What is an HEIC file?

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HEIC, also known as HEIF (High-Efficiency Image File), is a file format used for storing images and image sequences. HEIC also allows for advanced features such as representing Live Photos and storing multiple images and image edits in a single file. Despite its advantages, HEIC is not as widely supported as JPEG and some older devices may not be able to open HEIC files. However, with the increasing adoption of HEIC, many photo editing software and operating systems (such as Apple’s iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra) now offer support for the format.

History of HEIC file


The original HEIC and HEIF technologies were developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). The HEIC file format has grown in popularity due to being Apple’s standard. Apple was the first major adopter of the format in 2017 with the introduction of iOS 11 using HEIC variant. With the release of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple operating systems switched to HEIC files in 2017.

With the switch from JPEG to HEIC, Apple not only improved their space-saving capabilities, but they also were able to maintain the high quality of their smartphone cameras. Eventually, other companies such as Microsoft and Canon decided to use the HEIF format as well.

Uses for HEIC file


HEIC files are a type of image file that is commonly used on Apple devices. HEIC files are typically smaller in size than other types of image files, and they support a variety of advanced features such as high-dynamic range and live photos.

HEIC files are a type of image file used to store digital photos. They are typically used for photoshoots, animations, and action shots. HEIC files are smaller than traditional image files, making them ideal for use on mobile devices and other devices with limited storage space. In addition, HEIC files support a variety of different compression levels, so they can be used to save both space and bandwidth. As a result, HEIC files are becoming increasingly popular for storing and sharing digital photos.

When to avoid HEIC file


Despite the many advantages of HEIC files, there are a few situations where you should avoid using them. One such situation is when you are sharing photos with someone who doesn’t have a compatible device or software. While most newer devices and software can open HEIC files, there are still some that can’t. In addition, many photo-editing programs don’t support HEIC files, so you may not be able to edit your photos if they’re in this format. Finally, HEIC files tend to be larger than JPEGs, so they may take up more storage space on your device. For these reasons, it’s important to decide when to use HEIC files and when to avoid them.

Benefits of HEIC file


HEIC files are a newer file format that offers some advantages over older formats like JPG. For one, HEIC files are much smaller in size, so they take up less space on your hard drive. They also support lossless compression, which means that no information is lost when the file is compressed. In addition, HEIC files can contain multiple images, which is perfect for live photos. Finally, HEIC files also offer better image quality than JPGs, so they’re ideal for situations where you want your photos to look their best.

Disadvantages of HEIC file


One downside of HEIC files is that they are not as widely compatible as other types of image files, so they may not be able to be opened on some devices or platforms. However, there are several free tools available that can help to convert HEIC files to more widely compatible formats.

How to open a HEIC file


While most modern computers can open HEIC files without any issue, you may need to install an additional plugin to view them on older versions of Windows or macOS. To open a HEIC file on your computer, simply double-click it to open it in the default image viewer. If you’re using an older version of Windows or macOS, you can use a free HEIC file viewer app to open these files.

Converting a HEIC file


To convert HEIC files to a more widely-supported format such as JPEG, one can use image conversion software or online converters. It is also possible to change the default photo format on an iPhone or iPad from HEIC to JPEG in the device’s settings.



There is a difference between HEIF and HEIC. And it is that HEIF is a file format for storing individual images and sequences of the image. On the other hand, the HEIC file can store both image and video files, this is how live Photos on iOS devices work.

Why do iPhones use HEIC?


One of the main reasons why iPhones use HEIC is because it offers a live preview option. This means that you can see how your photos will look before you take them. You can also adjust the settings on your camera to get the perfect shot. Furthermore, HEIC takes up less storage space than other file formats, so you can save more photos and videos on your device.


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Leon Olagh

Leon Olagh is an experienced photo retoucher and editor. He shares insights and expertise in the field of photography through his blog posts. His work reflects a meticulous approach to the art of creating and refining visual content.

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