.HEIF File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .HEIF file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

HEIF File Recovery

What is a .HEIF file?

A HEIF file is an image saved in the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF), a lossy compressed format. It may contain still images, image collections, image bursts, and image sequences. HEIF files also store metadata that describes each image.

What Are Common Causes of ".HEIF" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".HEIF" files lost or failure, including:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete ".HEIF" files while cleaning up their storage or organizing files.
  2. Formatting or corruption: If the storage device containing ".HEIF" files gets corrupted or formatted, it can lead to the loss of files.
  3. Software or hardware issues: Issues with the software or hardware of the device can cause ".HEIF" files to become inaccessible or lost.
  4. Virus or malware attack: If the device gets infected with a virus or malware, it can corrupt or delete ".HEIF" files.
  5. File system errors: Errors in the file system of the storage device can result in the loss or failure of ".HEIF" files.
  6. Interruption during file transfer: If there is an interruption or error during the transfer of ".HEIF" files from one device to another, it can lead to file loss or failure.
  7. Improper handling of devices: Mishandling of devices, such as sudden power outage, improper ejection of storage devices, or physical damage, can cause ".HEIF" files to be lost or become inaccessible.
  8. Operating system issues: Issues with the operating system can lead to the loss or failure of ".HEIF" files.

It is important to regularly backup ".HEIF" files and take preventive measures to avoid data loss, such as using reliable storage devices, keeping the system and antivirus software updated, and being cautious while handling files.

How to recover lost ".HEIF" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".HEIF" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".HEIF" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".HEIF" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".HEIF" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".HEIF" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".HEIF" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo high Efficiency Image Format image file file?

Programs that open ".HEIF" files

File Viewer Plus File Viewer Plus
Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Adobe Photoshop CC 2019
Gimp Gimp
Zoner Photo Studio X Zoner Photo Studio X
CopyTrans HEIC for Windows CopyTrans HEIC for Windows
Apple Preview Apple Preview
Apple Photos Apple Photos
Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Adobe Photoshop CC 2019
Gimp Gimp
Gimp Gimp
Apple iOS Apple iOS
Simple Soft Alliance Luma: HEIF Viewer and Converter Simple Soft Alliance Luma: HEIF Viewer and Converter

Additional Information

  • File type: High Efficiency Image Format

  • File extension: .HEIF

  • Developer: Moving Picture Experts Group

  • Category: Raster Image Files

  • Format: Binary


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 12:00 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .HEIF files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is the file format .HEIF and how does it differ from other image file formats?

    The .HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) is a file format used for storing images and image sequences. It was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and is based on the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) compression algorithm. HEIF files typically have the .heic extension.

    HEIF differs from other image file formats in several ways:

    1. Compression Efficiency: HEIF utilizes advanced compression techniques, such as HEVC, to achieve higher compression efficiency compared to traditional formats like JPEG. This allows for smaller file sizes while maintaining high image quality.
    2. Support for Multiple Images: HEIF supports storing multiple images, image sequences, and even image collections in a single file. This enables the creation of image galleries, animations, and other interactive image experiences within a single file.
    3. Expanded Metadata: HEIF supports the inclusion of extensive metadata, including Exif data, GPS coordinates, and more. This provides richer information about the image and enhances its usability.
    4. Transparency and Depth Maps: HEIF supports transparency, allowing for images with transparent backgrounds. Additionally, it also supports depth maps, which can be used for advanced image editing techniques like depth-of-field adjustments.
    5. Flexibility and Extensibility: HEIF is designed to be extensible, allowing for the inclusion of additional image codecs and features in the future. This ensures compatibility and adaptability as new technologies and improvements emerge.

    While HEIF offers numerous advantages, it may not be as widely supported as older image formats. However, many modern devices and platforms are adopting HEIF, and support continues to expand.

  • What are the advantages of using .HEIF files for storing and sharing images?

    There are several advantages of using .HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) files for storing and sharing images:

    1. Higher compression efficiency: .HEIF files use a more advanced compression algorithm compared to traditional formats like .JPEG. This allows for significantly smaller file sizes without compromising image quality. It helps save storage space on devices and reduces bandwidth usage when sharing images online.
    2. Support for multiple images and animations: .HEIF supports multiple images, including burst photos, image sequences, and animations. This makes it a versatile format for capturing and sharing dynamic content.
    3. Enhanced image quality: .HEIF files can store images with a higher bit depth, allowing for richer and more accurate colors. It also supports a wider color gamut, providing a greater range of colors and better representation of the original image.
    4. Flexibility in storing metadata: .HEIF files can store a wide range of metadata, including depth maps, alpha channels, and image edits. This allows for more advanced editing capabilities and enables features like portrait mode and selective focus.
    5. Compatibility with modern devices: .HEIF is natively supported on most modern devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. This ensures that images can be easily viewed and shared without the need for additional software or conversions.
    6. Efficient storage and editing workflows: The smaller file sizes of .HEIF files enable faster storage and transfer speeds. It also reduces the time required for image editing operations, such as opening, saving, and processing, resulting in improved efficiency for photographers and image editors.
    7. Future-proof format: .HEIF is an industry-standard format developed by the MPEG group. It is widely adopted and supported by major technology companies, indicating its longevity and potential for future enhancements and improvements.

    Overall, .HEIF files offer superior compression, image quality, and flexibility compared to traditional image formats, making them ideal for storing and sharing images in various contexts.

  • How can I open .HEIF files on different devices and operating systems?

    To open .HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) files on different devices and operating systems, you can consider the following options:


    • Use the Microsoft Photos app: Windows 10 has built-in support for HEIF files. You can open .HEIF files using the default Photos app.
    • Install a third-party viewer: There are several third-party applications available, such as IrfanView, XnView, and FastStone Image Viewer, that support HEIF files on Windows.


    • Use the Preview app: macOS has native support for HEIF files. You can open .HEIF files using the Preview app, which is the default image viewer on Mac.
    • Install additional software: If you prefer more advanced editing options, you can use software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom, which offer HEIF support.


    • Use the Photos app: iOS devices natively support HEIF files. You can open .HEIF files using the default Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
    • Install third-party apps: There are various apps available on the App Store, such as Google Photos, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive, which offer HEIF support.


    • Use Google Photos: Many Android devices come with Google Photos pre-installed, which supports HEIF files. You can view .HEIF files using this app.
    • Install HEIF-compatible apps: Some third-party apps like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Adobe Lightroom offer HEIF support for Android.

    Web Browsers:

    • Chrome and Firefox: Both Chrome and Firefox browsers have built-in support for HEIF files. You can directly open .HEIF files in these browsers.
    • Safari: Safari also supports HEIF files, so you can open .HEIF files directly in the browser.

    Online Converters:

    • If you need to convert .HEIF files to another format, you can use online conversion tools like CloudConvert, HEICtoJPEG, or Convertio to convert HEIF files to more widely supported formats like JPEG or PNG.

    Remember, the availability of HEIF support may vary depending on the device, operating system version, and installed software.

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