Updated · Feb 08, 2023
If you’ve taken a photo on your iPhone or iPad lately, you might’ve noticed that the file extension is now HEIC rather than the old familiar JPG.
Let’s find out what that is, why is Apple using it and most importantly - how to convert HEIC files to JPG on Mac.
What Is an HEIC File Format?
With the release of iOS 11 in 2017, Apple announced they were leaving behind the industry standard of JPG and moving on to a new image storage format - HEIC.
HEIC is Apple’s version of HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format), which iOS devices use to store photos or images. HEIF was developed by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) in 2015 as a new way to store high-quality images while taking up less memory.
An HEIC file contains the photo(or photos), as well as metadata describing each one. You can save HEIC photos under the .heic extension or as .heif files.
And all of that is great - until you try sharing the file with someone who doesn’t use macOS.
Converting HEIC to JPG on Your Mac Device
HEIC is a relatively new file format, which means it’s not universally supported. Would you rather store your images in a more accessible format?
Take a look at several easy ways to use your Mac to turn an HEIC into a JPG:
Convert HEIC to JPG using the Photos app
This is probably the most straightforward way to go about it.
Photos is the go-to viewing and editing app for Mac users. That’s where you’re likely to open and interact with your HEIC images in the first place. And luckily, the built-in app has not one, but two ways of turning HEIC files into JPG.
If you’ve moved images from your iPhone to your Photos library, just drag and drop them to any Mac folder (or the Desktop itself). Your device will automatically convert them to JPG.
Alternatively, Photos lets you make changes to an image while exporting it. You can change the HEIC format to JPG, as well as make other adjustments (quality, color profile etc.) while exporting your photo:
- In the Photos library, select the HEIC images you’re converting.
- Tap File in the menu bar, then Export > Export Photos.
- Choose the options you want for your new JPG images.
- Tap Export.
Convert HEIC images through the Preview app
If you have a Mac computer, you can easily change your HEIC to JPG with the help of your built-in Preview app. Here’s how:
- Open Preview. You can search for it by using Spotlight (Command + Space).
- Find and select the HEIC file you want to convert.
- Click “Open”.
- Then, click “File” from the toolbar at the top of the screen and select “Export” from the dropdown.
- That’ll open a pop-up with the file details. Click the spinning arrow icon next to the “Format” field.
- Select “JPEG” from the dropdown menu.
Remember: JPEG is the same format as JPG. The difference boils down purely to a character limit in some older Windows versions.
- Name your file accordingly and save it.
Use Automator to convert HEIC files
Automator is a native application that comes with your macOS. As the name implies, it’s meant to help you automate workflows and create personalized time-saving solutions. You can create your own HEIC conversion tool. The entire process will take less than a minute, and once it’s set up, any future conversions will take seconds.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Automator.
- Use Spotlight search (Command + Space) or find it in your Applications directory.
- Type “copy finder” in the search box on the left.
- Drag “Copy Finder Items” and drop it into the right side of the Automator window.
- Copy Finder is a tool that controls where your converted images are saved.
- Go back to the search box and type “change type”.
- Find “Change Type of Images” and drag it to the right, same as before. Click on the dropdown and change the format to JPG.
- Time to give your new tool a name. Go to the top of the menu bar, click File > Save and give your action tool a new name. I called mine HEIC to JPG converter.
- Click Save.
Use third-party apps
In addition to the built-in tools at your disposal, there’s a plethora of third-party apps and online options you can use. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best HEIC to JPG converters available below.
iMazing HEIC Converter is a free desktop app that lets you convert between HEIC, JPG and PNG formats. It’s efficient and easy to use thanks to its drag-and-drop functionality. It’s also entirely offline – no risk for your images.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a quick and easy online tool, HEICtoJPG fits the bill perfectly. This online software supports multiple image upload. So, you can convert more HEIC images with a single click. It also reduces image size in the process while maintaining their quality.
CloudConvert is a one-stop shop for all file conversions that also lets you tweak image size, resolution and dimensions.
You might be wondering why you need to go through all this.
There’s a reason why I’m teaching you how to convert HEIC files to JPG on Mac.
Is HEIC better than JPG?
Okay, but why did Apple make this switch to begin with? What does HEIC have that JPG doesn’t?
Well, a few things.
HEIC uses an improved compression method that breaks images into smaller files than JPGs do while maintaining higher image quality.
The one area HEIC loses out, though, is compatibility. JPGs have been around for a while, and are universally supported across all platforms. HEICs, on the other hand, are mostly found on Apple devices and need to be converted for other OS users.
Overall, whether you decide to convert your HEIC files or keep them as they are is up to you.
HEIC optimizes your file size and helps you save valuable device space while retaining high image quality. But if you want your photos to be accessible to a wider audience, the lack of compatibility can be frustrating.
Thankfully, there’s a wide array of easy-to-use tools, both online and offline. And once you know how to convert HEIC files to JPG on Mac, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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Updated · Feb 07, 2023
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