The HEIC Format – What is it?

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Digital pictures are extensively used everywhere, from social media websites and platforms to marketing campaigns and advertisements. Due to the demand for the digital medium, numerous digital picture formats are readily available, out of which HEIC is a prominent one. 

This article will shed light on the HEIC format and cover numerous related aspects. Let us get started:

What is the HEIC Format?

The term HEIC stands for High Efficiency Image Container. It is a popular digital format known for storing images on Apple devices, especially iPhones. It is a successor of the High Efficiency Image Format. Earlier, Apple devices used the HEIF format for storing images. However, since the HEIC format is more capable in terms of features, the company’s devices have shifted to using it instead of its predecessor. 

Every HEIC file features the “.heic” or the “.heics” extension. Which of the two extensions the file uses depends on the number of images inside. Besides the images, HEIC files also contain other important information or data related to the files, such as the metadata of every image, which includes their size, location, resolution, etc. 

Features of the HEIC Format:

Here is a look at some of the most prominent features of the HEIC format:

  • The HEIC format is mostly used by Apple devices, especially iPhones, to store the photos clicked using it.
  • HEIC files feature compact sizes as compared to other formats, which makes them the perfect option for storing images
  • The format maintains the quality of files even though they feature compact file sizes. 
  • The HEIC format is known for retaining important data about the containing images, including their metadata.
  • Besides the original image, the format also stores the edits made by users. Hence, users can easily switch between the original image and the edited one per their requirements. 

Converting HEIC Files to PNG:

Another prominent feature of the HEIC format is that it can be easily converted into other image formats. For instance, there are times when users need to convert HEIC files to other more-acceptable digital image formats, such as PNG. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to get the job done. 

For instance, any user wondering how to change HEIC to PNG on Mac can do it easily using third-party converter applications like Permute. All they need to do to change a HEIC image into a PNG one using Permute is drag and drop it into the app, select the “PNG” option in images in the top-left corner, and press the “Start” button to get the job done. Besides this, users can also use native macOS tools like Preview to get the job done. 

How to Open HEIC Files:

As mentioned earlier, HEIC is the default image format for all Apple devices. Therefore, opening HEIC files on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad is very easy. In the case of Macs, users simply need to right-click on the HEIC file and select the “Open with Preview” option. 

Besides this, users can also open HEIC files on Mac using the Photos app. To do so, they need to import the files to their Photos app. In the case of iPhones and iPads, users can easily open HEIC images by tapping on them. 

Uses of HIEC Format:

The HEIC format is known for saving high-quality pictures without taking up ample space. These features of the format make it perfect for numerous purposes. Here is a look at two of the most common uses of the HEIC format:

  • It is used by professional photographers for storing photoshoot pictures, primarily because the format gives them the much-needed flexibility to store multiple pictures in top-tier resolutions. 
  • Besides storing pictures, the format is also popular for creating exceptional animations. Users can easily convert HEIC files to GIFs and share them on any platform that supports GIFs. 

Pros and Cons of the HEIC Format:

Here is a look at some of the digital image format’s pros and cons:


  • HEIC files feature lesser sizes as compared to pictures of other formats such as PNG or JPG. This aspect makes the format perfect for users with limited free storage space. 
  • The format does not degrade the quality of pictures, which is why it is used by millions of photographers, editors, and graphic designers worldwide.
  • Besides storing pictures with low sizes and top-notch quality, the format stores metadata, which includes important information related to the pictures, such as their resolutions, size, etc. 


  • As compared to other digital image formats like PNG or JPEG, the HEIC format is not compatible everywhere, including major websites, platforms, etc.
  • The format is restricted to users of the Apple Ecosystem, which is why the format has not managed to gain widespread usage. 

The HEIC format, despite not being as popular as other prominent image formats like PNG, JPG, etc., is still a force to reckon with, thanks to its top-tier features.

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