Step-by-step Guide to Open and View Your HEIC Images on Windows and Mac

Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Peter Wood

“I downloaded some photos from my iPhone to my PC, but it says cannot open HEIC images, how to open and view HEIC files on PC?” When you are using Windows 10, you can download the HEIC image extension to open HEIC files, but how about Windows 7/8? Since HEIC is more than a photo file, which can contain multiple photos, how to open HEICs and HEIFs? What are the differences between HEIC and HEIF? This is the ultimate guide about how to open HEIC files you should know.

How to Open HEIC File

Part 1: How to Open HEIC/HEIF on Windows/Mac

WidsMob HEIC is an all-in-one program to open HEIC files on Windows and Mac without downloading an extra codec. It supports most of the HEIC files, including Live Photos, animations sequences, burst photo shoots, and more others. Whether you need to browse the thumbnails for all the HEIC files, or check the details on full screen, you can view the HEIC files within the program easily. Moreover, you can also rotate images, resize HEIC files, or convert HEIC to GIF/JPG/TIFF/PNG.

  1. Open HEIC, HEICs, HEIF, and HEIFs from iPhone and other devices.
  2. Preview the thumbnail and the full screen of HEIC and HEIF images.
  3. Convert HEIC to GIF, JPEG, JPG, TIFF, PNG, and more other formats.
  4. Resize the HEIC from iPhone with 4 different modes or enlarge files.
Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Once you have installed WidsMob HEIC on your computer, you can launch the program and import the HEIC files. It enables you to open HEIC files in a thumbnail. Click the Add Photos button to import more files, or select the one and click the Remove Photos to delete it.

Add HEIC Photos

Step 2: To view the HEIC in full screen on Windows, you only need to double-click any HEIC file. You can browse all HEIC photos with a slider. As for the HEICs or HEIFs, you can open the HEICs with all the photos and navigate to the desired one with an arrow.

Open HEIC in Windows

Step 3: When you need to rotate the vertical HEIC files horizontally, you can rotate or resize them in batch. There are 4 different resizing modes, such as By Width, By Height, Percentage, and Free. Moreover, you can also check the Enlarge Small Image option to enlarge HEIC files.

Batch Rotate Mac

Step 4: If you need to open HEIC files on other devices, click the arrow next to the Start Convert button, you can convert the selected photos or convert all photos to JPEG, PNG, and BMP. As for HEICs or HEIFs files, you can also convert them to animated GIF files.

Choose Output Format Mac Win Download Mac Download

Part 2: Is It Possible to Open HEIC with Photos on Windows

Even although Windows 10 has already added the HEIC codec, you cannot open iPhone images with the pre-installed Photos app directly. Fortunately, Microsoft introduced an official extension to help you open HEIC files with the built-in Photos on a PC.

Step 1: Go to Microsoft Store from your browser, search for HEIF Image Extension and open the page.

Step 2: Click the Get button or the Install button to install the extension to your computer.

Step 3: Once you have installed the plugin, close the Microsoft Store app and reboot your PC.

Step 4: Wait for your PC to turn back on. Then transfer the HEIC images to your computer and open them with the Photos app on Windows 10.

Note: After you install the file extension on Windows 10, the HEIC images are not only available to the Photos app, but also show as thumbnails in the File Explorer. But this extension is only available to Windows 10. When you are using Windows 7/8, you can only open HEIC files with a professional HEIC viewer instead.

Open HEIC Files on Photos Windows Win Download Mac Download

Part 3: What are the Differences between HEIC and HEIF

HEIC stands for High-Efficiency Image Container and it is a file extension or container that can hold HEIF images and sounds encoded with HEVC format. One HEIC file can hold a single HEIF image, or image sequences, with metadata that illustrates each one.

As for HEIF, which is an image format with filename extensions either .heic or .heif. HEIF is based on the High-Efficiency Video Compression technology, which has better image quality as compared to JPEG format. According to the Apple and MPEG, HEIF images must be half the file size of JPEG but having the same or better image quality.

HEIC VS HEIF Win Download Mac Download

Part 4: FAQs about How to Open HEIC

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1Is HEIC Better than JPG?

The answer is depending on your purpose. Generally speaking, HEIC is better than JPEG because it holds better picture quality and weighs less. But JPG is more adopted by a wide range of systems and websites, like Facebook, Instagram, and more.

2What is the HEIF Image Extension of Windows 10?

The HEIF Image Extension enables Windows 10 to open and view HEIC files that use the High-Efficiency Image File format including HEIC images. Images that are stored in HEIF files that have the .heic file extension are compressed using the HEVC format.

3How to Open and View HEIC Files on Android?

When you want to open HEIC files on Android, you can use Dropbox or Gmail. Dropbox is more than a Cloud service, but also supports multiple photo formats, including HEIC. Once you have uploaded the HEIC files, you can view the photos within the device directly.


Here you should know the reason that why you cannot open HEIC images on PC directly. If you want to view HEIC on Windows with Photos, you have to install Microsoft’s HEIF Image Extension. Of course, you can also install the professional HEIC toolkit to view, edit and manage the HEIC/HEIF files. WidsMob HEIC is the most professional one you should never miss.

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