Are you a Mac user? Chances are that you have seen the .heic file extension on your images. Does that make you wonder what this photo format is and how to use it? Did you ever wonder how to open HEIC file?
JPG and PNG was the popular photo format for a long time until Apple decided to start using HEIC HEIC. or High-Efficiency Image Container is a format that promises a much smaller size compared to both PNG and JPG. According to Apple, HEIC offers much better compression than JPG, which means that they will not take up a lot of storage space on your devices and iCloud photos.
The usefulness of HEIC gathered traction quickly and so much so that Google and Microsoft also started supporting this photo format.
What is HEIC?
HEIC is a file format that Apple uses to store pictures on Macs and iPhones. Earlier, Apple used the widely used and popular JPG (JPEG) format to let users capture and store images on their devices. Starting in 2017, Apple made HEIC the default file format for all the images captured on its devices.
The primary reason why Apple started using this new file format for pictures is that it has a high compression rate while retaining the original quality of the photos. It means that where JPG photos take 4MB of your device’s memory, a HEIC photo will talk only about half of that. The results? You get to save a lot of storage space on your device.
HEIC is based on the HEIF or High-efficiency Image Format standard that enables users to have more than one compressed item in a container on their devices. However, there’s one limiting factor. HEIC is natively supported by Apple’s OS – iOS 11 and higher, and macOS Sierra.
Now that you know what HEIC means let’s discuss how you can open a .heic file.
How to open a HEIC file?
Convert the file to JPG
You can view a .heic file on your Mac by simply converting the file to JPG. Then, you can view the JPGs normally. By converting the photos, you’ll be able to easily share them with your friends who are not using iOS devices. The reason is an Android, or Windows user won’t open a .heic file without downloading an extension or program.
Converting .heic files is easy. All you need is a HEIC to JPG converter.
How to open HEIC on your Mac using the Photos app
Have you been using a Mac computer for some time now? You must have seen the Photos app on your device. The application allows users to import pictures and organize them. It even lets you store and view HEIC files, and this how you can view those files –
– Launch the Photos app on your device. You can do it by searching for the app in the Launchpad or clicking on the app icon.
– When the app launches, simply click on the File menu and select the option that says Import. This option will let you add new pictures to your albums.
– Locate your HEIC files and click on them. Click on the Review for Import button to add the files selected by you to the app.
– The app will import your HEIC files, and you can normally view them as you would any other image.
Use the Preview app
You can view HEIC files on your Mac by using the Preview app. It might even be the default viewer on your system for viewing HEIC files.
To open a HEIC file on the Preview app, you need to right-click on a .heic file and select Open with and click on that option. Choose Preview, and you should be able to view the file.
Make use of the Dropbox app to open HEIC file.
It might be that you don’t wish to update your Mac for whatever reason. If you still want to open and view HEIC files on your machine, you can use Dropbox to view the files. Here, follow these steps.
– Firstly, Launch the Dropbox app on your device (any Apple device) where you have saved HEIC files
– Upload all of the files to your Dropbox account
– Finally, Install the Dropbox app on your Mac and log in to your account. You should be able to view the HEIC files that you’ve uploaded.
While these are a few ways to open a HEIC file on your Mac, HEIC photos can also be viewed in Windows devices in Microsoft Windows Photos after the HEIF Image Extension is installed. Android users can view HEIC photos by going to Google photos. In addition, you always have the option of converting HEIC photos to JPG format, as mentioned above.
To sum up, Your Mac device should support the HEIC format by default. But if not, indeed because you’re running on an older mac OS. Therefore, you can always follow the ways mentioned above to know how open your HEIC files.
Carly Earl is Guardian Australia picture editor. She has worked as a photographer and picture editor in Sydney for 8 years, previously for The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.