How to Handle iOS 11’s New HEIC Image Format on Windows

c/o Dan Grebb/Flickr

Apple will upgrade millions of iPhones to its new HEIC image format today. The format takes around half as much space as a JPEG and delivers equal image quality, but it is causing some problems for Windows users, because HEIC isn’t natively supported on Windows 10.

Here’s what to do:

Prevent your iPhone using HEIC

When you disable HEIC your device will save all its images as JPEGs. Just tap Settings>Camera>Formats and change the format to ‘Most Compatible‘.

You should then check the Transfer to Mac or PC tab to ensure you have set this to ‘Automatic’. In future, when you transfer images to a Mac or PC they will be exported in a format the computer understands.

That’s all very well, but what about those images you may already have saved in HEIC and you can’t open on your Windows system?

Convert the images

The heictojpeg online converter converts your HEIC files into JPEGs your PC should understand, though the challenge with this approach is the need to upload your images to a website you don’t know.

If that doesn’t work, here are two more workarounds to get those images to you PC in a form your system understands.


eMail the images

Another way to get the images to your PC is to email them to yourself from your iPhone. They will automatically be exported as JPEGs so you can open them on your machine.

Use iCloud

I think the easiest approach is to use iCloud online to access the images you cannot see on your Windows machine. Visit and log in with your Apple ID. Tap Photos and you should see all the images and videos you have available in a Windows-friendly file format.

If you have deleted images that you now want back, you may have success if you take a look inside the Deleted folder, as they may still be there — iCloud keeps images that you have chosen to Delete in the Deleted file for 30-days before getting rid of them. Select the images you want to see on your Windows machine and download them.

I hope these few tips help.

Added info: Not every device is compatible with the format, as explained here.





Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

5 Responses

  1. khoaoow says:

    Hey guys, this is my online tool help to convert ios 11 photo in format heic to jpg. Feel free to let me know if you have any comments or feedback, thank you!

  2. jon says:

    Upgraded IOS 11.01 – Apple camera DOES NOT have Settings>Camera>Formats on my iphone SE.
    only options in Settings>Camera> are: preserve settings, grid, scan QR, record video, record slo-mo, and keep normal photo..

  3. duhmel says:

    Changing the setting in ‘Camera’ only works in Iphone 7 or later. Terrible decision by Apple to eliminate (or greatly complicate) downloading pictures from older phones.

  4. nicnaq says:

    i just converted an heic image by adding .jpg extension to the file name. opened up just fine. Any problems doing it that way?

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