How to View HEIC Files on Windows 11/10/8/7 for Free

Can’t view HEIC files on Windows? This guide will show you how to view HEIC files on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7.


By Lena / Updated on June 13, 2023

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Can’t view HEIC files on Windows?

You export some photos from your iPhone to your computer, but when you try to click to view these images saved in HEIC, the computer says that you can’t. Why you can’t view HEIC files in Windows? After knowing what HEIC is, you will understand why you can't open them.

What is HEIC?

Since iOS 11/iPadOS 11, Apple uses HEIC for photos taken on iPhone and iPad. HEIC is an image/video container that improves image quality while still improving compression. Compared to JPG, it is only half its size, which helps save storage space. However, many systems and devices do not support this format, including Windows, so you find that you can’t view HEIC files.

HEIC files

If you do not want your iPhone to take photos in HEIC format, you can go to Settings app > choose Camera > tap Formats > select Most Compatible option. In this way, your iPhone will use JPEG for all your camera photos.

Can you view HEIC files in Windows?

The answer to this question depends on the system you are using. Microsoft added HEIC support in Windows 10 version 1809. You can install HEIF Image Extensions on computer and then you can view HEIC files on Windows. For previous versions, there is no way to view HEIC files but you can convert HEIC to a format supported by Windows so that you can view them.

How to view HEIC files on Windows

Let’s start to see how to view HEIC files on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7.

For Windows 10/11 users, you can download a plugin from Microsoft Store so that you can view HEIC files in Windows.
For Windows 7/8 users, you can rely on HEIC converter tools to convert HEIC to Windows-supported formats such as JPEG, JPG, PNG so you can view your photos.

Part 1. How to view HEIC files on Windows 10/11

With the HEIF Image Extensions and HEVC Video Extensions installed, you can view HEIC files in Windows just like any regular photo. However, it may cost you $0.99.

First of all, please make sure you have Windows 10 version 1809 or later installed. You can go to Windows search box and type winver > hit Enter to find out which version of Windows you are using.

  • Download HEIF Image Extensions on your computer, which is available in the Microsoft Store. It’s a free tool and perhaps it may already be installed on your computer.

HEIF Image Extensions

HEVC Video Extensions

  • Once you install the extension, you will find that it will show thumbnails of HEIC images. You can double-click them to open them with the Photos app.

View HEIC in Windows

Still can’t view HEIC files on Windows 10/11?

If you still can’t view HEIC files on Windows 10/11 after installing the extension, you can try to reset the image extensions. Follow the steps below to make it.

  • Go to Settings > Choose Apps & features.
  • Click HEIF Image Extensions or HEVC Video Extensions.

Choose HEIC Image Extensions

  • Click Advanced options.
  • On the new page, select Reset > click Reset again to confirm.

Usually, after the reset, you can view HEIC files on Windows 10 and 11. If it does not help, you can go to Start and type Get Help to open a chat with a virtual assistant or a live person. In addition, you can move to the next part to see how to convert HEIC to a Windows-supported format as a workaround.

Part 2. How to view HEIC files on Windows 8/7

You can’t view HEIC files on Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers because Microsoft does not provide support for this. To view these images, you can convert them to widely-supported formats like JPG, JPG or PNG.

If you do not want to install any software, you can use an online conversion tool. However, it’s not recommended to upload your private photos to the website due to privacy and security concerns. If you want to convert pictures with sensitive content, you can choose to use an offline conversion tool like FoneTool.

FoneTool is one professional iOS data management tool for Windows 11/10/8/7 users. This tool supports data backup and transfer. In addition, it also offers many useful tools including HEIC Converter, which can help you batch convert HEIC to JPG/JPEG/PNG.

Its outstanding features on HEIC converting:
● File Format to Choose. It is able to convert HEIC to JPG, JPEG, PNG format.
● Batch Conversion. It allows you to batch convert HEIC files to save your precious time.
● High Photo Quality. It will not degrade picture quality and will retain the Exif Information.
No Risk of Photo Leakage. The conversion happens locally and pictures are only visible to you.

Click the download button to get FoneTool and follow the steps below to convert HEIC photos.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

1. Run FoneTool > Click Toolbox > Choose HEIC Converter.

HEIC Converter

2. Drag the photos you need or click Add Photos to choose HEIC images.

Add photos

3. Choose .JPG/.JPEG/.PNG next to Photo Format > Choose the Photo Quality and Conversion Speed you prefer > Choose the storage path to save the photos.

Choose format

4. Finally, click Start Converting.

When it is completed, you can click View files to check your photos.

View HEIC images

More features:

♦ If you want to free up space, you can let the Photo Deduplication tool help you find and delete duplicate photos on iPhone and computer.

♦ FoneTool supports data transfer between iPhone and computer. If needed, you can go to Phone Transfer > PC to iPhone to transfer photos from computer to iPhone. It will not erase any existing photos on your device.

PC to iPhone

Final words

That’s all about how to view HEIC files on Windows 11/10/8/7. On modern versions of Windows 10 and 11, you can install the support for HEIC image files. On Windows 7 and Windows 8, you need to convert HEIC files to JPG, JPG or PNG so you can view them.