that read HEIC files. This method works pretty much the same as the extension.
If you’re using iCloud to store the images, you can download HEIC files as JPG onto your computer. And the best thing is that this is the simplest way to convert the images.
In the Photos Options window, make sure the “Keep high efficiency original if available” option is unchecked. This automatically converts HEIC images to JPG upon download.
For this article, we’ll take a look at the iMazing software because it’s easy-to-use and free. But there are other apps out there so feel free to experiment.
Download and install the software, then drag and drop your HEIC files into the converter window and select JPEG from the drop-down window next to Format. Finalize the action by clicking on Convert and choosing the destination folder on your computer.
You should know that iMazing is available for Macs and PCs, and mobile devices.
Directly on the iPhone
It’s important to stress that iPhones with iOS 10 don’t have the option to save and create HEIC images. But with newer software iterations and iPhones you can do everything on your phone.
Tap on the Settings app, swipe down to Camera and tap to open. In the Camera menu, select Formats and choose JPG as the “most compatible”, and HEIC as “high efficiency”.
Then, access the Photos menu and navigate to “Transfer to Mac or PC” and select Automatic. This is how you configure your iPhone to convert the photos on auto.
As indicated, you can also try third-party software such as iMazing, if that’s more convenient.
From the Web
Choosing one online conversion website over another is a matter of personal preference. All of them offer a similar or the same conversion method.
Drag and drop the images into the designated area or select the file, hit Convert, and wait for the software to do the heavy lifting. Then, you can download the converted files onto your computer.
You should know that some online conversion services also allow you to choose the image size, quality, and remove or keep the image metadata.
As you can see, converting HEIC images to JPG isn’t as tricky as you might think, even if you’re a Windows user. Still, certain questions need to be addressed.
Can I Automatically Save Images as JPG Instead of HEIC?
As indicated, there’s an option to automatically save images as JPG. To remind you, go to the Settings app on your iPhone and select Camera options.
Under Formats choose “high efficiency” for HEIC and “most compatible” for JPG. Then, switch over to Photos and choose Automatic under “Transfer to Mac or PC”.
It’s important to note that the format in the settings might be labeled as HEIF/HEVC. No worries, you’re in the right place and the saved file is HEIC indeed.
Why Do iPhones Use the HEIC File Type?
To disambiguate the lingo first – HEIF is a High-Efficiency Image Format standard, and HEIC is the file format you get. As said, Apple adopted this from iOS 11 onward because of a more advanced compression method.
In a nutshell, the format allows you to take high-resolution images of smaller size. This way, you get the crisp, sharp photos iPhones are known for, yet you don’t use up the free memory on your iPhone fast. Plus, this is more storage-efficient should you decide to keep the photos on iCloud.
At this point, the compatibility of the HEIC format is its major limitation. In fact, macOS prior to High Siera isn’t capable of recognizing and opening HEIC files. Nevertheless, this can be solved with the simple update of the system.
And you now know that there are ways to make HEIC files Windows-friendly.
Are 3rd Party Converters Safe?
The quick answer is yes, third-party converters are safe, but you won’t be using just any converter you can install. The trick is to find software that won’t keep your photos on its servers, share your images with third-parties, or have access to your data.
With this in mind, you’ll need to provide your credentials to log in and the software can tap into Photos on your Mac, iPhone, or PC. But apps such as the afore-mentioned iMazing do all this locally and store only the login data for easy access.
Can You USE HEIC Format on Android?
Android doesn’t provide native support for the HEIC format and third-party apps are few and far between. Nonetheless, there’s a neat trick to open, view, and manage HEIC files on your Android device.
Install Dropbox and use the app to store or transfer all your HEIC files. That way, you can preview them through the Dropbox app. Then, you can send the images to Adobe Lightroom mobile or any other software that allows you to edit and manipulate the given files.
With this in mind, most Android users rarely encounter this type of files due to the native formats of their device.
HEIC Conversions Made Easy
It’s safe to assume that HEIC format is here to stay because of its compression rate and image quality. Consequently, this high-efficiency format will find its way onto more devices, smartphones in particular. But if you’re serious about photography RAW is still the gold standard to retain as much information in the image as possible.
When was the first time you encountered HEIC format? What is the conversion software or method you prefer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.