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Question: HEIC file format is Unwelcomed!

I was horribly surprised to find that the photos I took today, of a high school reunion were in some unknown file format called .heic. I was further horrified to learn that nothing on my PC can read them. In fact, I had to download a converter to view them. I typically download my photos (jpg) and then import them into Lightroom. But now I have to go an extra step.

Apple should not be forcing people into file formats they can not view. I find this to be asinine. I would love to contact the person at Apple who thought this was a good idea. This is the wrong way to go about bringing customer to a new file format. I later learned that I could choose my regular file format via the settings: Camera: Format.

I am very very very angry at Apple. They are so elitist in doing things like this. My next phone I will go back to Android. Android does not pull stunts like this. I will be going to the NYC Apple store to give them a good tongue lashing about this issue. I am not an Apple Lemming.

And please don't give me the non-sense that this forum is not run by Apple. What Non-sense. If true, does not Apple stand behind it's products?

iPhone 7 Plus

Posted on


Oct 1, 2017 2:23 AM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

You're right, during the setup of iOS 11 you should have been prompted which format to use for the new photos and videos. That would have been more user friendly.

This page explains how to share HEIF photos and HEIC videos in a more compatible format:

Using HEIF or HEVC media on Apple devices - Apple Support

if you want to keep shooting in HEIF to save storage, but download to your PC as JPEGs, do this:

Go to Settings > Photos. In the "Transfer to Mac or PC" section, tap Keep Originals to prevent the media from being converted when importing.

Oct 1, 2017 2:23 AM

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Oct 16, 2017 7:01 AM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

Having updated my iPhone OS, I took many photos before finding a compatibility issue with my iPad 2, which did not display the new HEIC format photo icon images from my iCloud photo library. I bought HEIC 2 JPEG conversion app (on App store) to auto find the heic files and convert to jpeg, then chose delete heic files. A good work around for me, but I’d like a bug fix from Apple, otherwise heic is no good!

Apple were wrong to default new OS photo format to HEIC and I bet there are a lot of iPads etc. out there with no photo image icons for their new heic files!

If so and there’s plenty of comment, perhaps Apple will fix the problems - eventually!

Oct 16, 2017 7:01 AM

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Oct 26, 2017 10:42 PM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

What is really absurd is, that HEIC/HEIF photos I am sharing from my Mac or iPhone in Shared albums, will appear in the albums as JPEGs on the devices I am sharing the HEIC photos from. But on the devices, that would need a JPEG, my iPad with iOS 9 or the iPod Touch with iOS 6, the shared photos do not appear at all.

Oct 26, 2017 10:42 PM

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Oct 27, 2017 1:13 AM in response to léonie In response to léonie


I found this problem with my iPad 2 (IOS 9) a couple of weeks ago and posted on ‘iCloud.com’ community as it seemed to be related to icloud photo library.

Anyway, I fixed my problem by purchasing an App on Apple Store called ‘HEIC 2 JPG’.

This app can auto search your entire photo library Very quickly and convert HEIC to JPEGs. Option to either keep or delete HEIC files.

All my iPad photos reappeared.

I changed my iPhone 7 camera setting from High Efficiency mode to Most Compatible mode, so now I just get JPEGs and no more HEICs.

So this was an easy fix for me so if Apple don’t fix the issue, I’ll just ignore HEIC.

Hope this helps you.

Oct 27, 2017 1:13 AM

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Oct 27, 2017 1:52 AM in response to 68MGBob In response to 68MGBob

I purchased the opposite - Image to HEIC to be able to convert the older RAW files and gigantic TIFFs to HEIC. And I use QuickTime Player to convert the videos to HEVC. This will reduce the size of my library by the factor of 2.

I'm only syncing a few albums with selected items to my iOS 9 iPad, since it has only 64 GB of storage and I cannot sync the iCloud photo library to the iPad because I would be forced to use "Optimize Storage" which is horrible without a fast and affordable Wi-Fi. I am tired of having to watch the photos download slowly from iCloud over a cellular network and having to pay roaming fees to be able to access my photos. It is easier to sync a few folders with iTunes and store the photos in a full resolution, so I can show them off without having to wait for the download from iCloud.

Oct 27, 2017 1:52 AM

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Oct 29, 2017 3:30 AM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

Totally agree on this one.. Now I have to spend time on converting all my pictures to JPEG so I can use/see them on - ANY OTHER DEVICE!!!... sigh..

The iPhone is in general a good product I believe, and for sure Apple does not disrupt or evolve the smartphone market by doing what every one else does, but the format of images.. come on Apple.. are you lacking ideas or what?

Stop playing the "we know best" ****... especially when sub optimizing.

Apple is truly a case study in arrogance, and I'm afraid it's gonna backfire at some point (if it hasn't already).

Oct 29, 2017 3:30 AM

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Nov 14, 2017 3:23 AM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

Yeah, it is a little annoying if the images are saved as HEIC format. If you don't like to use HEIC files, you may set it as JPG before transferring. Another suggestion for you is to convert the HEIC files to JPG. There are many online tools that can be used to help you view HEIC files on your PC easily.Hope this can help you well.

Nov 14, 2017 3:23 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 8:35 PM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

I'm finding out that when you edit the photos the original stays JPEG and the edited now is HEIC? What gives? I just hard wire backed up to my iMac, now I have doubles of everything (original and then edited HEIC) that is ever edited on the iPhone. Why is this and is there something we can do to just bring the edited file? The edited HEIC is able to be reverted to the original.

What is up with APPLE? Terrible 11.2 OS with battery life and now this? OS 11 is a dog.

Dec 14, 2017 8:35 PM

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Dec 19, 2017 5:53 PM in response to chrisquek In response to chrisquek

chrisquek wrote:

I agree that HEIC shouldn't be enabled by DEFAULT. They should've turn it off by default first then only turn it on by default in the next update 11.x. Now, I have to convert heic to jpg on my pc. This takes a lot of time.

HEIC format is still not widely used. This is a huge compatible issue with other photo apps. Leave JPG in default and let the user choose HEIC if they needed to.

Dec 19, 2017 5:53 PM

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Jan 26, 2018 4:57 PM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

Note- there is an easy way to convert images to different formats on OSX that works with HEIC. Simply create a workflow using the Automator app.

  1. Start a new workflow project
  2. Add a "Ask for finder items" under the "Files & Folders" category and make sure to check "allow multiple selection"
  3. Add a "Change type of images" block under the "Photos" category and select your desired output image type. Note- this will convert your files, so make sure to save a copy if you so desire.
  4. Save and run your workflow!

I hope this helps!


Jan 26, 2018 4:57 PM

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Mar 8, 2018 7:34 PM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

Yes I accept,

There is no warning or any sort of cautions when this became a default format for my new Iphone 8.

I was more surprised when i could not find any info on apple website or other forms "why i couldnot import My photos from I phone except it could be on I cloud etc while i could view all photos without connecting to I cloud.

Interestingly some photos are in jpeg format some Heic. It is not fair to any company to force consumers to change without their knowledge I will re think when i upgrade

Mar 8, 2018 7:34 PM

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Mar 14, 2018 4:32 AM in response to Josebr In response to Josebr

I can totally understand your feeling. It actually causes a series of annoying problems as we have to process this new image format in different practical way. Though there is local support from Apple, the camera settings can only be effective for the images saved at a later time. With regard to the existing HEIC images, there is no practical way to convert it locally without installing third-party software.

Admittedly, I have already equipped my computer with one heic to jpg converter portable.

You may don't know that most of converters cannot recognize all types of heic images in smart way.

Thankfully, this one I choose can do it!

Anyway, we, iPhone users, really hope there is concrete support in the coming iOS 12.

Mar 14, 2018 4:32 AM

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Question: HEIC file format is Unwelcomed!