Apple’s HEIC format saves photos at only half the size of a traditional JPEG image – without any noticeable reduction in visual quality. Unbelievable, right? This is why Apple has made it the default camera photo format on the iPhone. In short, HEIC helps a lot when it comes to managing storage.
However, your iPhone can still end up with tons of space-consuming JPG images, especially those downloaded automatically via social media apps. If you want to free up space, it is better to convert them to HEIC format. But how?
Using a third-party file converter for the task can endanger sensitive images. That’s why I’m going to show you how to convert JPG to HEIC images using only your iPhone itself. To do this, you need to create a shortcut.
Do not worry. The shortcut is easy to create. Once you’ve set one up, you can convert batches of JPG photos to HEIC format all at once.
Creation of the shortcut to convert JPG to HEIC
To create a shortcut that allows you to convert JPG images to HEIC format, you must have the Shortcuts app installed on your iPhone. If you can’t find it, get it from the App Store – it’s free.
But before you start, it’s best to create a separate album to save your converted HEIC images. This should make it easier to locate them after converting with the shortcut we are about to create.
Go to Photos> Albums> New Album to create one – name it “HEIC” or something like that.
Everything is ready? So let’s start.
Step 1: Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
2nd step: Switch to the My Shortcuts tab, then click Create Shortcut. Tap “Search apps and actions” at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: Do a search for “select photos,” and then tap Select photos under Actions. Next, expand the Select Photos action (tap Show more), then turn on the switch next to Select Multiple.
Step 4: Tap “Search apps and actions” again, search for “convert image” this time, and then tap Convert image under Actions.
Then modify the Convert image action from the Convert photos to default JPEG option to convert photos to HEIF – to do this, press JPEG, then choose HEIF.
Also, it’s a good idea to expand the action (tap Show more) and confirm that the switch next to Keep metadata is turned on.
Step 5: Tap “Search apps and actions” again, search for “Save to photo album”, and then tap Save to photo album under Actions.
If you’ve created an album to save converted HEIC images, select it now – tap Recents, then choose the appropriate album from the drop-down list.
In my case, I chose an album called HEIC, which I created earlier. If you don’t want to save the photos to a particular album, just leave the action as is. Finally, tap Next.
Step 6: Name the shortcut (JPG to HEIC, for example), and then tap Done.
The shortcut is created and ready to use – it’s time to put it to the test.
JPG to HEIC conversion with shortcut
You can execute the shortcut you just created via the Shortcuts app. Alternatively, you can run it via the Shortcuts widget or Siri (say Hey Siri, ‘shortcut name’).
But before you start, you may want to add the JPG images you are about to convert to a separate album in the Photos app. This way you can easily delete them after the conversion process to avoid duplicate photos if you want to free up storage space.
Step 1: Press the shortcut. Use the image selector in the Photos app that appears to select the JPEG images you want to convert – you can select as many images as you want. Tap Done to start the conversion process.
2nd step: The shortcut will indicate the progress of the conversion. Once done, head to the corresponding album in the Photos app to check the converted images.
Step 3: Confirm (if desired) that the photos are in HEIC format. The Photos app doesn’t let you check the file format of an image, so I recommend using Google Photos for work.
Just choose a converted photo in Google Photos, tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of the screen, and you should see the file format listed under Details.
If you have created the shortcut correctly, the images must be converted to HEIC format. If everything looks good, you can delete the JPG originals.
With the shortcut you just created, it’s incredibly easy to convert JPEG images to HEIC format. Beats must suffer through a file converter full of ads, right?
Remember that apart from the reduced file size, converted HEIC images will not get any of the other benefits – wider color gamut, depth maps, etc. – which you usually get when you take photos directly in HEIC format.
Would you rather convert HEIC images to JPG format? Here’s how.
Last updated on April 25, 2020