My iPhone (iOS 12.3.1) takes pictures in HEIC / HEIF format.

I have an older Macbook (13" mid-2009) with MacOS El Capitan, which includes Photos v1.5.

When my iPhone photos get synced via iCloud to the Macbook, the thumbnails show up fine, but when I click on the photo, a large grey exclamation mark is shown.

What settings should I change to ensure they're also viewable in El Capitan Photos 1.5?

Please note that I'm not looking for another tool to run manually prior to each sync, as suggested in the "Duplication Question" suggestion.

I'm just looking for a set of configuration settings that others are using successfully, to take pictures on the iPhone using HEIC / HEIF, and view automatically (i.e. without using another tool manually) on my Macbook El Capitan.

  • 1
    Hi Nimesh, I'm not trying to convert the images. I just want them to automatically sync with an appropriate file format, so they can be viewed on my Macbook Pro without further intervention. Jun 9, 2019 at 19:29
  • 1
    HEIF/HEIC formatted images cannot be natively viewed in El Capitan - the ability to do so was introduced in High Sierra. Alternatively, you can set your iPhone to shoot JPGs rather than HEIC. To do this go to Settings > Camera > Formats and then select Most Compatible. Or you can share Jpegs instead of HEICs, also via Settings (go to Settings > Photos and select Automatic in the bottom option), while continuing to keep the benefits of shooting and storing in HEIC yourself. (The alternative was lifted from: macworld.co.uk/feature/iphone/what-is-heic-3660408)
    – IconDaemon
    Jun 9, 2019 at 19:50
  • >> Or you can share Jpegs instead of HEICs Thanks @IconDaemon, I also found that link, and set it to "Automatic", but the photos still didn't view correctly in High Sierra. Have you done this yourself? If so, and it works, I suppose I'd have a new question, which would be how to completely delete and resync all the photos to my Macbook, now that "Automatic" is selected. Jun 9, 2019 at 20:03


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