Dear PC Doctor: Why did my .jpgs turn into .heics?

Published: 7/27/2020 5:28:09 PM
Modified: 7/27/2020 5:28:04 PM

Dear PC Doctor

I used the Google app on my phone to upload some JPGs to my Google drive. When I went to open them from my Windows 10 computer, they had an .heic extension instead of a .jpg extension, and my computer did not know what to do with them. What is HEIC? How can I get my computer to see these files as pictures?

Thank you,


Dear Elena:

HEIC is a file extension is used by Apple devices. Since the release of iOS 11, HEIC file replaced the JPG file format, which is the standard kind of image that most of us are familiar with.

HEIC files are smaller, taking up less storage space, and are also said to have better image quality. If you are creating “live” photos or “bursts,” you are using HEIC photos.

Currently, all operating systems support the JPG format. HEIC image files can be opened only on devices running iOS 11 or OS High Sierra or later. If you are using Windows, you’ll need to convert HEIC images into JPG format to view them or work with them.

Microsoft doesn’t include HEIC support in the default Windows 10 installation. You can use this website to convert HEIC files to JPEG files:

Alternatively, if you know you are going to be using the photos in an environment that cannot work with HEIC files, you can change the settings in your iPhone before you take the pictures. Go to Settings/Camera/Formats and choose Most Compatible instead of High Efficiency.

Until next time,

Happy computing!

Editor’s Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library

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