Open HEIC File On Windows & Mac, Pros & Cons, HEIC Alternatives


In an age dominated by files, multiple file formats have emerged. Some file formats have been so ubiquitous, while some file formats remain constrained within the archives of a certain ecosystem. One such file format is HEIC. This format not only addresses the demand for space-efficient storage but also opens doors to richer, more vibrant visual experiences across diverse digital platforms.

Open HEIC File On Windows & Mac, Pros & Cons, HEIC Alternatives

HEIC file is a byproduct of the Apple Ecosystem, offering iPhone camera users a paradigm-shifting solution to the perennial challenges of storage efficiency and image quality. The adoption of High-Efficiency Image Format signifies a step towards a future where compact file sizes define multimedia experiences without compromising the actual image quality. However, all good things do have their set of advantages and disadvantages, too. The format excels within its native environment; a broader digital landscape necessitates the exploration of alternatives and conversion methods. Understanding the dichotomy between HEIC and traditional formats like JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP empowers users to navigate the diverse demands of different platforms. Read this article throughout to learn about HEIC file and its surrounding file formats.

Quick & Simple Steps To Open HEIC Files: Windows and Mac

In Windows: Prior to opening HEIC files on Windows just ensure that the Windows version that you might be using is Windows 10 (18.09) or above, as HEIC is incompatible with older Windows versions. The steps for this procedure is listed below:

  • Step 1: Go to File Explorer & find a HEIC file
  • Step 2: Double-click on HEIC file, and it will open in “Photos” app


  • Step 2 (Alternative): Right click on HEIC file > Open With > Photos
    Step 3: Tap on “Download and install it now” link if Photos App shows the prompt to download the HEIC Image Extension
    Step 4: For enhanced exposure select Yes > Install to download “HEIF Image Extensions.”

On Mac: Mac enjoys native support for HEIC files. The built-in support for HEIC on Mac makes it a convenient and user-friendly experience for handling these files. Just follow the steps below to open HEIC files in your Mac:

  • Step 1: Double-click on the HEIC file
  • Step 2: Choose the “Open with Preview” option. Use this option to view and convert HEIC files
  • Step 3: Select “Export As” and choose the desired format for conversion. You can also upload these HEIC files to Photos App or Dropbox

Simply Convert HEIC Image To JPG & PNG On Windows

HEIC To JPG (Windows)HEIC To PNG (Windows)
  • Step 1: Choose a reliable HEIC to JPG converter ( You can find reliable ones online).
  • Step 2:Open the converter on your Windows computer.
  • Step 3:Select the HEIC files you want to convert to JPG and click “Open.”
  • Step 4:Select “JPG” as the output format for conversion.
  • Step 5:Choose a destination folder where you want to save the converted JPG files.
  • Step 6:Click the “Convert” or “Start” button to initiate the conversion process.
  • Step 1: Choose a HEIC to PNG converter such as “CopyTrans HEIC for Windows.”
  • Step 2: Launch the installed converter application.
  • Step 3: Add HEIC Files
  • Step 4: Click the “Add HEIC” button within the converter.
  • Step 5: Select the HEIC files you want to convert to PNG and click “Open.”
  • Step 6: Set the output format to “PNG.”
  • Step 7: Select your destination folder for the converted PNG files.
  • Step 8: Click on the “Convert” or “Start” button to begin the conversion process.

Also Read: Convenient Way to Turn PPT EXL And JPG To PDF

Convert HEIC Image to JPG/PNG on Mac

  • Step 1: Select the HEIC file you want to convert
  • Step 2:Right-click the HEIC file and choose “Open With” > “Preview.”
  • Step 3: In Preview, click on the “File” menu.
  • Step 4:Select “Export…”
  • Step 5:Choose JPG/PNG  from the format dropdown menu.
  • Step 6:Adjust any settings if necessary.
  • Step 7:Click “Save.”

5 Most Common HEIC File Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages 
Employs advanced compression algorithms, resulting in significantly smaller file sizesPoses compatibility issues outside the Apple ecosystem, requiring conversion for use on non-iOS devices.
Maintains high image quality with minimal loss, making it ideal for preserving visual fidelityHEIC files may contain metadata, hence there are potential privacy risks when sharing images with embedded information.
Supports features like transparency and animations, enhancing the versatility of multimedia content
Editing HEIC files might be challenging on non-Apple platforms, requiring compatible software.
The smaller file of HEIC sizes allow users to store more images without compromising device storage capacity unlike JPG.Due to limited compatibility, users may need to convert HEIC files to more universally accepted formats.
When editing HEIC files, the format retains original data, allowing for non-destructive editing without quality loss.In the event of corruption or compatibility issues, there’s a risk of data loss during file transfer or conversion.

Extremely Popular HEIC Alternatives You Can Use

Everything in this world has its alternatives, and HEIC is no different. In a world governed by data, it is essential that we have multiple options available as viable alternatives to HEIC file formats. Some of the common alternatives are:

  • JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group stands as one of the most ubiquitous and widely supported image formats in the digital realm. JPEG is the go-to format for everyday photographs and graphics because it has excellent compression capabilities while maintaining reasonable image quality. Although lacking some of the advanced compression techniques found in HEIC, its broad compatibility across various devices and platforms makes it a reliable choice for sharing images seamlessly.
  • PNG: Portable Network Graphics, or PNG, is an image format known for its support of transparency and the preservation of image quality. Unlike HEIC, PNG does not use image compression, which results in higher file sizes. However, its popularity arises from its ability to maintain crisp images, making it particularly suitable for graphics and images requiring a transparent background.
  • GIF: Graphics interchange format, or GIF, is an animated image widely used in the digital landscape. On one hand, it doesn’t really enjoy the quality standards of the other file formats, but due to its light architecture, it remains most popular amongst the young to create memes, stickers, etc.
  • BMP: Bitmap (BMP) images are composed of pixels and can store images in multiple variants and colors. It offers a lossless option for preserving image quality and tends to be larger in size. This format is chosen when maintaining every detail of an image is crucial, and the file size is not a primary concern as BMPs can seamlessly handle supreme image data levels.
  • TIFF: Tagged Image File Format, or TIFF, is a versatile, high-quality image format known for its lossless compression capabilities. Frequently utilized in professional settings such as photography and printing, TIFF files preserve intricate details and are optimal for situations where image fidelity is paramount, even at the expense of larger file sizes.

Know Major Differences Between HEIC & JPEG File Format

Two of the most popular image formats, HEIC ( In Apple Devices ) and JPEG ( For Universal devices ), have many similarities in the way they operate, but there remain some differences in the way these two image types work. Below is a short table summarizing the differences between the same:

Parameters HEIC JPEG
SupportLimited support on some platforms , namely only on Apple PlatformsUniversally supported
TransparencySupports transparencyNo support for transparency
CompressionSmaller file sizesLarger file sizes
UsageModern devices and platformsUniversal, legacy and modern
Editing Capabilities Retains more data for editingLimited data retention
Color RepresentationWide color gamutStandard color representation
Image QualityExcellent quality at smaller sizesGood quality, slight loss

Also Read: Tips On How To Edit Your File Formats Using GogoPDF

Final Words

File formats are very crucial if you are someone who regularly deals with files. Not using compatible file formats can jeopardize your work; hence, it is very critical to understand the intricacies of the files. In the above sections, we have covered the HEIC file format extensively, a modern image format designed to offer superior compression without compromising quality; HEIC presents a viable alternative to traditional formats. Whether deeply rooted in the Apple ecosystem or a casual user, you can use HEIC to suit your needs and convert to suitable file formats.

About Sagnik

Sagnik holds a master's degree in Business and Analytics from IIT Kharagpur with two years of software development experience. He is also a passionate content writer, skilled in creating engaging content. He excels in dynamic environments, adapts quickly to challenges, and continuously strives to stay updated with industry trends.

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