How to Convert HEIC to JPG with XnConvert

Here’s a quick guide to converting HEIC image files to JPGs. XnConvert is free and cross-platform.

How To Convert HEIC To JPG With XnConvert
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:
Topics: HEIC, JPG

I MAY get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Quick Summary

  • Newer smartphones save photos in the HEIC format, which is efficient but not as widely compatible as JPG.
  • XnConvert is free for personal use and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Other methods for HEIC to JPG conversion include online services like Convertio and Mac’s Automator Quick Action.

Newer smartphone cameras save photos in the HEIC format by default. There are good reasons for this–it’s a much newer file format that is more efficient (it stands for High-Efficiency Image Container). 1 And that translates to smaller files for the same kind of quality. Which in turn, leads to quick transfers and more photos you can save before the storage space fills up.

But HEIC files aren’t as widely compatible as JPG image files. So the app you want to use the photo in might not work with HEIC files. Or the person you’re sending it to might not be able to open it.

So here’s an easy way to convert HEIC files to JPG using the computer app XnConvert.

This method of converting HEIC to JPG is especially well suited to converting batches of multiple images and has tools baked in to support that, such as being able to save batch conversion presets.

If you’re only doing one or two photos, it’s probably quicker just to use an online service like Convertio or Free Convert. With those (and there are plenty of others like them), you simply upload the HEIC photo to the site, and it sends you back the JPG version. But if it’s something you do often, or if you want to convert many HEIC files at once, an app is probably a more convenient way to go.

And of the many apps available, XnConvert is one of the best. It’s free for personal use, cross-platform, powerful, and reliable. And it works great with large batches of images. You can download it here.

How it Works

Input. The XnConvert interface mightn’t be especially pretty, but it’s very functional and logical. In general, you want to work your way from left to right.

How To Convert HEIC To JPG With XnConvert

And that means the first tab is the Input tab. It’s pretty obvious what this does: it defines the original HEIC images you want to convert. You can use the file browser with the ‘Add files’ or ‘Add folder’ buttons, or you can drag and drop the images onto the main panel.

Actions. XnConvert is a pretty powerful app that can do a lot of transformations. They’re found under the Actions tab. Anything from straightforward cropping or resizing to more advanced color adjustments or assigning color profiles. And all of those can be tacked into the conversion process. But for the sake of simplicity here, I’m not going to use any of those. I’m going to stick to the simplest conversion workflow, going from a HEIC to a JPG. But by all means, you can use the Action tab to add any transformations you might need.

Output. For the purposes of this quick guide, the Output tab is the last step. And it’s here that you have the most important settings relevant to the conversion from HEIC to JPG.

First, though, you can set where you want to save the converted files and what they should be named. If you just want a simple 1:1 filename conversion, you can use a simple {Filename} recipe. This is the simplest option. As an example, an input file called photo1.heic will be saved as photo1.jpg. But there are various other options if you have different needs. This can be more convenient than running rename operations later.

How To Convert HEIC To JPG With XnConvert

But the key to the whole operation is the Format section. It’s there that you choose not only the target format–JPG–but also the settings for the output file.

How To Convert HEIC To JPG With XnConvert

In the Write Settings popup, you can choose the amount of compression to apply. There’s not really a perfect answer as to what quality setting to use. The lower the setting, the smaller the file, but the more image quality will be impacted. The higher the setting, the better the image quality by the larger the file. And because of the way that JPG image compression works, the results on one file might not match on another file. That’s because JPG compression works more efficiently on images that are low on detail and contain few tones. If you’re looking for a place to start, 75 is probably a good compromise.

There are a number of other options you can choose, or not. If you want to delete the originals, you can (risky, in case you want to change the settings). Or keep the folder structure. Or migrate the original metadata to the new files. And so on. You can find all those under the Options section, but they’re not essential to making the conversion run.

Once you’ve done that, it’s just a matter of hitting the Convert button and letting it do its thing.

How To Convert HEIC To JPG With XnConvert

Where to Find XnConvert

You can download XnConvert here. It’s free for personal use and cross-platform (meaning there are versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you’re using it for commercial/business use, there are very reasonable per-license fees.

XnConvert can convert from about 500 different formats and to about 70 different ones. So it’s one of those tools that’s very handy to just have sitting in the toolbox.

Things Worth Knowing

There are many different methods for converting HEIC to JPG. Another good option if you’re using a Mac is to create an Automator Quick Action to convert one or many HEIC images to JPG.

  1. HEIC technically refers to the container that uses HEVC encoding.[]
Profile photo of David Coleman | Have Camera Will Travel | Washington DC-based Professional Photographer

Text & Photos by David Coleman

I'm a professional photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.