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How to Open and Play HEIC and HEVC Files on Windows 10 PC



Exchanging files online would sometimes lead us to encounter unfamiliar formats. For instance, HEIF and HEVC image and video files are not widely used on Windows 10 computers. Though these file formats are available before, they are more common in Apple devices.

What is HEIF Format?

HEIF or High Efficiency Image File Format is a video file container. It may contain images and videos that enhance compression while maintaining image quality. HEIF is also called HEIC with the .heic extension.

What is HEVC Format?

You can use popular formats like PNG, GIF, and JPEG to store in a HEIF container. You may also store videos with HEVC formats. HEVC stands for High Efficiency Video Codec. It can have the .hevc, .mp4, and .mov extension.

The advantage of both HEIF and HECV is the improvement in the file compression, so you can get a small file size without compromising quality.

If you want to view an HEIC image and HECV video on your Windows 10 PC without the need to convert the files, there are steps you need to do first.

How to Enable HEIF and HEVC Codec Support in Windows 10

The first thing you must do is to download two extensions from Microsoft Store developed by Microsoft themselves. One is the HEIF Image Extension. The other is the HEVC Video Extensions.

Add HEIF Image Extensions from Microsoft Store

Credit: Windows Dispatch
  1. Open any browser on your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Go to the Microsoft Store.
  3. On the search bar, type HEIF Image Extensions.
  4. Click Get.
  5. Click the Open button.
  6. Click Install.

Add HEVC Video Extensions from Microsoft Store


Credit: Windows Dispatch

Microsoft offers the HEVC Video Extensions for sale at $0.99 on Microsoft Store. This feature should have come free and pre-installed in your latest Windows 10 version. Nevertheless, here’s how to do it.

  1. Once done, go back to the Microsoft Store.
  2. This time, search for HEVC Video Extensions.
  3. Click Buy and pay for $0.99.
  4. Click the Open button and click Install.


Credit: Windows Dispatch

Thankfully, we found another HEVC Video Extensions still from “Microsoft Corporation” but this time it is named “HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer”. Regretfully, as of this writing, the app is not available anymore. You will have to have a code in order to get it. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to the Microsoft Store.
  2. This time, search for HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer.
  3. Click “Redeem a code” if you have one.
  4. Enter your code.
  5. Click the Open button and click Install.

Reset the Extension Settings


In some cases, you will need to reset the HEVC, HEIC and HEIF app extensions in Windows 10 in order for them to work properly.

  1. Go to Windows Settings and then click on the “Apps & features”.
  2. Scroll down and look for the app extensions you have just installed such as “HEVC Video Extension” and “HEIF Image Extension” or “HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer”.
  3. Click “Advanced Options” on each app.
  4. Scroll down and hit the “Reset” button.

How to Open and Watch HEIC and HEVC on Windows 10

Now that you have both extensions for the video and image files, you can view or open it using a compatible app. For instance, you can view the images inside the HEIC or HEVC file container using the Microsoft Paint app or the Photos app.

You may also open HEIF files using a Windows plugin. However, some plugins do not allow editing of the images in Photoshop. You may only add them to Microsoft documents. Windows plugins can also convert the HEIF files to JPEG format.

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