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Question: Why airdrop converting videos before send to another device?

Hi All, Recently when I want to transfer a video via airdrop from iphone to ipad the video goes through a converting process. A few months ago this transfer was instant but nowadays I have to wait for long time, and I mean i.e. a 10 minutes video can take 5-10 minutes converting time before it starts to transfer. It seems Apple distroyed something that worked perfectly before. Any idea what is going on?

iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 11.0.3

Posted on Oct 17, 2017 1:16 PM

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Nov 9, 2017 1:49 PM in response to Reszus In response to Reszus

By the way I have a workaround for this converting issue. It won't help with videos already created - but any new videos created won't need the converting step.


Here's what you do:


Settings → Camera → Formats

Then select "Most Compatible"

Nov 9, 2017 1:49 PM

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Oct 17, 2017 11:44 PM in response to Diana.McCall In response to Diana.McCall

I wasn’t sure if the first post went on. Also that was in US and I am in UK and when I searched for it I couldn’t find it. It was not my intention to cause any confusion. Are you from Apple? you can remove the US one and leqve the UK post. Thanks. Though your coment doesn’t solve my question lol

Oct 17, 2017 11:44 PM

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Nov 7, 2017 1:12 AM in response to Reszus In response to Reszus

I have the same issue. Took videos with my iPhone 8 Plus and wanted to send them to my Sierra OS Macbook Pro through AirDrop. I push the send button and my phone started converting the videos. Does this have to do with the new file system? IOS 11 has a new file system but I have not upgraded my Macbook Pro to High Sierra which is also suppose to support the new file system for movie files.


As an alternative, I used the same process to send the videos to my computer by using the Files Folder on my iPhone. First my phone prepared the videos and uploaded them to my dropbox. There was no converting going on.

Nov 7, 2017 1:12 AM

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Nov 8, 2017 7:49 AM in response to Reszus In response to Reszus

I have the same issue. The most aggravating part about this lame"converting" issue - is that my iPhone is constantly saving its battery by turning the screen dark during the converting/transfer process. When it does this the file transfer says "failed". Then I have to restart the entire process again. So, the only way to transfer videos out of this phone is to constantly tap the screen to prevent the iPhone from sleeping (or going dark). So, if that transfer takes 10 or 15 minutes you MUST be staring at your phone that ENTIRE time and tapping the darn screen just to move a video. It wasn't like this before - it just worked easily before. Now, it's an utter hassle and no one knows why. You'd think something like this (software bug or usecase) would be extremely obvious and therefore preventable. Whatever.

Nov 8, 2017 7:49 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 9, 2017 1:49 PM in response to Reszus In response to Reszus

By the way I have a workaround for this converting issue. It won't help with videos already created - but any new videos created won't need the converting step.


Here's what you do:


Settings → Camera → Formats

Then select "Most Compatible"

Nov 9, 2017 1:49 PM

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Nov 8, 2017 8:45 AM in response to Reszus In response to Reszus

From the iPhone User Guide:


(iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus) To save space, iPhone captures photos and videos in new high-efficiency formats called HEIF and HEVC automatically. To change image and video format settings, go to Settings > Camera > Formats, then choose either High Efficiency (saves more space) or Most Compatible.


The new formats that Apple is using take about half the space that the old formats used and take better pictures. This article gives good information about the new format. https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/iphone/what-is-heic-3660408/


If you send photos and videos often, then selecting the Most Compatible option is probably the best but you will be trading off in that they will take up more space and won't be as high quality. If you mainly take pictures for your enjoyment and typically only view them on your iPhone, leave them on the new High Efficiency setting. Of course you can use the HEIF and HEVC formats and send them to people but there will be a delay on sending them so that they can be converted.

Nov 8, 2017 8:45 AM

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Nov 9, 2017 2:01 PM in response to anypats In response to anypats

Hi, my phone (6 Plus) has not got format option. When I go Settings/ camera/ all i have is Preserve settings, Grid, Scan QR code, Record video, Record slo-mo...

Am I missing something? I am in the latest iOS.

ipIf ai go to Record video option, I can’t see the advised ones, only 720/1080 HD at 30 fps and 1080 HD at 60 fps. Which one should I choose? Thanks.

Nov 9, 2017 2:01 PM

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Nov 14, 2017 5:46 PM in response to silver_mica In response to silver_mica

Due to my company email on my iPhone 7, it has set rules to lock the iPhone after no physical activity. So I have to keep hitting the screen so it won't go to sleep. And you can't leave the photos apps as it will stop the converting process. It would be nice if this was something that could happen in the background too.

Nov 14, 2017 5:46 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 5:03 PM in response to anypats In response to anypats

It's clear that the iPhone is saving in HEVC, but since Apple has updated iMovie to support HEVC on High Sierra, why then are we not given the option to AIRDROP HEVC formatted videos to our High Sierra Mac? Why does iOS force us to convert to H.264 instead of using immediately sending the HEVC file for AIRDROP videos? Or is it actually possible for us to export HEVC via AIRDROP using an special setting in iOS? Surely there must be a way to export HEVC to the Mac if the user wants that?

Nov 16, 2017 5:03 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 5:57 PM in response to JDW1 In response to JDW1

My iPhone 7 running iOS 11 was taking forever to convert a 25 minute video I recorded in 1080p60fps. I had to keep tapping on the screen the entire time to ensure no errors during the conversion. Then 25% into the conversion I got an error message that say my iPhone was out of storage! But that's when the magic began. Suddenly AirDrop starting to send my video to my 5K iMac! Poof, it was there in my Downloads folder! And only 1.9GB in size. I did a GET INFO on it and found it is encoded using "hvc1, AAC, mebx."


I am now using HandBrake to convert the video file to H.264 since I don't have High Sierra on this particular 5k Mac to natively take advantage of the HVEC format.


So the trick to getting HVEC from your iPhone to your Mac via AIRDROP seems to be to simply "run out of storage."

Nov 16, 2017 5:57 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 12:20 AM in response to Reszus In response to Reszus

Hi All, All these replies helpful, some more some not so much but I still do not understand why Apple had to change something that was so good. Or the answer is they changed the base format of the videos on the iphone? But then why ipad or mac can’t use that same format? I dont get it.

Nov 17, 2017 12:20 AM

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Question: Why airdrop converting videos before send to another device?