How to open HEIC and HEIF files

HEIC files are an image file format that owners of Apple devices have known about for some time..
As we will see later, the format is also common on other operating systems with the name HEIF.
In this in-depth study, we will see what the HEIC format is, the main features and how to open HEIC files on Windows PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

What is the HEIC format?

HEIC is a new high-efficiency image format, the name HEIC means High efficiency image file encoding. It is in fact the Apple version of the HEIF format whose name stands for High Efficiency Image File Format.

THE two formats are identical, only the name changes, so if one operating system manages to open one format, it will be able to open the other as well.

What is the HEIC format?

The HEIF format was developed by the consortium Group of animated images experts (MPEG), to replace JPEG.

HEIF (and therefore HEIC) have many interesting features:

  • They allow, a equal quality, to obtain files that they take up half the space compared to the JPEG format, for example the same photo with the same quality of 64 MPixel, with JPEG it occupies 100 MB, with HEIC only 50 MB.
  • They offer the possibility of store multiple images in the same file, useful for developing HDR later, for example.
  • They allow you to change the orientation and cut the image without having to recode it.

You can find out more by reading our in-depth study on HEIC and HEIF formats.

How to open HEIC and HEIF files in Windows

Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, from version 1607, supports a handy plugin that can open and edit HEIC and HEIF files.

Now, if your operating system is up to date, you should find the plugin already installed and open the HEIC files on Windows.

Windows 10 HEIC Extension

You can verify the success of the installation by going to the HEIF Image Extension webpage from Microsoft then click on “To have“.

A dialog box will open in which you will have to click on “Open the Microsoft Store“The local version of the Store and it will surely appear”Start“. If that doesn’t happen, just click the”To have“To install.

If there should be any issues just update your version of Windows 10, updating Windows is also recommended for security reasons as versions prior to 1607 are no longer supported.

For Windows 7 and 8 versions there is a handy free tool for personal use that adds format support to the system.

His name is CopyTrans HEIC for Windows and can be downloaded directly from official program page. Once installed, it will be possible to work comfortably with HEIF and HEIC files even in older versions of Windows.

Open HEIC and HEIF images on macOS

Both formats are fully supported by macOS 10.13 High Sierra (released in 2017) after that. So virtually on all Macs, you just need to click on HEIC and HEIF files to view them.

If you have difficulty opening it, just update your operating system to resolve the issue.

View HEIC and HEIF photos on Android

Google’s mobile operating system supports files in HEIC and HEIF format from Android 9 (Pie). So now the vast majority of Android devices in circulation natively support HEIC and HEIF files which can then be opened and edited without any difficulty.

If you are having difficulty opening these files, you should check if an update for the operating system version is available and perform the update.

In any case, the file type HEIC (and HEIF) can also be opened without difficulty on older versions of Android via the convenient Luma app, which also allows you to convert HEIF and HEIC files to JPEG while maintaining the quality.

The app can be downloaded for free via the Google play store.

How to open HEIC and HEIF formats on iPhone and iPad

These devices have a full HEIC format support and HEIF since 2017.

Apple devices with iOS (from version 11) allow the creation and editing of HEIC photos (and therefore in HEIF).
In case of difficulty, the invitation is renewed to update the operating system of the device.

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