HEIC File Extension

Have a problem opening a .HEIC file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what HEIC files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .HEIC file type?

The filename extension .heic represents the HEIF/HEVC Image (.heic, .heif) file type, introduced with the advent of the new generation of video encoding techniques known as H.265 or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding). Developed by MPEG, HEVC is a broader set of specifications that mainly targets video, with a subset dedicated to encoding still images. This subset is known as HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format), which describes a generic container format for images and other media streams, along with their metadata. HEVC demonstrates better compression rates than JPEG at the same quality. Roughly, an HEIF (.heic, .heif) image would take up half the space required for its JPEG version. HEIF images are saved with the extension .heic or .heif, which are used interchangeably.

An .heic file represents an HEIF image. The file contains one or more individual full-resolution HEVC-encoded images, often stacks of images shot with different focus or in a series, and JPEG thumbnails for preview purposes. After HEIF/HEVC support was added to MacOS High Sierra and iOS 11, it became the default image and video format on the most recent iOS devices such as iPhone 7. The use of HEIF/HEVC is controlled by the Formats option set to High Efficiency in the Camera settings. Alternatively, setting the option to Most Compatible allows to use the more conventional JPEG/H.264 setup.

Besides native support on Apple devices, HEIF (.heic, .heif) images can be read and displayed by recent hardware players (TV's, etc.) or converted to JPEG or PNG using offline or online converters. On PC, HEIF support is lagging behind, and .heic (.heif) images cannot be directly opened or previewed without conversion.

Software to open or convert HEIC files

You can open HEIC files with the following programs: 

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