How to Open HEIC File on Windows 11

HEIC File

To open HEIC files in Windows 11, you need to download the HEIF and HEVC codecs from the Microsoft Store.

HEIC files have been out in the open for quite some time. However, it was only able to get that traction recently when phone manufacturers started preferring it over the conventional image and video file formats due to its ability to maintain quality with reduced file size relatively.

In Windows 11 you can either use the native apps that come preloaded in your computer to view the HEIC files or you can use a third-party app to do so. In this article, we are going to explore both of these options.

Use Native Apps to Open HEIC Files

You can also open the HEIC image files with the native apps of Windows 11 such as the ‘Photos’ app. However, the catch is your Windows PC will require the HEIF and the HEVC codec files installed on it in order to do so.

Whilst almost every computer has the HEIF codec files, the majority of them are missing the HEVC codec support which is essential to open HEIC files. Thus, let’s explore how to install both the codecs so you can open the HEIC files natively on your Windows 11 PC.

Add HEIF Codec Support on Windows 11

If you have not been able to open HEIC image files on your Windows PC, you would need to download HEIF codec support. Thankfully, it’s as simple as downloading it from the Microsoft App Store.

Hence, to download the codecs, launch the Microsoft Store from the Start Menu on your Windows 11 PC.

Then, click on the ‘Search’ button from the top right corner of the window.

Now, type HEIF into the search bar and select the ‘HEIF Image Extensions’ option from the search suggestions menu. Otherwise hit Enteron your keyboard.

Then, click on the ‘HEIF Image Extensions’ tile present in the ‘Apps’ section in the Microsoft Store.

Now click on the ‘Get’ button to get the HEIF codec for the HEIC image files.

After that, click on the ‘Install’ button to install the codec on your current Windows device.

The app will be downloaded and then installed automatically on your Windows 11 PC. However, to open a HEIC image you will also need to download the HEVC codec on your Windows PC.

Add HEVC Codec Support on Windows 11

If you want to open the HEVC video file format, which is usually contained in a HEIC container, you would need to download a codec for it just like you did for the HEIF files.

Note: Even if you do not intend to open HEVC video files, you would need both of these codecs (HIEF and HEVC) installed on your Windows computer to open the HEIC image files.

Open Microsoft Store from the Start Menu on your Windows PC.

Then, click on the ‘Search’ box from the top right section of the Microsoft Store window.

Type HEVC in the search bar and select the ‘HEIF Image Extensions’ option from the search suggestions menu. Otherwise, hit Enter to search for the app in the store.

After that, click on the ‘HEVC Video Extenstions’ tile from the search results present on your screen.

Now, click on the ‘Get’/’Buy’ button to get HEVC Video Extensions for your Windows PC.

Note: In some cases, depending on your location and account type you might need to buy the application before you can download it.

Then, click on the ‘Install’ button to install the codecs on your current Windows PC.

The app will be downloaded and then installed automatically on your Windows PC. Once the installation is complete, you will be able to open HEIC/HEVC files in the native Windows app respectively.


Use a Third-Party App to Open HEIC Files

If in the case you do not want to spend money on Microsoft Store just to view a picture, there’s a great alternative available for Windows users. CopyTrans is one such third-party app that allows you to view HEIC images.

There are many third-party apps available on the web for opening a HEIC file on a Windows computer. However, the USP of CopyTrans is, it opens the files in Windows Photo Viewer making it feel like it’s providing native support.

Use CopyTrans to open HEIC Images

First head to the copytrans.net website using your preferred browser. Then click on the ‘Download’ button present on the website (as shown in the screenshot).

Then, run the CopyTrans setup file by double-clicking on it from your default downloads directory. If you have not set a custom downloads directory, the ‘Downloads’ folder is your default downloads directory.

After that, a new window for installing CopyTrans will open on your Windows computer.

Now, click on the ‘Next’ button present on the CopyTrans setup window.

Next, click on the radio button preceding the ‘I accept the agreement’ label and then click on the ‘Next’ button from the bottom section of the window.

After that, click on the radio button preceding ‘I am installing CopyTrans HEIC for home use’. Then, click on the ‘Next’ button.

Next, click on the ‘Install’ button present on the window.

Wait for the time it takes Windows to install the CopyTrans on your PC. After the installation completes, you might need to restart your PC to let the changes take effect.

After you have restarted your Windows 11 PC, right-click on your desired .HEIC image file present on your PC’s local storage. Then, hover over the ‘Open with’ option present on the context menu and select the ‘Choose another app’ option.

Now, from the overlay window click on the ‘Windows Photo Viewer’ and click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Always use this app to open .heic files’ label. Then, click on the ‘OK’ button from the bottom section of the window.

You will now be able to open your HEIC image file in Windows Photo Viewer. Next time you want to open a HEIC file image on your computer, just double-click on the file and it will open in the Windows Photo Viewer since you set it as the default app to open HEIC images.