How to open HEIC files in windows 10 and MAC

  • Extension: .HEIC
  • Description: High efficiency image
  • Type: Multimedia

What is a HEIC File?

In 2017, Apple began the use of a new extension which it made a default format for images on their MacOS High Sierra and iOS 11 operating systems. This format is the High Efficiency Image Container or HEIC and it is a technology that was created and developed by the Moving Pictures Experts Group or MPEG.

The file size offered is much smaller than that of other similar image file extensions, such as; PNG and JPG.

HEIC makes use of h.265 or HEVC technology and it is built to hold different types of images and that includes HEIF images.

This format also supports a host of features that are very useful to users. In recent times, both Google and Microsoft have adopted the use of the HEIC extension for their newly launched operating systems.


Programs to open HEIC files

Today there are many programs that can open HEIC files and some of these programs which are available on Android OS, Windows OS, Mac OS, Linux OS, Web, iOS, and Windows Phone include;

  • Android OS: Dropbox, Simple Soft Alliance Luma: HEIF Viewer and Converter.
  • Windows OS: Microsoft File Viewer Plus, and Gimp.
  • Mac OS: Apple Preview, Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop 2020, Gimp, iMazing HEIC Converter, and TunesBro HEIC Converter.
  • Linux OS: Gimp
  • Online Web: Dropbox, Google Photos, and Google Drive.
  • iOS: Apple iOS, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Google Photos.
  • Windows Phone: Dropbox for Windows Phone.


HEIC related extensions

.heif, .heifs; .heic, .heics; .avci, .avcs; .avif, and .avifs.


How to open HEIC files

If you are using an Apple mobile device like an iPad or iPhone you can now have photos taken in HEIF image format with the .heic file extension.

However, the HEIC format is not supported in the case of Windows OS, but it can still be opened, viewed or even converted to other formats like PNG and JPEG if you prefer.


Using Windows Photos Viewer App to Open HEIC Files

With Windows 10 all you have to do to open a HEIC file is to double-click the file and it will be opened in the Photos Viewer app. While you are in the Photos Viewer app you need to click on the linkĀ  – “Download codecs at Microsoft Store” and you will be taken to the HEIC Image Extensions user page where you can then download the codecs for free on your Windows PC by clicking on the button labelled “Get”.

Once you have installed the codecs on your Windows PC, you will be able to open HEIC files in the same way as any other standard image.

All you have to do is to double-click on it and the Photos Viewer app will open the image. In addition, the thumbnails of the HEIC images on your Windows PC can be seen in the File Explorer.


Converting. HEIC to a .JPEG File

It is also possible for you to convert a .HEIC into a .JPEG file by making use of a free conversion tool on the internet. All you need to do is to simply upload your .HEIC file onto the conversion tool and convert the file into a .JPEG file.


Problems opening or Can’t open a HEIC file?

#1: Opening on Windows PC Problem:

The HEIC Image Extensions was obtained from “Download Codecs from Microsoft Store” and the link – “Get” was clicked in order to download the codecs and have it installed on Windows 10 PC. A prompt window stated that “This Product is Installed”. However, clicking on a HEIC file to launch it on the Photos Viewer app was met with the error message of “IMG_2412.HEIC We can’t open this file”.

#2: Opening on Windows Paint and Photo Editor Problem:

A HEIC file is unable to open on Windows PC image editing apps like Windows Paint, Photo Editor and so on. When an attempt to open it on Windows Paint was unsuccessful, an error message of “Paint cannot read this file” was stated.


Make sure that the codecs are downloaded and installed properly. Restart your Windows PC after installation then try opening the HEIC Image again. In order to view a HEIC file on Windows Paint and other Windows image viewer and editor apps, you will need to go to Microsoft Store and download the free “HEIC Image Viewer – Support Converter”. With this converter downloaded and installed on your Windows PC, you will be able to open and view HEIC images on your Windows Paint app.


How to create a HEIC file

To create it on Apple devices simply take photos and use the HEIC file extension to save them in a HEIC image format.

For Windows 10 OS;

  1. Double-click the HEIC file,
  2. Open the file on Photos Viewer app,
  3. Click on “Download codecs at Microsoft Store” hyperlink,
  4. Click “Get” on the HEIC Image Extensions user page to download the codecs (for Free) to your PC,
  5. Install downloaded codecs,
  6. Open HEIC files on Photo Viewer app by double-clicking the file,
  7. Check out HEIC image thumbnails on File Explorer, and
  8. Convert it to other image file formats like JPEG or PNG using free online conversion tools if you like.


How to Delete? Is it Safe?

You can easily delete .HEIC files directly from your Windows PC downloads folder located in File Explorer. However, if you encounter any difficulties in deleting the file, you can simply boot your system on safe mode then proceed to deleting the .HEIC file.


About .HEIC file extension

For more information on how you can create, open, convert, troubleshoot and delete HEIC files, visit You can also get to know what programs can open HEIC extensions as well as the related file extensions available.

You can send your enquiries on any issue relating to HEIC format via our contact page and we will answer all your questions in no time at all.

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