Apple has started saving all the images in a new image file format called HEIC or HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) which has much better compression than the much more popular JPEG image file format. Since the same image with HEIC format takes smaller space than the JPEG format, by using the new HEIC image file format in Apple devices, you can store many more pictures on the same memory storage device. Apple has also promised that HEIC image quality will get better with even more compression in the future.
While it all sounds great, the problem is that HEIC image file format is very new and many operating systems, other than the ones offered by Apple, do not have any in-built support for the HEIC image files. There are third-party image editors such as GIMP support HEIF/HEIC image formats but it is not suitable for just viewing the images. While the support for HEIC will be slowly added to all the main operating systems, you can use a free tool called CopyTrans HEIC that can be used to view HEIC images as well as convert them to JPEG image format in Windows.
There is no extra image viewer needed when you are using CopyTrans HEIC for Windows. It adds the HEIC support directly in the Windows photo viewer. After installing CopyTrans HEIC on your PC, you can right-click on any HEIC image file and choose Open with and then Windows Photo Viewer. You can also make Windows Photo Viewer default application for the HEIC file format in Windows settings.
If you want to convert any HEIC image into the JPEG image format, you can right-click on that HEIC image in Windows File Explorer and then select Convert to JPEG with CopyTrans. Without asking you for any options or confirmation, it will simply convert the image and place the JPEG image file in the same folder as the original HEIC image. While converting to JPEG, it retains the original EXIF data from the HEIC image.
Furthermore, it adds HEIC support to other third-party image viewers like FastStone Image Viewer and IrfanView. You can also insert HEIC images directly into your Microsoft Word documents, the rest is automatically handled in the background.
CopyTrans HEIC for Windows is free for personal use. It adds HEIC image format support to any Windows PC in seconds and lets you convert HEIC images to much more popular JPEG format from the File Explorer context menu.
You can download CopyTrans HEIC from https://www.copytrans.net/copytransheic/.