How to open images in HEIC and HEIF format

HEIC files are an image file format that owners of Apple devices have been familiar with 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 PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices.


  • What is the HEIC format?
  • How to open HEIC and HEIF files on Windows
  • Open HEIC and HEIF images on macOS
  • View HEIC and HEIF photos on Android
  • How to open HEIC and HEIF format on iPhone and iPad

What is the HEIC format?

HEIC is a new high-efficiency image format, the name HEIC stands for High Efficiency Image File Coding . In fact it is 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 an operating system manages to open one format, it will also be able to open the other without problems.

The HEIF format was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) consortium to replace the JPEG format.

HEIF (and therefore HEIC) have many interesting features:

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

You can learn more by consulting our in- depth study on HEIC and HEIF formats .

How to open HEIC and HEIF files on Windows

The Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, starting with version 1607, supports a convenient plugin that can open and edit HEIC and HEIF files .

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

You can verify that the installation was successful by going to the Microsoft HEIF Image Extension web page and then clicking on ” Get “.

A dialog box will open in which you will need to click on ” Open Microsoft Store ” the local version of the Store and ” Start ” will certainly appear . If this does not happen, just click on the ” Get ” button to install.

If there are any hitches, just update your version of Windows 10, updating Windows is definitely recommended also for security reasons since versions prior to 1607 are no longer supported.

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

It’s called CopyTrans HEIC for Windows and can be downloaded directly from the program’s official page . Once installed it will be possible to operate comfortably with HEIF and HEIC files even in old versions of Windows.

Open HEIC and HEIF images on macOS

The two formats are fully supported by macOS 10.13 High Sierra  (released in 2017) and later . So practically on all Macs, just click on HEIC and HEIF files to view them.

If you have difficulty opening it, just update your operating system to solve the problem.

View HEIC and HEIF photos on Android

Google’s mobile operating system supports HEIC and HEIF format files 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 operating system version update is available and perform the update.

In any case, the HEIC (and HEIF) file type can be opened without difficulty even on older versions of Android via the handy 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 format on iPhone and iPad

These devices have full HEIC and HEIF format support 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 proceed with the update of the device’s operating system.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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