Apple started using the High Efficiency Image File format ( HEIF) for photos taken with iOS devices in 2017. Commonly referred to as HEIC files because they use HEIC as their extension, this file format has some advantages over JPG as it promises better quality, smaller file sizes, and native HDR support. However, opening HEIC files in their native format can be tricky if you’re not using an Apple device.
iOS, iPadOS, and macOS come with the ability to use HEIC files, but Windows users aren’t so lucky; Microsoft does not offer a default way to open these files. Don’t worry, though, because viewing HEIC files on Windows is pretty painless at Windows 11.
Just know that adding the ability to open HEIC files to Windows 11 isn’t &rsquo free, and Apple will automatically convert photos to JPEG if shared by people outside of its ecosystem . Just upload the original HEIC file via iCloud.com it’s a bit of a hassle because Apple just assumes Windows users want to use the JPEG version by default. So for many people viewing HEIC files won’t be critical, but if it’s for you, be prepared to part with a dollar.
How to open HEIC files in Windows 11
1. Trying to open a HEIC file using the Photos app. Microsoft ships Windows 11 and Windows 10 with a built-in image viewer called Photos. This does not mean; HEIC compatibility is not supported by default, so you will have to select the application from the menu when you try to open a photo. .png” alt=”How to open HEIC files in Windows 11 “/>
2. Click ‘Download and install it now.’ The photos helpfully display a link to the HEVC extension, which allows you to open HEIC files (among others) in the Microsoft Store. Click on it.
3. Confirm that you want to launch the Microsoft Store. Windows 11 will prompt you to confirm that you want to switch to a new app; let it launch the Microsoft app marketplace.
4. Press the “$0.99” button. Or, if you’re outside the US, any button displays the price of the extension in your local currency. It’s at the far left of the page. You will be asked if you want to pay with a credit card, PayPal, or gift card balance. It’s up to you.
5. Click ‘Buy. Once you’ve chosen your payment method (and set it up if you’re buying from the Microsoft Store for the first time), you’ll see a confirmation window. Click “Buy”; to proceed with your purchase, you can install the extension.
6. Confirm that the purchase was successful. A new “Open” button should appear where the “$0.99” button or equivalent used to be. Clicking on it will do nothing, but will show that the extension was successfully installed.
7. Open your HEIC file. Try opening the file you started with again. Photos should launch and, thanks to the HEVC Video extension, display your image. (In our case, a dressing table that we decided to send to a few friends while we were away.)
You can now use photos to view and manage HEIC files instead of having to settle for previously converted JPEG files.But the extension isn’t limited to allowing Photos to open images saved in this format – it also brings HEIC support to built-in software like Paint and third-party apps like Adobe PhotoShop. Photos will also have the ability to convert HEIC images to other formats (including all common formats from JPEG to TIFF) and vice versa.