What is AAE File? How to Open It, or Convert It to JPEG on Windows 10?

Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Peter Wood

Search for some photos within your iPhone, Windows, or Mac, you might find some photo files in AAE format. What is the AAE photo format and how to open the AAE files in Windows 10, or even convert AAE to JPEG?

On an Apple device, the photo could be named IMG_123456.AAE. Actually, it seems impossible to open the AAE photos directly within the default Windows Photo Viewer on Windows. Just learn more details about the AAE files and the methods to deal with them from the article now.

How to Open AAE Files

Part 1: What is AAE Photo Format

When you come across the AAE files, you should learn more about the photo format beforehand. AAE file is an XML-based format created by Apple’s Photos application, which contains the information about the modifications made to the photo file. Similar to the other project files, such as DNG, which contains the original photos to remain unmodified in case users decide to revert photos to their original states.

Usually, the AAE files will be saved in the same folder as the output. It is a good method in order not to replace the original JPEG files. Of course, if you want to share the editing path for the photos, you can take advantage of the AAE photos, or even share them with professional photographers.

Because the AAE files are native to the Apple devices, such as iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, it is not compatible with Windows or Android devices. As for the case, you have to transfer the associated photos with AAE to a Windows PC or an Android tablet.

AAE File Win Download Mac Download

Part 2: How to Open AAE Photo Files, or Convert AAR to JPEG?

Once you had the information for the AAE files, you can take advantage of the AAE photo format to transfer the files, open the photos for further editing, or even convert AAE to JPEG. Just learn more about the methods from the following part.

1How to Open AAE files?

When opening an edited JPG file in Photos on your iPhone or Mac, the app references the associated AAE file for any applied edits. The data in the AAE file is saved in XML format, which means they can be viewed with a text editor such as Apple Text Edit or Microsoft Notepad. But it only enables you to view the editing path in Windows 10.

Of course, you can also open the AAE directly within Photos or other photo viewers on Mac when the associated photos are available. But it is impossible to open the AAE file as an image on your Windows.

2How to Transfer the AAE Files?

If you need to further edit the photos with AAE files, you should transfer both the AAE files and the photos. One of the easiest methods is to send an email with an attached photo to you from an iPhone, in which the image is modified. Alternatively, you can choose to upload the edited version on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or another similar platform.

3Should I Keep the AAE Files?

Should you keep the AAE files or deleted them? When you have the associated pictures, you can take advantage of the file for further editing, or else, you can remove the XML files, which will not affect the output image. The advance to keep the AAE files is that you can keep both the original photos, and apply the edits with XML within one click.

Part 3: Is It Possible to Turn off AAE for Apple Photos

Different from DNG or EXIF, the AAE file is useless if you do not further edit the photos or even open them on Windows. Can you turn off the AAE option when editing them with the Photos app? Of course, if there are no edits, no AAE files will be generated.

Since AAE is only the information about the edits made to an image, it is impossible to convert AAE to JPEG or other file formats. When you need to revert the photos with AAE, you only need to make sure the AAE file is in the same folder as HEIC or JPEG photo, you can use the Photos app on iOS or macOS devices to revert the photos.

But you cannot turn off AAE when you edit the photos with the Photos app on iOS or macOS devices. If you do not want to use the sidecar AAE file format, you can use another photo editor app to edit the photos.

But AAE files are not always useless, especially when you need some basic edits for the photos on your iPhone. Even if you are using some professional photo editors, you should find similar sidecar XMP files.

Revert with AAE Win Download Mac Download

Part 4: Best Photo Viewer to Browse Photos in Different Formats

Because the AAE files cannot be removed automatically, is there a method to open all the files and manage them easily, including the photos, videos, text, and PDF files? WidsMob Viewer Pro is a versatile file viewer that enables you to browse photos, including HEIC, Live Photos, and JPEG. You can also open the files in different modes, manage the files between different folders, and even apply the basic effects. Moreover, you can also view the metadata for the HEIC and JPEG photos from iOS or macOS devices with your Windows 8/10/11.

Win Download Mac Download

1. Open and manage RAW files, JPEGs, HEIC, AAE, and videos without extra codecs.

2. Browse your image files in full screen, slideshow, EXIF, thumbnail, etc.

3. Offer basic editing tools, such as crop, rotate, crop, apply filters and others.

4. Batch convert, rename and resize multiple ORF files at the same time.

Step 1: Download and install Once you have launched WidsMob Viewer Pro, you can drag and drop any HEIC or JPEG into the program. It will open the photos and files from iPhone, including HEIC, JPEG, MP4, AAE, and others. Just browse the different files from the same folder easily within the thumbnail mode.

View Photo and Video AAE Viewer

Step 2: To remove them completely from your Windows, you can simply double-click the image or AAE file. Find and click the trash icon at the bottom to get rid of unwanted files, including the HEIC, JPEG, AAE, and others from your iOS device. It enables you to view the HEIC photos or even convert them into JPEGs.

Crop Photos HEIC Viewer

Step 3: If you just need to apply some basic modification, such as crop the desired video part, check the metadata of the HEIC or JPEG files from your iPhone, and even manage all files from different folders within one program. Instead of the XMP or AAE file, it does not provide sidecar files.

Delete HEIC AAE Files Viewer Win Download Mac Download


When you find some AAE files on your iPhone, Mac, or Windows, you can learn more about how to use the AAE files from the article. It is an XML-based file that records the editing path for photos, which means you can only use AAE to revert the photos with the Photos app on iOS devices or macOS devices. If you need to manage the AAE files on your Windows, WidsMob Viewer Pro to browse, manage and edit the photos, videos, PDFs, and text files.

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