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How to Share HEIC Files? – Guide
If you’ve taken a lot of images with your iPhone recently, you may be wondering how to move or share them effortlessly. If you look closely, you’ll notice that your files are probably in HEIC format, which you may not be familiar with. We can answer any questions you have about HEICs, including how to stop using them.
What is a HEIC file and why am I seeing them?
HEIC is a special file format that Apple has adopted for saving image files on iOS. It is Apple’s version of the HEIF format, which stands for High Efficiency Image Format (the C in HEIC stands for compression). For iOS 11, Apple automatically updated iPhones and related devices to save all photos taken on the device as HEIC files. This is not always easy to notice as file formats are not always displayed when viewing your photos. However, users certainly notice when trying to export or switch formats, because there is a slight problem with the HEIC.
Are there problems with HEIC files?
Less-used image formats aren’t great, and while HEIC isn’t exactly proprietary, it’s rare. HEIC files work on iOS devices without problems, but are not supported on many other platforms. You may not be able to upload a HEIC file to social media, share it in an email, publish it to a blog post, share it with an Android phone, and so on. Developers should strive to support the HEIC, and not everyone does. Adobe offers limited HEIC support if you work on a Mac, but many other major software developers don’t.
Are there any advantages to using HEIC?
Absolutely. Firstly, HEIC can save image data in a compressed form that is much smaller than common options like JPEG, so it doesn’t use as much storage space. This is especially important for some. Camera features like Live Photos and other options that capture a lot of data in a short amount of time, which is one of the reasons Apple adopted it. The type of compression used is also very efficient and produces more detail than JPEG files. The only real problem arises when moving HEIC files to non-Apple locations.
Can I prevent my iPhone from taking pictures as HEIC files?
You can, and it’s not difficult. Go to Settings first and select Camera. On the top of Camera settings, you should see an option that says Formats. Select it.
Here you will see two options, one called High Efficiency and one called More Compatible. Make sure More Compatible is selected. Your iPhone should now start taking photos as JPEGs.
What if I just want to export HEICs as JPEGs or something similar?
Apple makes it really easy, but you need to know what to do. Start by going back to Settings and go to Photos. Then skip down through the sections until you find the one called Transfer to Mac or PC. Here, you must make sure your transfer is set to Automatic. This will ensure that when you upload your photos to a computer, they are uploaded as a JPEG or similar file. As the name implies, this works with PCs too.
Can I save a HEIC in another format but keep it on my iPhone?
It’s usually best to upload it to your Mac and convert it there. Conversion options are limited and a little awkward on iOS. However, once you have a photo on your Mac, it’s much easier to work with it. You can go straight to the Photos app and choose Export, which will give you options to export a photo in a specific format. Or you can just burst up the image in Preview, which also has a quick export tool that will allow you to save the photo in another format.
If you use a PC instead of a Mac, your options are much more limited. PCs just don’t have much HEIC support right now. Your best bet is to adopt a third-party app that can handle these conversions for you if necessary. iMazing HEIC Converter is a good place to start, although there are other options depending on what exactly you’re looking for.
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