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HEIC

High Efficiency Image File Format

Adopted on iOS 11 by apple, HEIC image container is used to optimize Apple’s Live Photos, which allow users to store a short sequence of images for playback in the same file as the image itself. But HEIC can sometimes cause problems. Online blogs or forms don’t work with HEIC. That’s why it’s a good idea to convert it to JPEG or WEBP before posting it online. Read About HEIC on Wikipedia

PNG

Portable Network Graphics

Image format developed for use on the internet. It’s biggest advantage over JPG format is that it can preserve transparency. This makes PNG an ideal format for storing digital graphics, such as Logotypes or Graphical Sprites. PNG also allows for compression, so the image can be further optimized using our Compressor tool. Read About PNG on Wikipedia

Introduction

When working with digital images, the format can make a big difference.


Different formats have different strengths and weaknesses, meaning that some are better suited to some tasks than others. For example, some are better for compatibility, and others for optimising file size.


In this post, we're going to look at converting images from the HEIC file format (as used by Apple) to the more widely-accepted PNG format. Going from HEIC to PNG is actually pretty common, and here you'll see why.


All about the HEIC file type

The HEIC file type (High Efficiency Image Container) was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group and is used by default on Apple devices with iOS 11 and later, both for photos and also for image sequences (like Live Photos, which records video of the moments immediately before and after a photo is taken).


HEIC files use (acronyms incoming!) the HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) which in turn utilises the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Compression) standard to provide next generation file compression. The compression used is lossless, so you're not throwing away information that can never be recovered just for the sake of making the files smaller (looking at you, JPEG format).


Pros and cons of HEIC Files

Pros of HEIC files:

  • High-quality: HEIC files can contain much more detail than, for example, traditional JPG files.
  • Small files: Because of the aforementioned efficiency, HEIC images simply take up less space than JPEGs of the same quality, which is good news when using mobile devices, where storage can be at a premium.
  • Lossless compression: The compression used in an HEIC file doesn't strip out information, so nothing is lost by using this file format to save space.

Cons of HEIC files:

  • Compatibility: Apple may have made it their de-facto standard, but not all software or operating systems can open HEIC files without third-party apps, meaning it's not a great choice for sharing with others, especially if they haven't fully bought into the Apple eco-system.
  • Low awareness: A lot of people simply don't know what an HEIC file is, especially people that don't habitually use Apple devices.

Typical use cases of HEIC files

HEIC image files are most commonly found on Apple devices, as they're the default format for photos. They're especially useful when you need a high-quality image and want to keep file size down. But outside of the Apple


Image quality of HEIC files

One of the major benefits of HEIF image format (the format used by HEIC files) is its ability to retain a high levels of detail without huge file sizes, which it does by use of its high efficiency video codec. The fact it is the default file type for images created by Apple devices is testimony to this, given Apple's commitment to visual creativity (see their 'Shot on iPhone' challenge, and also their long-running iPhone Photography Awards).


Social media sites that accept HEIC files

Most social media sites don't accept HEIC files directly, although many will automatically convert these files into a more commonly accepted format when they are uploaded.


At the time of writing, the following places do not accept HEIC files (boooo!): Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok


While the following places do accept HEIC files (hooray!): Apple Photos, Flickr, Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, Evernote, Slack and Discord


All about the PNG format

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is another common file format. Like HEIC, it uses lossless compression. Unlike HEIC however, PNG is a universal format, supported by virtually all graphic software and web browsers. PNG files are still not as widely used as the JPEG format though.


Pros and cons of PNG Files

Pros of PNG Files:

  • Lossless compression: PNG files don't lose any detail during compression, making them perfect for storing detailed, high-quality images and graphics (and then converting them for usage elsewhere).
  • Transparency support: PNG files can handle transparency, which makes them a popular choice for web designers and graphic designers.

Cons of PNG Files:

  • File size: PNG files can be larger than JPG or HEIC files, meaning they're slower to upload and download (slowing down websites, for instance) and they take up more space on devices.

Typical use cases of PNG files

PNG is commonly used in web and graphic design due to its versatility, widespread acceptance, its lossless nature, and its support for transparency (which JPEG notably doesn't offer). Website logos commonly use PNG format, as it means there's no need to match the background colour of the image to that of the web page - instead you just make the logo background transparent.


Social media sites that accept PNG files

Social media sites are generally very accepting of PNG files (certainly much more so than with HEIC), so you wouldn't typically need to do any conversion before attempting to upload (though said upload might be slower than, for example, with JPEGs if your connection is a limiting factor). At the time of writing, all the major players such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (now rebranded as X), Pinterest and TikTok happily accept PNG, as well many others besides.


Image quality of PNG files

The image quality of PNG files is good, helped by the fact, as with HEIC files, the format uses use lossless compression. It's one of the things meaning they can retain high levels of detail, making them a popular choice for people who work with images professionally, such as graphic designers.


Why convert from HEIC to PNG?

There are several reasons why you might want to convert HEIC files to PNG files (other than just for fun).


For starters, you might want to share the file with someone that can't open HEIC files or isn't a fully paid up Apple aficionado. You might need the image in a format that supports transparency (e.g. for use on a website, where you don't want the image background to conflict with the web page background). You might want the file to be used in specific computer programs. Or you might be wanting to go on a social media upload frenzy.


Whatever the reason, you can convert HEIC to PNG quickly and easily using our free online converter tool.


On the other hand you might want to keep the HEIC format if you're keeping them on your mobile device, if image quality and storage space are important to you, and if you're not planning on sharing your files or uploading them elsewhere.


Using the HEIC to PNG converter

The online HEIC to PNG converter you see here enables you to convert HEIC images to PNG format in a swift and hassle-free way. How to use it is pretty obvious from the interface, but here's a quick run through all the same:


  1. Click on the 'Select Images' button and then use the dialogue box that appears to select and upload your images. (Alternatively, you can drag and drop files into the box). You can convert up to five images at a time (party time!).
  2. Once you've uploaded them, click the button to convert, and they'll be converted from from HEIC to PNG format. This only takes a few moments.
  3. Done? Now click on the link provided to download your converted PNG file or files.

All done. You're now ready to share that PNG online, add transparency, or do whatever else with it that takes your fancy.


Privacy information

Privacy is rightly an important issue, and it's something take it very seriously. Just because this is a free service doesn't change that. So here's what our site does with your files.


All the images you upload to be converted are done so via secure SSL connection (look in the address bar right now and you'll see the little padloack). We convert those images to the specified format (in this case PNG), ready for download, and that's literally all we do wth them. We don't sell them. We don't pass them on to a third party. We don't do anything that might compromise your privacy.


The files are then available for download for 24 hours, for your convenience (if we deleted them straight away, you wouldn't be able to download them). After 24 hours, they're permanently deleted from our server as part of an automated process.


Note also that this website is paid for by adverts. This enables us to offer (and maintain) the service free of charge. It's rightly worth being wary of sites that offer free services without seemingly reaping any benefits in return.


Conclusion

Converting HEIC files to PNG format can give you a more widely-compatible file that still retains a high level of detail.


The online converter you see here makes that process simple and fast, so you can get on with more important things (unless you just love to convert HEIC to PNG as some kind of hobby, in which case more power to you).


Anyway whether you're converting one image or several, our online tool is here to help. And we've got a ton more converters available too - check out the links below, or in the drop down menu above.