by Anthony 

January 3, 2022

A new quick action that was introduced in macOS Monterey was the ability to convert the format of an image without the need to install any additional software.

To quickly convert images in macOS, right click on the image, choose Quick Actions and then select Convert Image. You can choose between popular image formats as well as the resulting image’s file size. You also have the option to preserve the image’s metadata.

One of the most common needs for installing these 3rd party apps was to convert HEIC photos – the default format for photos taken on your iPhone – to JPEG or PNG.

Now you can do this straight within Finder by right clicking on the photo and choosing Quick Actions followed by Convert Image.

You then have a choice of formats to convert the image to and a choice of image sizes which will help to reduce the file size of the image, say if you intend to send it to someone by email.

You can also choose to remove or preserve the metadata of the image, which is some of the information you see when you right click on an image and choose Get Info.

When you convert the image, a copy is made ensuring the original version of the image remains intact. Also, if you have several images that need converting you can do these all at once by selecting them and following the same process. Right click on your selection, choose Quick Actions followed by Convert Image.

Different image formats will offer different Quick Actions. For example, here with my HEIC file you can see I also have options to rotate and convert it to a PDF.

macOS quick actions

But if I compare that to the to the Quick Actions for another JPG, I have an additional option of adding markup, which gives me several editing tools, among them the ability to crop the image like so.

Just be aware that this case you are editing the original image. Mac doesn’t make a copy in this instance.

macOS quick actions convert image

All the Quick Actions in macOS can be found under Extensions in System Preferences. Here you can enable or disable actions by clicking on the box next to each one.

And if other apps that you install make use of extensions they will be displayed here too, such as this one from Microsoft which adds a Quick Action allowing you to save documents to OneDrive.

From this window, you can also enable and disable different sharing options and reorder the list simply by clicking and dragging each item.

Finally, if you’re looking for additional image formats to convert to beyond those available under Quick Actions, double click the image to open it in Preview and choose File Export. Here you additional options to convert the image to formats such as TIFF and OpenEXR

So that is how to convert images on the fly using Quick Actions in macOS.

However, if you are on a Windows computer, here’s how you can transfer and convert those images.

How to view iPhone photos on PC (2021)

If you have ever been left frustrated wondering why you can’t view your photos you just transferred from your phone to your PC, then there is a simple fix.

The reason you can’t view your photos is that they are using the HEIC format.

HEIC is a file type just like JPG and PNG. However, HEIC is able to greatly reduce the file size of photos using compression, making the format ideal for devices with limited storage, such as your mobile phone.

If you use a MAC this isn’t an issue because you can view photos in HEIC format and export them in the more common JPEG format for sharing them.

However, Windows isn’t so helpful and you often might receive a message like this, where Windows tells you it can’t view the file. If you find yourself in this situation, there is a free tool on the Micrsoft App Store, which will allow you to convert the photos to JPG.

Open up the App store by typing Store into the search box and, having opened the store, search for HEIC.

The app we want to install is the first result in the list – Imazing’s HEIC image converter. Click on Get and wait for the software downloads and install.

Once finished the porgram will open up automatically and then it’s just a matter of dragging your HEIC formatted photos and dropping them into the app. You can also convert multiple photos at once.

iMazing heic converter

Click on convert, choose a destination, and there you have it.

Alternatively, if you would rather not convert HEIC files in the future, you can disable the HEIC format in your phone. This means that all future photos you take will be in saved as a JPG.

If you have an iPhone, open up the settings app, scroll down to Camera, click on Formats at the top of the Camera menu and choose Most Compatible.

I don’t own an Android but I’ve managed to cobble together some screenshots from the internet. You simply need to open the Camera App, click on the settings icon in the top left corner of the screen, scroll down to Save Options and turn off HEIF photos.

If you can’t find the setting here’s a link to another another video that nicely demonstrates the process.

So that is how to open HEIC photos on the PC. For lots more quick tips like these, please check out my Youtube channel. Hope to see you there!

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