HEIC and HEVC support for Windows 10Source: Windows Central

The High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) is a container for images and videos designed to noticeable improve file compression. At the same time, it continues offering better image quality and additional benefits over older formats (such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF), as well as for videos using the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) specification.

The format has been available for many years, but it wasn't until Apple began using the HEIF container to save photos on its devices that it started to gain popularity. Google has started using it since the release of Android 9 Pie in 2018.

On Windows 10, support for HEIF comes pre-installed on every installation since he October 2018 Update. However, this is only true for the image codec (MPEG-H Part 2), as you still need to download the HEVC extension to play videos (H.265).

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to add full support for HEIF on your device. So you no longer have to convert HEIC to JPG anymore to view pictures taken with your iPhone or Android phone.

How to enable HEIF codec support on Windows 10

If the extensions aren't already installed on your computer, the Photos app will provide a link to get them from the Microsoft Store. The only caveat is that you'll be directed to a paid version of the extensions for some reason, but it's possible to get these packages for free using different links.

Quick note: The HEVC codec should install automatically on your device, but you can always follow the steps below to get it. If you already have the HEVC codec, then you'll only need to install the HEIF codec.

To add HEIF support on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open your web browser.
  2. Use this Microsoft Store link to get to the HEVC extension.
  3. Click the Get button.

    Hevc Codec Windows 10 DownloadSource: Windows Central

  4. Click the Open button.
  5. Click the Install button.

    Windows 10 install HEVC codecSource: Windows Central

  6. Use this Microsoft Store link to get to the HEIF extension.
  7. Click the Get button.

    Download HEIF codec for Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  8. Click the Open button.
  9. Click the Install button.

Once you complete the steps, you should be able to view files encoded using the HEIF container with Photos or another compatible app, such as Microsoft Paint.

How to fix HEIF codec support on Windows 10

In the case that you already have the codecs installed, and you're still unable to view images or videos with the Photos app, you can reset the extensions to solve the most common issues.

Reset the HEIF extension

To fix the HEIF extension on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps & features.
  3. Under the "Apps & features" section, select the HEIF Image Extensions item.
  4. Click the Advanced options.

    HEIF Image Extensions optionsSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Reset button.

    HEIF Image Extensions reset option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  6. Click the Reset button again.

After you complete the steps, you should now be able to open HEIF images with any compatible application.

Reset the HEVC extension

To fix the HEVC extension on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps & features.
  3. Under the "Apps & features" section, select the HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer item.
  4. Click the Advanced options.

    HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer optionsSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Reset button.

    HEVC Video Codec Reset on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  6. Click the Reset button again.

Once you complete the steps, close the Photos app, and try to play the same video encoded with the HEIF container one more time using Photos, Movies & TV, Windows Media Player, or another compatible app.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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