Most file formats lend themselves to standardization so that you can open media data on any device. For example, photos with the .jpg extension by default can be reproduced by any operating system. But progress does not stand still: new technologies regularly appear that change the established norms. This happened with the .heic format. We will tell you what kind of innovation it is, what it is for, and how to open it.

What is the .heic file for?

In 2017, Apple announced a new .heif format, which stands for High-Efficiency Image File Format. From the name, it becomes clear that this is a highly effective tool for graphical information. The format implies storing data in two extensions: .heif and .heic.

Compared to .jpg, the new product designed for macOS and iOS has several advantages. For example, .heic files take up almost half the space with the same image quality. Fresh technology allows you to preserve metadata and leaves the editing history open. You can return the file to its original state at any time. Also, files with the .heic and .heif extensions carry deeper graphic data (color depth, alpha channel, and so on).

Obviously, High-Efficiency Image File Format is a more successful technology solution than JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group). Therefore, in the middle of 2018, most Android devices acquired built-in software that can open .heif and .heic files. But Microsoft doesn’t seem to be in a rush to adapt to the situation. On Windows 10, HEIF preview is available starting with build 17123 (RS4). However, it would be best to install two programs: free extension for HEIF images and paid extension for HEVC video… The latter costs only $ 0.99.

But is there really no completely free way to discover a new standard? And how can you open .heic on older operating systems like Windows 7? There is a way out and far from one.

Ways to open HEIC format

Online conversion

There are many services on the web that allow you to change the file extension. To do this, it is enough to drive the corresponding request into the search engine of any browser. Most of the sites found will be in Russian, do not require registration, and complete the procedure you need in a couple of clicks. For instance, heic. Online and… However, as a rule, such resources can convert only specific formats. And this is not very convenient, because every time you have to look for a new site.

You can use a multifunctional online tool that supports over 300 formats – Convertio… Most of the conversion types here support advanced settings, and modified files are deleted after 24 hours, which increases your privacy. All transformations take place in the cloud and do not consume computer resources.

To use the site’s functionality, click on the item “Select Files,” located in the center of the main page. Also, the desired files can be dragged into this window using the mouse cursor. After that, it remains to select the final format and start the process. The procedure’s duration depends on the size of the uploaded file and does not take more than two minutes.

Cloud View

Popular cloud services that allow you to store any file for an unlimited time can open almost all image formats. For instance, Yandex. Disk, or Google drive… This means that if you only need to view the image and not use it somewhere later, you can use one of the above resources. Alternatively, you can use the app Google photos, installed on Android and iOS mobile operating systems. An online version of the tool is also available for desktop owners.

By default, all modern iOS smartphones save photos taken with the camera in .heic format. But this can be easily changed in the settings. You need the “Formats” item, which is located in the “Camera” section. Here you will have two options to choose from: high efficiency and most compatible. The first one matches the .heic extension, the second one – .jpg.


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