HEIF Image Extensions for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • V varies-with-device
  • 2.6
  • (41)
  • Security Status

An image viewer for HEIF files

HEIF Image Extensions is a utility tool that lets Windows 10 devices read and write files with .HEIC or .HEIF extension. These High-Efficiency Image Files (HEIF) are part of the Apple ecosystem, which means that if you want to view images clicked on your iPhone on your Windows PC, you need an application that can open these files. Users may also require the HEVC Video Extensions to open files with the HEIC extension. 

What is HEIF Image Extensions?

High-Efficiency Image File format or HEIF is an image format that contains HEIC and HEIF images. The format uses the H.265 codec or High-Efficiency Video compression to create these files. While most Android phones and digital cameras still use JPEG - the standard image format, Apple has introduced HEIF images in its macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 devices

Since 2017, HEIC image files have been gaining mainstream popularity in almost all Apple devices. Often, you won’t even realize that you’re viewing HEIC image files. That is because when sharing, Apple tends to convert images into a compatible format. However, if you upload these images to your Windows PC, you may not be able to open them without an app like the High-Efficiency Image Extensions download.

The free tool has been developed by Microsoft Corporation so that users can open HEIF and HEIC files on their Windows PCs. The tool enables the operating system to write and read these high-efficiency files. Since HEIC files are usually compressed using HEVC format, users may also need to download the paid HEVC Video Extensions software. Without it, your PC may not be able to open all HEIF or HEIC image files. 

Do I need HEIF Image Extensions?

Since October 2018, most Windows 10 operating systems come with support for opening HEIF files. However, this support only works for files with MPEG-H Part 2 codec. To open files created with H.265 codec or HEVC compressions, you will need to download the HEIF Image Extensions tool. In case your PC doesn’t have any tool to open HEIC and HEIF images, you can simply download this software program.  

How do I install HEIF Image Extensions?

To download HEIF Image Extensions on your Windows PC, you will have to sign in to your Microsoft account. Once the download is complete, you can install the software with the help of the prompts given by the installation wizard. The setup process is quite simple and doesn’t open to any interface. The standalone application works in the background to help open HEIC files. 

After your HEIF Image Extensions download for PC is complete, you can test it by opening a file with HEIF or HEIC extension. If the photo viewer installed on your Windows computer opens the file, it means that the software is working. In case you’re unable to open a file with HEIF extension even after installing the tool, you can try again by resetting the application. 

Why is HEIF Image Extensions not working?

Sometimes, the HEIF Image Extensions tool doesn't open HEIC or HEIF files. In such a situation, you can first try to reset the tool by opening the Settings menu on your Windows device. Once there, you need to click on the Apps option, followed by the Apps & Features option. From here, you will have to select HEIF Image Extensions and click on the Advanced icon. After this, you can just scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on reset. 

However, if the tool still doesn’t open the HEIF or HEIC file, it means that the images have been compressed using the HEVC codec. To open these files, you would have to also download the HEVC Video Extensions. Unfortunately, even after downloading an additional extension, you may have to suffer through the program crashing or freezing. 

Is HEIF better than JPEG?

Tech-companies around the world have started to embrace the HEIC format and are starting to move away from the common JPEG format. The reason behind this is that the former takes half of the space needed by JPEG while preserving the quality of the image. The new format also supports picture sequencing and will be able to replace formats like GIF and GIFV in the near future

HEIC format, also known as High-efficiency Image File, can store a lot of information about the image, including its properties, depth map, alpha details, HDR data, and thumbnail. However, the extension isn’t as popular yet and there aren’t many high-end tools that can help in opening these files. One way to open HEIC files is to convert them to JPEG. 

Converting HEIF to JPEG is quite simple, given that many online websites offer this service. However, when converting files online, you should always be cautious as third-party apps may store your data and share it with other companies. To avoid this, only convert non-sensitive files. You can also configure your iPhone to only capture images in JPEG format

Are there any alternatives?

While HEIF Image Extensions download doesn’t have a specific Windows alternative, there are many tools that you can download to convert HEIC files into a format like JPEG. Some of these tools include Total Image Converter, FonePaw HEIC Converter Free, and Apeaksoft Free HEIC Converter. If you don’t wish to convert the files, you can use the FastPictureViewer Codec Pack tool as it contains the codec of over 40 file formats and can open HEIC or HEIF files as well. 

Should I download HEIF Image Extensions?

If you’re an iPhone user with a Windows PC, you should download HEIF Image Extensions. The background tool works by opening HEIF and HEIC file formats.


The HEIF Image Extension enables Windows 10 devices to read and write files that use the High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format. Such files can have a .heic or .heif file extension.

Images that are stored in HEIF files that have the .heic file extension are compressed using the HEVC format. Such files require the HEVC Video Extensions package to be installed as well. If the HEVC Video Extensions package is not installed, the HEIF Image Extension will not be able to read or write .heic files.


  • Free to download and use
  • Opens HEIF and HEIC files
  • Easy installation process


  • May crash or freeze occasionally
  • Over-reliance on another extension

HEIF Image Extensions for PC

  • Free
  • In English
  • V varies-with-device
  • 2.6
  • (41)
  • Security Status

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Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.