How to Switch From HEIC to JPG on iPhone

How to Switch From HEIC to JPG on iPhone
HEIC is a technical marvel. The ability to store images at half the size of a JPG file without noticeable visual quality differences is breathtaking. But there is a problem. It's been more than two years since Apple first implemented it on the iPhone, but the compatibility between platforms is still not done.

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That's why it's necessary to go from HEIC to JPG at one time or another.

Apple iOS automatically converts HEIC images to JPG in two ways. Either when you transfer them to a non-compatible device or share images with other applications (such as Mail, Notes, etc.). In both cases, you are forced to encounter some problems.

For example, I use Google Photos as the primary solution for backing up photos. Although it supports the HEIC format, it offers no way to download them back to JPG format. This means that I often have to manually convert HEIC codes to JPG files on my PC.

Fortunately, it is very easy to take pictures of your iPhone in older JPG format. Let's see how you can do it.

Fun fact: HEIC, short for High Efficiency Image Coding, is also called HEIF, or High Efficiency Image Format.

Switch from HEIC to JPG

To switch from HEIC to JPG, you need to configure the capture format of the camera using the iPhone Settings application. You can opt for two camera capture settings: high efficiency and maximum compatibility. The first will take pictures in HEIC, while the second will take pictures in JPG.

If you switch to Compatible mode, your camera will also record video using the old H.264 compression standard. Otherwise, the newer HEVC video format, which uses the H.265 compression standard, would be shot. This is something you need to keep in mind as there is no way to change the photo capture format without affecting the videos.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Scroll down and tap Camera. Then tap Formats in the camera settings list.

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S2nd step: Under Capture, tap More compatible.

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That's it. Your iPhone will now take pictures in JPG format directly, while videos will be saved in MOV format using H.264 encoding (instead of H.265 format). You can change the formats at any time by visiting the Settings application.

Go from HEIC to JPG – Datasheet

As you just discovered, going from HEIC to JPG is pretty easy. However, you must keep a few things in mind. Let them break down below.

1. The old photos remain the same

The transition from HEIC to JPG will not convert your existing photo library to your iPhone. Only photos you take after switching will be affected. Same thing for videos.

There are two ways to convert your existing library. Transfer them to a PC or Mac with the Auto Transfer enabled setting (iPhone Settings> Photos> Transfer to Mac or PC> Automatic). You can also use third party HEIC conversion tools in JPG downloaded via the App Store.

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2. Fills local storage faster

Taking photos and videos in JPG and H.264 format may require a lot of storage. If your iPhone does not have too much space to start, expect it to fill up quickly. As a general rule, plan twice as much storage space for photos and videos as for HEIC and HEVC formats.

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This happens during the recording of videos. You can check the Record Video screen (iPhone Settings> Camera> Record Video) to check the space occupied by a video if you are shooting in one of the formats.

3. Consumes more iCloud storage

If you load your iPhone's internal memory and use older photo and video formats, your iCloud memory will fill up faster. This will happen if iCloud Photos is enabled. And since you have to pay for more than 5GB of storage, it can be tricky.

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I would recommend using a third-party cloud storage solution such as Google Photos to cancel this effect with its unlimited photo and video storage offerings. You can also check out my iCloud Alternative Photo Storage Guide for other backup services.

4. Fewer quality parameters

When shooting in JPG format, you will have access to all the default photo quality settings when shooting movies. Choose the most compatible setting and you will not be able to capture 4K video at 60fps or slow motion 1080p at 240fps.

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Most likely, this is a restriction to prevent your iPhone from consuming too much storage space otherwise needed to store video using H.264 encoding.

5. Technically less than HEIC

When you switch from HEIC to JPG, the resulting photos may look slightly better. This occurs because of the lower compression associated with the JPG format. I do not yet notice a significant difference in quality.

HEIC's crazy compression algorithm, aside, includes support for a much wider color gamut and additional depth data, as opposed to JPG. If you want to edit your photos on a screen with a wider color gamut, you'll miss these details by switching from HEIC to JPG.

Do not change for the pleasure of doing it

Moving from HEIC to JPG is simple and guaranteed because of the compatibility issues you will encounter. However, I recommend you not to change for nothing. Indeed, HEIC has many advantages, such as the reduced use of storage space and being technically advanced compared to JPG.

Apple has set it as the default setting for a reason. If your photos should only stay in the Apple ecosystem, it is strongly recommended that you stick to HEIC, as there is no reason to fail.

Then: Having trouble saving your photos on iCloud? Review this troubleshooting guide and resolve any problems quickly.

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