Storage space is essential for any shutterbug and is usually what most of them wish they had more. With the sparse availability of Micro SD slots on smartphones these days, users typically end up with limited storage options like 64GB where they cannot keep storing new images or videos without compression and transferring them off of the device. This is where the HEIC file format comes in.
HEIC stands for High-Efficiency Image Container; this is used to store a HEIF image or image sequences. You may have heard about HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Compression) Codec; this file format does borrow technology from it. HEIF and HEVC are both developed by Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG).
The HEIC, which contains HEIF files, has much smaller file sizes while retaining more detail and having better image quality than traditional formats like JPEG.
HEIF made its way into the technology world when Apple introduced it as the stock image file type in iOS 11. There was confusion over its use as it was not supported natively by Windows then, but now Windows 10 has support for it, and there are file converters to use it on older versions.
How to convert HEIF files to JPEG
Using third-party software to convert files
Although Copy Trans is a third-party software, it syncs with the UI like Microsoft always wanted it to be there. HEIF images can be opened on older Windows versions using this too.
If you want to convert your file, right-click the image, and an option to convert it to JPEG comes up. The converted file is placed in the same folder as the original.
Files open in the standard Windows Photo Viewer and can also be used in Microsoft Office and appear as thumbnails. A system restart will make all the functions available.
It is available for download here.
Using an online converter
For converting files using an online converter, you need to upload your HEIC files and press the convert button. Since HEIC files are more compressed and smaller in size, the upload may be fast, but the JPEG conversion will be of a higher value in terms of file size.
You can use this converter here.
Note: Uploading of private photos onto any online converter is not recommended, it is recommended that you use a third-party software that does conversions locally for more safety.
How to view HEIC files in Windows
Downloading HEIF Image Extension Codec for Windows 10
After the April 2018 update to Windows 10, using HEIC files in the latest version became a whole lot easier. Users can now download the HEIF Image Extension Codec to open these files to view them and view their thumbnails in File Explorer.
For viewing HEIC files on older versions, conversion is a must as there is no native support available.