How to open photos taken by Apple iPhone on Windows 10

Recently, a friend complained to the author that the photos taken by the iPhone cannot be opened after being placed on the computer. What is going on? In fact, this is closely related to the image encoding of the photo. The photos taken by the iPhone are saved in the HEIF image format.

HEIF and the video encoding HEVC/H.265 have the same source, which requires a corresponding decoder to be compatible. So how can Windows 10 obtain the decoding capability of HEIF images? Here is a brief introduction.

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If you choose to use the HEIF format to take pictures on your iPhone, the pictures taken may not be viewable on the computer.

Install HEIF

Install HEVC decoder

  • HEIF pictures can be roughly regarded as static frames of HEVC video, so we first need to let Win10 have the ability to decode HEVC video encoding. Unfortunately, in many cases, Win10 does not have its own HEVC decoder, which requires us to install it ourselves.
  • Install HEVC decoder in Win10, mainly through Win10 store. The author once wrote about the installation of Win10 HEVC decoder, you can click here to view it.
  • The methods introduced in the article, except for third-party players, the other methods of installing the HEVC decoder can enable Win10 to have the ability to decode HEIF images, and you can install and try.

Install HEIF image extension

  • After installing the HEVC decoder, Win10 has the ability to decode HEIF encoding, but at this time Win10 cannot directly open HEIF images, we also need to install an additional image extension so that Win10 can recognize the HEIF format.
  • Unlike the HEVC decoder, the HEIF image extension in the Win10 store is free to download and install, but you can also see on the store page that if it needs to take effect, the system also needs to pre-install the HEVC decoder.
  • After installing the HEIF image extension, Win10 can be compatible with HEIF photos taken by iPhone.

To sum up

Compared with traditional JPEG images, HEIF uses more advanced algorithms, bringing better image quality and smaller size. In fact, whether it is WebP or HEIF, these advanced image formats have huge advantages over JPEG. Currently, WebP is more widely used on the Internet due to its open-source features, and the system can often be supported for free; HEIF is affiliated to the MPEG organization, and decoding requires a license fee, which is an important reason to prevent its further promotion. In Win10, we may need to pay to install the HEVC decoder to be compatible with the HEIF image format, which is the reason. In any case, I hope that the new technology can be further popularized, and obsolete technologies such as JPEG are eliminated, so as to bring users a better experience!

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