How to open the HEIC files on Windows – 7 ways

In this article, we will look at how to open the HEIC files on Windows if you come across a similar image. By default, in Windows, you will not be able to view a photo saved in this format, so the user has a question about how to open a HEIC file on a computer.

The HEIC (High Efficiency Image Coding) format is used to store media files. This is the version of the HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) format that Apple uses on its devices.

The HEIC (HEIF) format is based on the HEVC (H.265) video compression format as its continuation for images. This format has two file name extensions: “*.heic” and “*.heif”.

On modern iOS devices, such as the iPhone, photos are saved in HEIC (HIFC) format rather than JPG (JPEG). The choice of a different format occurred, mainly due to saving space on the device, which is occupied by images.

Differences between HEIC (HEIF) and JPG (JPEG) formats

When using the HEIC format, it is more efficient to store images on the device due to the fact that they are smaller in size with better quality. By compressing an image file, you get a lossless image in a smaller size.

Advantages of HEIC over JPG format:

  • Nearly half the file size with the same quality compared to the same file saved in JPG (JPEG) format.
  • A HEIC container (HEIF) can store multiple images and other items such as sound files.
  • Transparency is supported in HEIC format.
  • Saving an image with 16-bit colors.
  • Ability to undo editing of the original HEIC file.
  • Preservation of the original EXIF ​​information.
  • Storage of compressed and uncompressed data in one container.

If a HEIC photo from an Apple device gets on a Windows PC, then the user has a natural question: how to open this image. The HEIC format is supported by some graphic programs, it can be opened by Windows system tools after installing special extensions to the operating system.

From this guide, you will learn how to open HEIC format on a computer or online, as well as what program to open HEIC on a PC. In the instructions in this article, we do not consider converting HEIC to another format in order to view it, because we need to open the file in its original extension.

How to open a HEIC file in Windows 11 and Windows 10

First, we will learn how to open a HEIC file on a computer in Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. After installing the two extensions, you can easily view HEIC (HEIF) and HEIC (H.265) images and videos in the Photos app or with using other software.

By default, when you try to open a file with the Photos app, you’ll see a message prompting you to install the HEVC video extension from the Microsoft Store.

After clicking on the link, a page with an extension in the Microsoft store opens for which you need to pay. There are ways to get around this requirement. You can install the HEVC extension on your computer for free using the instructions below.

To view HEIC files in the Photos app, you need to install the HEVC Video Extensions and HEIF Image Extensions. Both of these extensions are required to view HEIC and HEIF files in Windows 10 or Windows 11.

The HEVC codec compresses HEIF, so you need to install a video extension in Windows before you can open the HEIC file on your computer.

Now you need to install the “HEIF Image Extension” on your computer:

  1. Go to the “HEIF Image Extensions” extension page on the official Microsoft website: https://apps.microsoft.com/store/detail/heif-image-extensions/9PMMSR1CGPWG .
  2. Click on the “Gert in Store app” button to go to the Microsoft Store, from where you can install the extension on your computer.

After installing “HEVC Video Extensions” and “HEIF Image Extensions”, you can open HEIC files in Windows using the operating system’s graphics tools: Photos, Paint, or Paint 3D applications.

You have solved the question of how to open a HEIC photo on a computer in the Windows operating system. If necessary, you can edit the open image in the graphics editor window to use it further for your own purposes.

Viewing HEIC Photos in Paint

You can use Paint to open HEIF format on PC after installing extensions to support HEIC in Windows 11/10.

Open a photo saved in HEIC format in Paint. In the photo editor, you can edit the photo or save the image in a different format.

How to open HEIC format on computer in CopyTrans HEIC for Windows

If the previous method does not fit, and you have the HEIC format, then you need to find out how to open it on Windows. In these circumstances, please use third party software.

CopyTrans HEIC for Windows is designed to open or convert HEIC files on a computer. The program is free for home use.

You can use this application on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11 operating systems.

Main functions of CopyTrans HEIC for Windows:

  • View HEIC images on PC.
  • Convert HEIC to JPG format on computer.
  • Printing HEIC images.
  • Adding HEIC support to Microsoft Office.

CopyTrans HEIC for Windows does not open images in the Photos app. Therefore, it is not entirely clear to the user how to open HEIC on Windows 10 or Windows 11 using CopyTrans HEIC.

To be able to open HEIC in Windows 11 and Windows 10, you need to install Windows Photo Viewer on your computer, which was the default image viewer in previous versions of Windows.

Do the following:

  1. Go to the site: https://www.copytrans.net/copytransheic/ .
  2. Download and then install the application on your computer.
  3. Open the HEIC format file in Windows Image Viewer.
  4. If necessary, convert HIEC to JPEG from the Explorer context menu. Right-click on the file, and then in the menu that opens, click on the “Convert to JPEG with CopyTrans” item.

The JPG image will appear in the same location as the original file.

Opening HEIC format in XnView

If you do not want to use the system tools with the installation of the necessary components, then you need a program that opens HEIC. You can use different versions of XnView MP or XnView Extended with the corresponding plug-in installed.

Launch XnView and then open the HEIC file.

Viewing HEIC in IrfanView

The free program IrfanView is designed to view graphic file formats. Many plug-ins have been created for this application that add new functions to the program, including the opening of the HEIC format.

Do the following:

  1. In the IrfanView window, go to the “File” menu and then select “Open…”.
  2. In the “Open” window, in the file type, select “HEIC – HighEfficiencyImageFormat”, click “Open”.
  3. The image will appear in the IrfanView window.

How to open HEIC online

In some situations, you may need to open the HEIC file online to view the image. In this case, you do not need software from a computer. You will see the image in the browser window opened with the web service.

The Compressjpg.net online service has a HEIC (HEIF) file viewer that can be used from a computer or mobile device.

Go through the steps:

  1. Visit the Compressjpg.net website at: https://compressjpg.net/open-heic-file/ .
  2. On the “Open HEIC/HEIF files online” page, click the “Browse…” button to add a file, or drag and drop the image into the dedicated area.
  3. After completing these steps, this web page will open the HEIC image for you to view.

How to open HEIC extension on PC

In some cases, the user may be tricky to see the HEIC image. For example, in a situation where you cannot use the above methods from this article.

Do the following using Windows 11 as an example:

  1. Click on the “View” button on the Windows Explorer toolbar
  2. Select “Show” from the context menu.
  3. In the submenu that opens, check the box next to “File name extensions”.
  4. Change the file extension from “.heic” to “.jpg”.
  5. Open the file with any graphics program on your computer.

You can do this with a copy of the original file without changing its extensions. After viewing, if necessary, return the file to its previous extension.

Article Conclusions

Many users on the computer come across various graphic formats that they need to view. Some formats are not supported on Windows by default. For example, the file extension is HEIC, so you need to know how to open this image in Windows 10 or Windows 11.

To solve the problem, the user can add HEIC extensions to Windows to support the format, use third-party applications, or use an online service on the Internet.

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