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HEIF File Format

There's a new image file format that may eventually replace the JPEG file format.

The High Efficiency Image Format, HEIF, stores twice the information as a JPEG file.

HEIF is based on the High Efficiency Video Compression format, also known as HEVC or H.265.

HEIF files are containers.

They may contain multiple photographs, sound files, and more.

Photographs most often have a .heic file extension, but .heif and .avci may be used.


Most devices and software, as of September 2018, are still using the JPEG file format.

As devices and software become compatible with the new format, this article may become outdated.


Apple adapted the new format starting with iOS11 and macOS High Sierra.

iPhone 7, 8, and 10's use the new file format.

A – Use JPEG Instead

Do the following to convert your iPhone back to saving photographs as JPEG's.

1) Go to Settings > Camera > Formats.

2) Select Most Compatible.

B – Use HEIF But Export as JPEG's

Do the following on your iPhone to save photographs as HEIC's—but copying/exporting them as JPEG's.

1) Go to Settings > Camera > Formats.

2) Select High Efficiency.

3) Go to Settings > Photos.

4) In the Transfer to Mac or PC section select Automatic.

C – Live Photos

If Live Photos is enabled on an iPhone, the .heic file contains multiple photos and a sound file.

If you select the Most Compatible (above), the live photos are stored as a .jpg file and a three-second .mov video file.

Lightroom Versions Before 6.9

When a Live Photo is imported into Lightroom versions before 6.9:

• The photograph is not imported.

• The movie file, .mov, is imported.

If you're using Lightroom 6, do the following.

1) Create a folder called Live Photos JPEG's on your Desktop or elsewhere.

If you import all of your photographs into a folder called, say, Photographs, create the Live Photos JPEG's folder inside of that folder.

2) Connect your iPhone to your computer.

3) You may have to click on a notification on your iPhone.

4) Go to Finder > iPhone > Internal Storage > DCIM and navigate to the folder containing the Live Photos.

5) Filter the files by searching for *.jpg files.

macOS Sierra: Narrow your searches in Spotlight and Finder

6) Select the files and copy them by pressing Cmd + c.

7) Open the Live Photos JPEG's folder.

8) Paste the JPEG's into the folder by pressing Cmd + v.

9) Go to Lightroom and import the JPEG's from the Live Photos JPEG's folder.

D – Convert

Go to How to convert HEIF images into JPEG format with Preview for Mac.

Android 9 (aka Pie)

HEIF file formats are supported.

Check your camera app to see if it supports HEIF.


Windows 10

Starting with the April 2018 Update, Windows 10 supports the HEIF file format if you do the two installations below.

Go to HEIF Image Extensions:

The HEIF Image Extension enables Windows 10 devices to read and write files that use the High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format.

Such files can have a .heic or .heif file extension.

Images that are stored in HEIF files that have the .heic file extension are compressed using the HEVC format.

Such files require the HEVC Video Extensions package to be installed as well.

If the HEVC Video Extensions package is not installed, the HEIF Image Extension will not be able to read or write .heic files.

Go to HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer:

The HEVC Video Extension enables compatible Windows 10 devices to play video using the HEVC format in any app, including 4K and Ultra HD content.

Compatible devices support HEVC in hardware, including Intel 7th Generation Core processors and other modern GPUs.

If you are not using a compatible device, this extension will have no effect on your Windows 10 video experience.

If you go to this link, instead, you'll have to pay $.99 for the video extension.

Windows 7, 8.1, & 10

Go to CopyTrans HEIC for Windows:

• View HEIC and HEIF files on Windows

• Convert HEIC to JPG offline

• Print HEIC images

• Insert HEICs to MS Office


Go to HEIC and HEVC media files support in Lightroom and Camera Raw.

Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements 2018 does not support HEIF file formats as of this writing (September 2018).

Go to Supported file formats.