Open .heic files in photoshop: step-by-step guide

Estimated read time 10 min read

How to open .heic files in photoshop

If you’ve recently encountered a .HEIC file and tried to open it in Photoshop, you may have found yourself scratching your head. After all, Photoshop doesn’t natively support the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) used by iPhones and other devices to capture and store photos. But fear not! There are some easy steps you can take to open .HEIC files in Photoshop and start editing those images in no time.

Step 1: Convert .HEIC to .JPEG

Since Photoshop doesn’t support .HEIC files, the first thing you’ll need to do is convert them to a more compatible format, such as .JPEG. There are several free online converters available that will quickly and easily convert your .HEIC files to .JPEG. Simply upload your file, select the desired output format, and download the converted file to your computer.

Step 2: Install a Plugin

Once you have your .JPEG files, you’ll need to install a plugin in Photoshop that enables it to open and work with .HEIC files. One popular option is the ‘Adobe DNG Converter’, which not only converts .HEIC files to the more widely recognized Digital Negative (DNG) format but also allows Photoshop to open and edit them. Simply download and install the Adobe DNG Converter, and you’ll be all set to open your .HEIC files in Photoshop.

Step 3: Open and Edit .HEIC Files

With both your .JPEG files and the Adobe DNG Converter installed, you’re ready to open and edit your .HEIC files in Photoshop. Simply open Photoshop, navigate to ‘File’ > ‘Open’, and select the .JPEG file you converted in Step 1. Photoshop will open the file, and you can now apply all your favorite editing techniques and unleash your creativity on the image.

By following these three simple steps, you can easily open and edit .HEIC files in Photoshop. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just someone who loves playing around with images, this guide will help you work with the HEIF format and incorporate those stunning .HEIC photos into your creative projects.

What is a .HEIC file?

A .HEIC file, also known as High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) or High Efficiency Image Coding (HEIC), is a file format commonly used for storing photos and images on Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads. It is a successor to the older JPEG format and offers several advantages in terms of image quality and compression.

HEIC files use a more advanced compression algorithm compared to JPEG, resulting in smaller file sizes without significant loss of image quality. They also support a wider range of color spaces, allowing for more accurate and vibrant colors in photos. Additionally, HEIC files can store multiple images, including image sequences and animations, within a single file.

While HEIC files provide numerous benefits, they can pose a challenge when it comes to compatibility with other software and devices. Many non-Apple applications and platforms, including Adobe Photoshop, do not natively support .HEIC files. However, there are various methods and tools available to convert or open .HEIC files in Photoshop and other image editing programs.

By following the step-by-step guide mentioned in this article, you will learn how to open .HEIC files in Photoshop and edit them seamlessly, regardless of the platform or device they were created on.

Why can’t you open .HEIC files in Photoshop?

Photoshop is a powerful image editing software that supports a wide variety of file formats. However, one format that is not supported by default is HEIC (High Efficiency Image Format). HEIC is a file format commonly used by Apple devices, and it offers efficient compression while maintaining high image quality. Unfortunately, Photoshop does not have native support for HEIC files, which can be frustrating if you receive HEIC files and need to edit them.

The reason why Photoshop cannot open .HEIC files is because the software does not have the necessary codec or plugin to decode and read the HEIC format. The default installation of Photoshop does not include support for HEIC files, so when you try to open a .HEIC file in Photoshop, you may receive an error or the file may not be recognized.

However, there is a solution to this problem. You can install a third-party codec or plugin that adds HEIC support to Photoshop. There are several HEIC codecs and plugins available, both free and paid, that you can install to enable HEIC file support in Photoshop. These codecs or plugins act as translators, allowing Photoshop to understand and open HEIC files.

Free options for opening .HEIC files in Photoshop

One free option is to use the Adobe DNG Converter. DNG is a file format developed by Adobe for storing raw image data from digital cameras. By converting the .HEIC file to DNG, you can then open it in Photoshop. The Adobe DNG Converter can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website and is relatively easy to use.

Another free option is to use third-party software, such as an image viewer or converter, to convert the .HEIC file to a more common format, such as JPEG or PNG. Once the file is converted, you can open it in Photoshop without any issues.

Paid options for opening .HEIC files in Photoshop

Paid options for opening .HEIC files in Photoshop

If you prefer a paid solution, there are several commercial codecs and plugins available. These usually offer more advanced features and better compatibility with different versions of Photoshop.

One popular paid option is the CopyTrans HEIC for Windows plugin. This plugin adds native support for HEIC files to Windows, allowing Photoshop and other image editing software to open and edit .HEIC files seamlessly.

Another paid option is the iMazing HEIC Converter. This software not only allows you to convert .HEIC files to JPEG or PNG, but it also offers batch conversion and resizing options, making it a versatile tool for handling HEIC files.

Overall, while Photoshop does not support .HEIC files by default, there are various solutions available that allow you to open and edit HEIC files in Photoshop. Whether you choose a free or paid option, these codecs and plugins can help you work with HEIC files efficiently.

Step 1: Convert .HEIC file to .JPEG

To open .HEIC files in Photoshop, you first need to convert them to the JPEG format. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open a web browser and search for “HEIC to JPEG converter online.”
  2. Choose one of the many online converter tools available.
  3. Click on the “Upload” button or drag and drop the .HEIC file you want to convert.
  4. Wait for the conversion process to complete. This may take a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the file size and your internet connection speed.
  5. Once the conversion is finished, you will see a download link or a button to save the converted .JPEG file.
  6. Click on the download link or the save button to save the converted file to your computer.

Now that you have a .JPEG version of your .HEIC file, you can easily open it in Photoshop and edit it as needed.

Download and install HEIC to JPEG converter

If you want to open .HEIC files in Photoshop, you will need to convert them to JPEG format. Thankfully, there are several HEIC to JPEG converter tools available online that you can download and install. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to find and install a HEIC to JPEG converter:

1. Search for a HEIC to JPEG converter

Open your preferred search engine and look for “HEIC to JPEG converter.” You will find several websites and software options that offer this conversion service. It’s important to choose a reliable and reputable converter to ensure the quality and security of your files.

2. Compare and choose a converter

2. Compare and choose a converter

Review the different converter tools available and compare their features, user reviews, and ratings. Consider factors such as ease of use, conversion speed, and additional functionalities. Once you have found the one that suits your needs, proceed to the next step.

3. Download and install the converter

3. Download and install the converter

Visit the website or download page of your chosen HEIC to JPEG converter. Look for the “Download” or “Install” button and click on it. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the download and installation process. Make sure to choose the correct version compatible with your operating system.

After the installation is complete, you will have a converter tool that can convert your .HEIC files to JPEG format. You can then proceed to open the converted JPEG files in Photoshop or any other image editing software.

Open the converter and select the .HEIC file

Once you have downloaded and installed the HEIC converter on your computer, open the software. You can find the application in your list of installed programs or by searching for it using the search function on your computer.

After opening the converter, locate the .HEIC file that you want to open in Photoshop. This file may be saved on your computer or on a connected device such as a camera or smartphone. Use the browse function in the converter to navigate to the location of the .HEIC file.

Once you have found the .HEIC file, select it by clicking on it. It should now be highlighted or marked in some way to indicate that it has been selected.

If you want to select multiple .HEIC files at once, hold down the CTRL key (Command key on a Mac) while clicking on each file. This will allow you to select multiple files for conversion at the same time.

After selecting the .HEIC file or files, click on the “Open” button or a similar button in the converter to proceed. The converter will begin the process of converting the .HEIC file to a format that is compatible with Photoshop.

Depending on the size and number of .HEIC files you have selected, the conversion process may take a few seconds or several minutes. Be patient and do not interrupt the process.

Once the conversion is complete, you can open the converted file in Photoshop as you would any other image file. The converted file will have a file extension such as .JPEG or .PNG, which are compatible with Photoshop.

Note: Some converters may have additional options or settings that you can adjust before converting the .HEIC file. Explore the converter’s interface to see if there are any options you would like to customize.


What is a .HEIC file?

A .HEIC file is an image file format introduced by Apple in iOS 11. It stands for High Efficiency Image Format and is designed to store images with smaller file sizes while maintaining high image quality.

Can I open .HEIC files in Photoshop?

Yes, you can open .HEIC files in Photoshop. However, since .HEIC is not a natively supported file format in Photoshop, you need to install a plugin or converter that allows Photoshop to recognize and open .HEIC files.


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