How to Avoid HEIC Format When Transferring Photos From iPhone

Wondering how to avoid HEIC format when transferring photos from iPhone to MAC or Windows?

Apple introduced HEIC (High-Efficiency Image Format) format in 2017, with the release of iOS 11. As the name suggests, this format is highly efficient as it reduces the photo file size without compromising the quality. 

However, with several advantages, this format has a few downsides too. The biggest disadvantage of the HEIC format is that it is not universally supported. Unlike JPEG format, HEIC is not compatible with a wide range of systems, including Windows OS. Moreover, photos with HEIC format cannot be used in third-party apps such as photo editors on your Apple device. 

This can be frustrating, especially when you are trying to transfer pictures on your PC or Mac. Fortunately, the iPhone allows the users to convert a HEIC into JPEG. If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to avoid HEIC format when transferring photos from iPhone, you’re in the right place. 

This guide will introduce you to some simple steps that you can follow to change photo and video formats in the Settings app. 

Let’s get started. 


1. Change Settings to Automatic. 

As mentioned earlier, HEIC saves storage space without compromising on the quality of the photo. It is why most users prefer keeping the photos in the HEIC format on their phone but converting them in JPEG while transferring them to another device. 

Don’t worry. The process is not as complicated as it sounds. All you need to do is follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Launch Settings from your home screen. 
  2. Scroll down and tap on the Photos option. 
  3. Scroll down again and find the Automatic option. 

iPhone Image Settings


  1. Tap on Automatic to enable it. 

That’s it. After enabling the “Automatic” option, photos will be automatically converted into a compatible format when you are transferring to mac or PC. However, this will not change the HEIC format of photos on your phone. 



2. Shift to the Most Compatible Format.

In iOS 11 and above, all the photos are saved in the HEIC format by default. Luckily, the iPhone gives its users the right to switch between photo formats according to their preferences. If you want to avoid the HEIC image format when transferring to mac or PC, you can change your Camera Settings to the “Most Compatible” format. 

This will save photos in JPEG format on your phone. As a result, you will not have to change the format every time you want to transfer photos to another Apple device or PC. 

To change this setting on your iPhone, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Launch Settings from your home screen.
  2. Select Camera and click on the Formats option. 
  3. Under the Camera Capture, click on Most Compatible to enable it. 

Avoid HEIC format when tranferring photos from iPhone


  1. Next, go back to Settings and click on Photos. 
  2. Scroll down to  “Transfer to Mac or PC” and change the settings to Keep Originals.

Doing so will avoid taking photos in HEIC image format on your phone. However, this will not affect the existing photos on your phone. The changes will be applied to the new photos you take on your iPhone. If you want to transfer old photos to another device, you will need to change the settings to “Automatic” by following the first method. 



3. Use an Online Converter. 

If you are unable to change the settings in your iPhone due to any reason, you can use an online converter to convert the HEIC images into JPEG format. You can download an HEIC converter on your Mac or PC and convert the photos after transferring them from your iPhone. 


How to Avoid HEIC Format When Transferring Photos From iPhone


Some of the best free online converters are:

  1. iMazing HEIC Converter
  2. HEIC to JPEG (FREE)

Online converters are capable of converting up to 50 images at a time. 



4. Use OneDrive to Access Images in JPEG.

Cloud Services like OneDrive does not support HEIC formats yet. This means that when you add a photo in HEIC format to OneDrive, the photo gets converted into JPEG format automatically. You can add photos to OneDrive in HEIC format on your phone and view them as a JPEG on PC. 

To upload photos on OneDrive, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Open the OneDrive app and tap on the account image

OneDrive Settings iPhone


  1. Click on Settings and turn on the Camera Upload option. 

Avoid HEIC format when transferring photos from iPhone


  1. If you want to include videos too, tap on the Include Videos option.

Enabling this feature will automatically upload images and videos on OneDrive. You can then view them on your other devices too. 

However, this is only suitable for individuals who want to view the images on other devices. If you want to download the images, you will have to use an online converter to convert them to JPEG format. 



5. Email HEIC Format Photos. 

Like several other apps and Operating Systems, the mail app does not support HEIC images yet. If you want to view the HEIC format photos on your PC or Mac, you can email them. This will automatically convert them into JPEG format. 

However, this method is only suitable for individuals who want to view the photos. If you want to download the photos, you will have to convert them into JPEG using an online converter. 

This wraps up our guide on How to Avoid HEIC Format When Transferring Photos From iPhone. We hope it helped you find the perfect solution to convert the HEIC format into JPEG format. If you have any confusion, let us know in the comment section below.


If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Zainab Falak

    Zainab Falak is a staff writer for Saint and an expert in Microsoft Windows, having authored more than 200 posts. She has a Bachelors in Actuarial Sciences and her passion for computers extends to exploring various aspects, from UI customization to the Windows registry and exploring error codes. Twitter LinkedIn

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