Suppose you took some fantastic photos at the birthday party with your brand new iPhone or iPad and you want to transfer them to your Windows 10 PC. You connect the device to the computer, transfer the files, but Windows don't open them.
That's because iOS devices take photos in HEIC (and sometimes HEIF) format. Here's what you need to do to get them working on your PC.
What are .HEIC files
First, let's dig a little deeper into the nature of this file format. HEIC is basically an image/video container. It improves the image quality of files while improving their compression. It works with PNV, JPEG and GIF photo formats. For videos, the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) has similar effects.
Why can't I use HEIC file format in Windows 10
Since October 2022 Update, Windows 10 supports HEIC. So you wonder why your operating system can't open them? After all, Windows 10 is the latest operating system from Microsoft and you have automatic updates turned on.
Well, this update is supposed to be automatic. Most users received it for their HEIC codecs (image). When it comes to videos, everyone should download the HEVC extension.
That said, sometimes Windows updates are confusing and delayed. Other times they end up being cancelled. What you need to do is take matters into your own hands.
The first thing you need to check is updates in the Microsoft Store. In October 2022, Microsoft released an update to address security issues within the Windows Codec Library.
- Open the Microsoft Store, tap the menu in the upper right corner and click Downloads and Updates.
- Scroll down and update your HEIF file extension if available.
- Then try to convert the file again. If that doesn't work, keep reading.
Enable HEIC support
As mentioned, Windows should be able to open HEIC and HEIF files. However, if not, the Photos app should provide a link to the Microsoft Store, where you can download the necessary extensions.
If the Photos app doesn't, you need to download the HEIC extensions manually.
- Click on the start button and type “Microsoft Store” and press Enter.
- Then go to Search located in the upper right corner of the window and type “HEIF. »
- Click it Extensions d’images HEIF result and select To have. Extensions will be downloaded and installed automatically.
Enabling HEVC Support
As mentioned, HEVC extensions will not automatically install on your Windows computer. This is because HEVC extensions, unlike HEIC/HEIF extensions, are not free. Microsoft currently charges $0,99 for them.
To download HEVC Video Extensions, you will need to sign in to your Microsoft account.
- Go to the Microsoft Store app and enter " HEVC »In the search bar.
- Then select the first result entry.
- Click it Buy option. A Microsoft login screen will appear. Enter the required credentials and log in.
- Now you need to add a payment method. Click on To start! Add a payment method or just knock Next. You have three choices here. Using your credit/debit card, using a PayPal account or via mobile phone. The first method will have you enter your credit card information. The second method will ask for your PayPal login credentials.
- The mobile phone option works with Sprint and Verizon, so if you're not with either of those two, you won't be able to use the third option. If you have found your provider, enter your phone number, click Next, and follow the instructions.
After that, you can download HEVC extensions.
What if I have the codecs installed?
The above guide should help you to use HEIC and HEVC features. However, sometimes things can go wrong on Windows. If so, you need to reset the extensions. If that doesn't work, you'll have to reinstall them.
- To reset extensions, go to Start, type “applications” then click on Applications and features.
- Then scroll down until you find Extensions d’images HEIF ou HEVC Video Extensions. It is possible that HEVC extensions are installed on your computer even if you have not purchased them. This entry will appear as Device Manufacturer HEVC Video Extensions.
- Select one of the two apps/features. then go to Advanced options.
- Select resetAnd click reset again to confirm. After that, your HEIC/HEVC extensions should work.
Uninstalling HEIF/HEVC extensions
- To do this, go to applications window again, find the HEIC/HEVC extension entry and click on it.
- Then select uninstall and validate. This will uninstall the app from your computer.
Now you need to install it again. Perform the above steps related to downloading and installing extensions.
What if nothing worked?
One of these solutions should have solved your HEIC/HEVC problem. However, the problem may be a bit deeper. There are ways to fix this manually. However, they involve accessing specific registry/BIOS settings which are quite tricky.
The best way to go here would be to contact Microsoft Technical Support.
- To do this, go to https://support.microsoft.com/, type “HERE” “HEIF,” or “HEVC,” and take a look at the available threads. You should be able to find a solution here.
- You can also open the Get Help app by going to Start and typing “Get help.” This will open a chat with a virtual assistant, if none of the solutions the bot provides help, you will have the chance to talk to a live person.
Many users have reported problems with HEIC files. Hopefully Microsoft will take care of it soon. In the meantime, follow this guide to fix this photo/video extender problem.
Did a solution provided here work? Which? Did you find the Get Help app useful? See the discussion below for potential solutions or add your tips or questions.