How to Convert HEIC to JPG on Mac Easily with Preview

Nov 22, 2019 - 15 Comments

Converting a HEIC file to JPEG on Mac

You may occasionally need to convert an HEIC file to JPEG on the Mac, perhaps because someone sent you an iPhone picture in the HEIF / HEIC file format, for compatibility purposes, or for any other reason.

This article will show you how to concert an HEIC file to JPEG file on the Mac using the Preview app, which is bundled with every Mac OS release.

How to Convert HEIC to JPEG on Mac with Preview

Converting HEIC to JPG is really simple on the Mac, here’s all you need to do:

  1. Open the HEIC image in Preview app on the Mac
  2. Pull down the “File” menu and choose “Export”
  3. How to convert HEIC to JPEG on Mac with Preview

  4. Open the submenu for “Format” and choose “JPEG” as the file format, adjust the quality as desired then choose “Save”
  5. How to convert HEIC to JPEG on Mac with Preview

You can find the converted JPEG file in the location you exported the .heic file to.

For multiple HEIC files, you can use the batch image file conversion capabilities of Preview to export and save multiple HEIC files as JPEG, or even PNG, TIFF, or other image file formats in the Preview app.

If you find yourself doing this often, you may want to change the iPhone camera to shoot images in JPEG instead of HEIC / HEIF. That basically makes the iPhone export images as JPEG rather than HEIC format.

It’s worth mentioning that HEIC files are smaller in size than JPEG even when compressed. For example, a 1.8 MB HEIC image file might end up as a 2.8 MB JPEG file even at 80% image quality, though exact file sizing obviously differs per image and per file. Thus if you are looking to save storage space, maintaining files as HEIC can be beneficial, whereas JPEG is often most suitable for maximum compatibility for other devices and with the web.

You’ll need a modern version of macOS to be able to open and read HEIC files with Preview app. Older versions of the Preview application on earlier Mac OS releases may not work with HEIC file format at all.

Do you know of another easy way to convert HEIC files to JPEG or another image file format on the Mac? Share with us in the comments below!


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Dave says:

    I have found on my MacBook Pro running Catalina that I can simply drag a HEIC photo from my Photos to the Desktop and the resulting copy is JPEG, which I can then use for whatever purpose requires a format other than HEIC.

  2. Todd C. says:

    None of these solutions work for older Macs. I have an iMac 10.6.8. Any suggestions? (Aside from buying a new computer or upgrading the current one. Not an option.)

    • GG says:

      Correct this requires a newer version of Preview since notably earlier versions did not have HEIC support. This is supported in Catalina, Mojave, and later.

      Snow Leopard is a great MacOS however, I also run it on a MacBook Pro and the performance continues to be amazing to this day despite being over ten years old, but it definitely doesn’t have HEIC support. Pixelmator and some of the third party image editing apps support HEIC conversions and HEIC exporting, though you’d have to check for 10.16 Snow Leopard compatibility.

      There are always online HEIC converters, like and others too, but they obviously require uploading the HEIC image to a remote server to then convert to JPEG and who knows what their terms are. I personally wouldn’t use an online converter for anything you’d want kept even vaguely private, since for most free online services you or your data are the product.

  3. PicMick says:

    Just drag from Photos app to the desktop and they are automatically converted.

  4. Kablonet says:

    Thank you for the detailed information. It was a very useful article.

  5. Shadu says:

    iMazing convertor is the best.

  6. Serge says:

    Softorino just launched a free app called WALTR HEIC Converter:

  7. Arne says:

    Use Automator to create a simple workflow (you can even choose to keep the original or replace it) that converts the file format – then save it as an app. Drag multiple (or as many as you want) HEIC files and drop them on the app and convert them in an instant.

  8. Luke Lindblom says:

    Very useful tip. Thanks. Also, photos exported from the photos app and pictures taken with continuity camera are automatically converted.

  9. Michael G says:

    This is a good method, but there are only a limited number of formats that you can convert your image file into. Suppose you want to convert a jpg or gif file into a bmp file for use on a PC. You can’t do it this way. To expand the options, press and hold the Option key, while exporting the image file in Preview. Many more conversion options will then appear on the list.

  10. Bill G. says:

    Imazing has a free HEIC converter. Lemke Graphic Converter also does it, though Graphic Converter isn’t free (free trial though).

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