Converting High Efficiency Image File Photos for Windows


The HEIF or HEIC container format stores quality photos in smaller file sizes to save space, but not every program can open them yet without help.

Q. I manage content on our school’s website, including pictures. A colleague sent me pictures of an event from an iPhone, and they were in HEIC format. I couldn’t open them in Photoshop Elements, and our site won’t accept HEIC files for uploading. What now? I use a Windows PC.

A. The High Efficiency Image File container format, indicated by a HEIC or HEIF file extension, was adopted by Apple last year with the release of its iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra systems. The format stores higher-quality images within smaller file sizes, compared with the older .JPG (or JPEG) file format. Apple’s systems can automatically convert shared HEIC images to .JPG, but you can also convert them yourself.

Microsoft is working on HEIC support for Windows 10, and its Windows 10 April 2018 Update now prompts you to visit its app store to download codec software that will open HEIC files. If you are not using the most recent version of Windows 10 — or need a simple way to translate the HEIC files into a format that’s compatible with your website — free utility software should be able to do the job.

CopyTrans HEIC for Windows is one such program. If you download CopyTrans HEIC and install it, you can convert a HEIC file by right-clicking its icon and choosing “Convert to JPEG with CopyTrans” from the menu. The software then makes a copy of the selected file in the JPEG format. Additionally, the CopyTrans app can insert HEIC photos into Microsoft Office documents if you are using Office 2010 or later.

The iMazing HEIC Converter app for Windows and Mac is another tool to transform HEIC files into JPEG photos. The iMazing utility also converts HEIC files to the PNG format, and you can drag and drop folders of HEIC images to convert multiple photos all at once.

Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology to This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.

J.D. Biersdorfer has been answering technology questions — in print, on the web, in audio and in video — since 1998. She also writes the Sunday Book Review’s “Applied Reading” column on ebooks and literary apps, among other things. @jdbiersdorfer