This article covers a hassle-free method to open HEIC, HEIF, HEVC files on Windows 10 for free. HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) and HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) are new multimedia formats that use High Efficiency Image Coding (HEVC). These formats take almost half of the storage space compared to traditional multimedia formats with the same details if not better. These new file formats are not yet fully adopted by tech companies except Apple which is taking advantage of these storage-friendly file formats.
Windows 10 doesn’t have native support for these file formats. If you open these formats with Windows 10 Photos app, it prompts you to install a HEIF codec extension and that extension is paid. Fortunately, there is a simple method to install HEVC codec to add HEIF and HEVC format support in Windows 10.
How to Open HEIC, HEIF, HEVC Files on Windows 10 For Free?
By installing 2 codec extensions, you can easily open HEIF and HEVC files on Windows 10. Both these codec extensions are available on the Windows Store free of cost.
For HEIC & HEIF Files
To be able to open HEIF files on Windows 10, install the HEIF Image Extensions from Windows Store. This extension adds HEIF format support to Windows 10 and thus you can easily open such files with the compatible photo viewer app/software including Windows’ Photos app.
Here is a before-after comparison of a HEIF image file in the Windows’ Photos app. Initially, the app couldn’t open the file and link you to a codec extension that is paid. And, after installing this extension, the app can open the image file without any hassle.
For HEVC Video Files
Similar to the image files, to open videos with HEVC format, you have to install the HEVC Video Extensions. This extension is also free and available on the Windows Store. After installing this extension, you can play HEVC files on Windows 10.
Here is a preview of a video file with HECV playing in the native Photos app on Windows 10. You can’t play any HEVC coded video on Windows 10 without an HEVC codec.
This is how you can open HEIC, HEIF, and HEVC files on Windows 10 for free. IF you often deal with HEIC file formats, these extensions will make your experience smooth and flaw-less on Windows 10. Even if you don’t use HEIF and/or HEVC files on Windows, you should still install these extensions to add native support for those file formats.