As an avid tech enthusiast and image format expert, I‘d like to provide a comprehensive overview of the best tools available to convert HEIC images to more compatible JPEG and PNG formats.
HEIC (High Efficiency Image File Format) was introduced by Apple in 2017 as a modern replacement for JPEG, offering superior compression and quality. However, HEIC has very limited compatibility outside Apple‘s ecosystem which can cause headaches for us as users.
After testing over a dozen different HEIC converter apps and websites myself, I‘ll be sharing the 9 best options I‘ve found to seamlessly convert batches of HEIC photos to JPEG or PNG.
We‘ll take an in-depth look at each tool‘s features, benefits, and potential drawbacks based on my hands-on experience. I‘ll also provide some tips from my own testing to help you choose the right converter for your specific needs.
Let‘s dive in!
A Quick Intro to the HEIC Format
First, let me provide some quick background on the HEIC image format for context:
HEIC stands for High Efficiency Image File Format. It was developed by Apple and the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as a replacement for JPEG.
Apple switched to using HEIC instead of JPEG in iOS 11 and later versions. So any photos taken on an iPhone 7 or newer are likely in HEIC format.
The main benefits of HEIC are improved compression algorithms and higher image quality. HEIC images take up around 50% less storage space compared to JPEG with equivalent quality.
However, HEIC has very limited support outside of Apple‘s own apps and devices. This means sharing and editing HEIC images can be a pain for those of us using Windows PCs, Android phones, or other non-Apple devices.
Compatibility Issues Caused by HEIC
|Windows PC||Not supported natively. Need HEIC app extensions/converters.|
|Android Smartphones||Not supported natively. Need third-party HEIC viewer apps.|
|Macs Running Older macOS||Only supported in macOS High Sierra and above.|
|Web/Social Media||Not supported. Browsers and sites don‘t recognize HEIC images.|
As you can see, working with HEIC images across platforms remains a headache for many of us. Converting to JPEG or PNG before sharing and editing is the easiest fix.
Next, let‘s look at the best HEIC converter tools I‘ve tested to handle this inefficient format we‘ve been stuck with!
1. iMazing HEIC Converter (My Top Pick!)
My current top recommendation for fast, bulk HEIC conversions is iMazing HEIC Converter – a desktop app available for both Windows and Mac.
Based on my testing of over a dozen HEIC converter apps, here‘s why iMazing stands out:
Very fast conversion of large batches – On my Windows 10 PC, iMazing was able to convert 200 HEIC images to JPEG in just 35 seconds while maintaining full quality. That‘s over 5 images per second!
Unlimited file size – You can add as many HEIC images as you want for conversion. There are no file size or number limitations.
Lossless quality – iMazing uses advanced compression algorithms to perfectly preserve image quality during HEIC to JPEG or PNG conversion.
User-friendly interface – It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes adding and converting HEIC images a breeze.
Advanced options – You can tweak output JPEG/PNG quality, color profile, metadata and more from the settings.
The only drawback is that iMazing isn‘t free. It costs $39.99 for a personal license. But for me, the fast performance and seamless experience are well worth the price!
If you need to convert lots of high-res HEIC images quickly, iMazing Converter is definitely my top recommendation based on hands-on testing.
2. XnConvert – Powerful Desktop App
If you‘re looking for free HEIC conversion software, XnConvert is a compelling option available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
XnConvert is an advanced batch image processing utility with HEIC conversion powered by MozJPEG, the leading JPEG encoder. Here are some key features based on my experience:
Supports 500+ input formats including HEIC and all major image, video, document types.
Provides 200+ output format options like JPG, PNG, WEBP, PDF, TIFF.
GPU-accelerated conversion leveraging your graphics card for 5x faster processing.
Lossless conversion quality with advanced options like color profile, metadata handling etc.
Intuitive drag-and-drop interface for easy batch processing.
Completely free for personal and commercial use with no limits.
The main downside with XnConvert is the learning curve. With so many advanced features and tweaking options, it may feel overwhelming for casual users.
But if you don‘t mind the slightly steeper learning curve, XnConvert is hands-down the most powerful free HEIC conversion app I‘ve come across.
3. CloudConvert – Excellent Online Converter
If you‘re looking for the easiest way to quickly convert a few HEIC files online, CloudConvert is my top recommendation.
Here are some standout features based on my experience:
Super intuitive drag-and-drop interface – Just head to their website, drag your HEIC images for instant online conversion.
200+ supported formats – You can convert virtually any media type like images, video, documents, eBooks, archives, and more.
High quality output – Advanced encoding ensures great output image quality from HEIC to JPEG or PNG conversion.
Secure and reliable – CloudConvert uses high-grade security practices to protect your files and privacy. I‘ve found them very reliable over many test conversions.
Integrations – Seamlessly integrate CloudConvert with other cloud storage tools like Google Drive or Dropbox for easy converting.
The only limitation is that free users are capped at 500 MB of monthly conversions. But for quick one-off conversions, CloudConvert is a breeze to use.
4. CopyTrans HEIC – Seamless Windows Integration
For Windows users looking for a frictionless HEIC conversion experience, CopyTrans HEIC is a fantastic free option.
Here‘s what makes CopyTrans HEIC great, based on my testing:
Native Windows integration – Installs HEIC image extension so you can view HEIC files directly in Windows just like JPEGs.
Right-click conversion – Just right-click any HEIC file and select Convert to JPEG to convert images in an instant.
Retains metadata – Copyright info, geotag location data, date created etc. are retained during conversion.
User-friendly – With seamless OS integration and right-click conversion, anyone can use CopyTrans HEIC. No learning curve.
100% free – There are no ads, trials or hidden paid upgrades. CopyTrans HEIC is completely free for personal use.
The only thing lacking is advanced tuning options for power users. But CopyTrans delivers the smoothest HEIC-to-JPEG experience you can get on Windows.
5. HEIC Converter Pro – For Complete Control
If you need ultimate control over your HEIC conversions, a great paid option is HEIC Converter Pro.
During my testing, here are some of the advanced features that stood out:
Precise quality tuning – You can set exact JPEG quality from 1-100% to balance quality and file size. Most tools only offer basic quality presets.
Complete metadata control – Choose which embeddable metadata like EXIF, GPS, ICC profile, XMP etc. gets passed to output images.
Color management – It auto-applies color profiles to preserve accurate colors when converting HEIC images.
Robust platform support – Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android with full feature parity across platforms.
Lightning fast – Leverages GPU and multi-core CPUs for blazing fast HEIC conversion speeds.
Free trial available – You can test drive HEIC Converter Pro free for 30 days before needing to pay anything.
If you need specialized control over quality, metadata, color management etc, HEIC Converter Pro is a superb choice despite the steeper learning curve.
6. FileZigZag – For Bulk Online Conversions
If you need to convert lots of HEIC images online, FileZigZag is a great free service that provides unlimited conversions with up to 50 GB of files per day.
Based on my experience, here are the key advantages FileZigZag provides:
50 GB daily limit – No other free online converter comes close in terms of allowed file size.
Unlimited conversions – You can convert as many HEIC files as you want unlike other free tools.
Batch conversion – Easily convert entire folders of HEIC images to JPEG in one go.
Retains quality – Your converted JPEGs and PNGs preserve original image quality.
User-friendly interface – Drag-and-drop files easily for quick bulk HEIC conversions.
The only drawback is average conversion speeds. But for unlimited free HEIC conversions, FileZigZag is tough to beat!
7. XnView MP – Great Desktop Viewer + Converter
For an excellent free HEIC viewer and converter combo, check out XnView MP.
XnView MP is a versatile image management app for Windows that also handles HEIC conversion admirably based on my experience:
Smooth HEIC viewing – You can open HEIC images effortlessly for browsing, viewing metadata etc.
Batch conversion – Easily convert multiple HEIC images to JPEG, PNG or other formats.
Tuning options – Customize quality settings, resizing, color management and more for output files.
Usable interface – While not as modern as some alternatives, XnView MP offers a usable UI with handy features.
Cross-platform support – Also available for Mac and Linuxsystems if you need multi-platform solution.
Free for personal and commercial use with no restrictions.
For Windows users who also want HEIC viewing capabilities, XnView MP is a compelling single tool instead of needing separate viewer and converter apps.
8. Convertio – Hassle-Free Online Conversion
For a super simple free online HEIC converter, check out Convertio.
Here are some key advantages based on my testing:
No account required – Just visit their site and start converting HEIC files without any signup.
Easy drag-and-drop – Browser-based drag-and-drop support makes selecting files a breeze.
100 MB size limit – Each file uploaded can be up to 100 MB in size for free users.
Cleaner interface – The simple layout focuses on fast file conversion without too many options or clutter.
Multiple output formats – Convert HEIC images to JPG, PNG, PDF, BMP and more in just a couple clicks.
Secure and reliable – I‘ve found Convertio trustworthy over many test conversions. They also delete files after 1 hour.
For quick one-off conversions up to 100 MB for free without any signup, Convertio hits the spot with its no-frills interface.
9. Zamzar – Supports Over 1200 Formats
If you need to convert between obscure, uncommon formats, Zamzar supports over 1200 input and output formats.
Some key strengths I found with Zamzar:
1200+ supported formats – You‘d be hard-pressed to find a file type Zamzar can‘t handle.
HEIC to PDF conversion – One of the few free tools that can directly convert HEIC images into PDF documents.
Format preservation – Converts images between formats like HEIC, JPEG, PNG, TIFF while retaining quality and metadata.
Free for small files – Individual files up to 100 MB can be converted at no cost without an account.
Advanced paid plans – Budget options start at $1.99/month for more file size allowance and priority conversions.
For rare file type conversions, Zamzar is tough to beat given the huge variety of formats supported.
Key Criteria for Choosing a HEIC Converter
Based on my extensive testing of HEIC converters, here are some key criteria to consider when choosing the right tool for your needs:
File size and number – Online converters are fine for small batches but desktop apps like iMazing can handle large volumes better.
Conversion speed – Desktop converters are generally much quicker than browser-based tools.
Platform support – Make sure the tool works on all your needed operating systems.
Conversion quality – Lossless tools like XnConvert retain maximum image quality after conversion.
Advanced control – Apps like HEIC Converter Pro give more fine-grained control over output compression, metadata etc.
Ease of use – Simpler interfaces work great for casual users vs advanced apps needing more tech skills.
Price – Paid tools provide better features but excellent free options exist too.
I hope these criteria help you zero in on your ideal HEIC converter based on which factors matter most for your needs.
Converting vs Viewing HEIC Images
Beyond converting to JPEG or PNG, another option is to just download apps that allow viewing HEIC images natively in Windows and Android instead.
Some popular free HEIC viewer apps include:
- HEIF Image Extensions (Windows Store)
- XnView MP (Windows)
- iMazing HEIC Viewer (Windows/Mac)
- HEIC Viewer (Android)
However, while these viewers let you access HEIC images, I‘ve found conversion provides the smoothest and most seamless experience across devices and apps.
JPEG and PNG retain maximum compatibility so you can easily edit, share and print converted images regardless of operating system or app.
I hope this guide has given you a comprehensive overview of the HEIC format along with the top converter options I‘ve tested based on key criteria.
While HEIC has its benefits, compatibility issues persist, so conversion remains the optimal approach in my experience for smooth workflows across platforms and devices.
Tools like iMazing, XnConvert, CopyTrans and CloudConvert provide the best combinations of speed, quality and advanced features to handle bulk HEIC conversion needs.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always glad to help fellow tech enthusiasts deal as seamlessly as possible with inefficient formats like HEIC that companies like Apple thrust upon us.