3 Solutions to Can't Open HEIC File on Windows 10/11

Can't open HEIC file on your devices? Don’t worry, the article will provide you with 3 easy ways to solve this question.

Clara by Clara Updated September 6, 2023
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I'm facing a bit of a hiccup here. I can't open HEIC file on my Windows 10 PC. It's frustrating! I've tried double-clicking, but nothing happens. Is there a specific app or software I need to install to make these files work? Oh, and by the way, I recently upgraded to Windows 11. Could that be causing the issue? Any suggestions on how to solve this problem? Thanks in advance!

- Question from Apple Community

Why Are HEIC Files Not Opening on Windows 10/11?

It is not possible to read or edit HEIC photos on a Windows computer because Windows does not support the new image format used by Apple devices, known as HEIC or High Efficiency Image Format. HEIC is an iPhone photo format that saves relatively high-quality photos in a small file size. Since iOS 11, the iPhone saves photos in HEIC format by default.

can’t open HEIC file

However, only Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other Apple devices can read and edit HEIC photos. To address this issue, 3 methods will be summarized below to help you solve the problem of not being able to open HEIC photos. 

Part 1. Add HEIF Image Extensions to Open HEIC File on PC

One quick way to fix Windows cannot open HEIC file is to add HEIC support to your PC. The extension is called HEIF Image Extension, and it allows Windows 10/11 to read and write HEIC photo format without hardware support. By adding this extension, you will be able to work with HEIC files easily on your Windows PC.

Follow the steps:

Step 1. Visit the Microsoft store through your browser.

Step 2. Go to search HEIF Image Extensions > Click Get to download and install it on your computer.

can’t open HEIC file


Although the HEIF extension is free, they will cost you $0.99 if you want to check videos, you should buy HEVC Video Extensions from the Store.

Step 3. Open the File Explorer to have a try. After you install this extension, you can find that it will show thumbnails of HEIC images. Double-click them to open them with the Photos app.

can’t open HEIC file

Part 2. Convert the HEIC Files to JPG Files on Windows

One of the best ways to open HEIC files on your Windows is to use FoneTool to help you convert the HEIC files to JPG files or other formats. FoneTool is an iOS data management tool for Windows users, besides helping you backup iPhone and transfer data between iPhone/iPad and PC easily. It also offers useful tools to allow you to view and change HEIC to JPG/ JPEG/ PNG, then you can choose the proper format according to your needs.

Best of all, FoneTool is a free HEIC converter with which you can convert an unlimited number of photos. Also, compared to many online HEIC photo converters, FoneTool runs on your desktop and no internet is needed!

Now download FoneTool and follow the steps to solve can't open HEIC file on PC.

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Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Click Toolbox > Tap HEIC Converter.

can’t open HEIC file

Step 2. When the converter program is launched > Click Add photos > Drag the HEIC images you require.

can’t open HEIC file

Step 3. Select the format, quality, speed, and storage path > Then click Start Converting.

can’t open HEIC file

Step 4. Then wait for a second, you can click View files to go to the destination path to see your pictures.

can’t open HEIC file

By the way, FoneTool also can support you in easily transferring HEIC files from iPhone to Windows 11/10 with high speed. For example, you can transfer photos from iPhone to PC quickly by FoneTool.

Part 3. Change iPhone Settings Before Importing

There is another option to help you get to the root of the problem for HEIC files can't open: Change the format before you open the HEIC files on your computer. You can follow the steps below to transfer compatible photos.

Step 1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.

Step 2. Find and click the Photos option.

Step 3. Sweep down and choose Automatic when transferring to Mac or PC.

can’t open HEIC file

This option will import photos or videos in a compatible format (JPEG/JPG) to PC or external hard drive. Then you can open and view the JPEG/JPG photos on your Windows directly.

FAQs on Can't Open HEIC File

You may want to know more questions about your devices can’t open HEIC files:

1. How to Reset the Image Extensions on Windows 10/11

If you still can’t open HEIC files on Windows 10/11 after installing the extension, don’t worry, one solution is you can try to reset the image extensions. Just follow the steps below:

Step 1. Open Settings > Click Apps & features.

Step 2. Tap HEIF Image Extensions.

can’t open HEIC file

Step 3. Click Advanced options.

Step 4. Then on the new page, go to select Reset > Choose Reset again to confirm.

Once you've performed the reset, you'll be able to view HEIC files on your Windows PC. If this solution doesn't work for you, you can try another option. Simply go to the Start menu and type Get Help to open a chat with a virtual assistant or connect with a live person who can assist you further. This article also provides alternative methods for viewing HEIC files on Windows, so you have multiple options to explore.

2. Can I Convert HEIC File to Another Format on Mac?

Of course! You can do it with simple instructions. For Mac users, if you can’t open HEIC file on your computer, you have more options to change HEIC to JPG or PNG with built-in apps like the Photos app or Preview app. Here are the simple steps to use these two apps to change HEIC pictures.

How to Convert HEIC to JPEG/PNG by Photos App

Step 1. Open the Photos app on your Mac > Select the pictures you want to convert.

Step 2. Choose File > Click Export > Tap Export Photo > Choose JPEG or PNG from the options.

Step 3. Decide a location to save your pictures and click Export.

How to Change HEIC to JPG/PNG Via Preview APP

Step 1. Open the iPhone HEIC files with the Preview app.

Step 2. Click File and then Export > Select JPG or PNG from the drop-down menu.

Step 3. Finally click Save.

3. How to turn off HEIC on iPhone

If you don’t like saving photos to HEIC format on your iPhone, you can follow the steps below to turn off the HEIC feature. No matter you are using iPhone 14, or iPhone X, which running with iOS 11, 12, 13, 14. Let’s begin.

Step 1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.

Step 2. Find and tap Camera.

Step 3. Click Format and select Most Compatible. Then, your iPhone will save photos in JPEG format and shoot videos in H.264 format.

can’t open HEIC file


The above 3 solutions to help you how quickly fix can’t open HEIC file are shown. You can add HEIF Image Extensions on Windows PC, convert HEIC to JPG/PNG with a powerful tool - FoneTool, or just change the iPhone setting before you open pictures on PC. As you can see, FoneTool is the best choice, which provides a free HEIC conversion function that can help you make a picture to a JPG without effort. Hope it helps you!

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