How To Convert HEIC to JPG on a Mac

If you own an iPhone for quite some time, you might have noticed that a ton of pictures you captured off of your phone’s camera is in the HEIC image format. HEIC that stands for High-Efficiency Image Containers, can hold more pixel data than PNG or JPG files without taking up much space on your storage. HEIC format was introduced by Apple when it released iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. 

For the most part, you wouldn’t realize whether your iPhone is saving pictures in HEIC or JPG until you try to move them to your Mac or share it with your friends on a social media or instant messaging app. HEIC files work best on iPhones but they aren’t widely accepted across the internet and often result in blurry/grainy pictures when shared with non-Apple devices. 

Therefore, you might want to convert your HEIC pictures into JPG format which is compatible across major devices and apps. In this post, we’ll explain to you three ways you can convert images from HEIC to JPG with ease and without needing to depend on a third-party app or service. 

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Using Preview on Mac

The easiest way to convert HEIC files into JPG will be using Mac’s native image viewer – Preview app. To get started, open the Finder app and go to the HEIC file you want to convert. Once you’ve found the file you want to convert, right-click or Control-click on it and go to Open With > Preview. 

The selected file will now load up inside the Preview app. To convert the file, head over to File > Export. 

A new popup window will appear on the screen. On this window, select ‘JPEG’ as the file format in place of ‘HEIC’.

Additionally, you can change the name of the converted file, save location, and image quality within the same window.

Once you’ve confirmed all the changes, you can click on the ‘Save’ button to save the file in JPEG format. 

The newly created JPEG file will now be saved at your selected location. This method can also be used to convert images to other formats like PNG, TIFF, and PDF. 

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Using Automator on Mac

The method we’ve explained above works for converting individual images into JPEG files but what if you wish to convert a bulk amount of images at once? Enter Automator. It is a native macOS program that lets you automate built-in actions and make changes to multiple files in your own way. You can use the program’s “Change Type of Images” function to convert multiple images into a different format at the same time. 

To get started, open the Automator app on your Mac from the Launchpad, Spotlight or by going to the Applications folder inside Finder.

When the app launches, you will be prompted to open a file. In the popup that appears, click on the ‘New Document’ option from the bottom left corner. 

On the next window, select the ‘Quick Action’ option under “Choose a type for your document” and then click on ‘Choose’.

To choose the image conversion function, you need to choose the ‘Photos’ tab under ‘Library’ from the leftmost sidebar, and then select the ‘Change Type of Images’ option from the second-left sidebar. Alternatively, you can search for the ‘Change Type of Images’ option from the search bar at the top.

You can select the function by either double-clicking on it or dragging it to the empty box on the right-hand side of the screen. 

You will be prompted with a popup asking you whether you wish to save the converted files as copies while preserving the original versions of the files. If that’s what you want to do, then click on ‘Add’. Otherwise, click on ‘Don’t Add’. If you choose the second option, all your converted image files will replace the original ones on your Mac. 

You should now be able to see the selected functions on the right-hand side of the Automator window. 

Inside the ‘Change Type of Images’ box, select ‘JPEG’ next to the ‘To Type’ section. You can select other file formats like TIFF, PNG, BMP, and JPEG 2000 to convert your images. 

You can select the default locations for converted files from the ‘To’ section under the ‘Copy Finder Items’ box. 

Once you have chosen your preferred file format and save location, you can proceed to save this Automator action. To do this, go to File > Save from the Menu bar. 

Enter the name for your Automator action in the popup that appears and then click on ‘Save’. We’re naming this “Convert to JPG”.

The new action will now be available directly inside the ‘Quick Actions’ section when you access files with a Control-click.

To convert a file or multiple ones using the newly created action, select the file(s) and Control-click or right-click on them. In the menu that appears, go to Quick Actions > Convert to JPG. 

The selected HEIC pictures will now be converted to JPG files and saved to Desktops on your Mac. 

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Using Photos on Mac

The one app that comes preinstalled on both the iPhones and Macs is the Photos app which doesn’t just allow you to interact with HEIC files but also lets you convert them into JPG or other image formats. 

To convert HEIC images to JPG files, open the Photos application on your Mac using the Launchpad, Spotlight, or by going to the Applications folder inside Finder. 

Once Photos has been launched, import the HEIC photos that you want to convert into the Photos library, if they haven’t been imported yet. You can import new files into Photos by dragging and dropping them into the Photos window or by going to File > Import from the Menu bar at the top.


After the files have been added to the library, select them to convert into JPEG and then go to File > Export > Export Photos from the Menu bar. 

When a popup appears, select ‘JPEG’ as your default selection under ‘Photo Kind’ to convert the selected files into JPG files. 

Additionally, you can modify other aspects of the files like filename, location info, the format of a subfolder, the ability to include title, caption, and location. 

Once you’ve decided on all the changes that are needed to be made, click on the ‘Export’ button. 

You will be prompted with a new window. In this new window, select the location you want to store the converted files to and then click on ‘Export’. 

The newly created JPG files will now appear inside the selected location. 

That’s how you can convert HEIC photos into JPG files on a Mac. 


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