When viewing HEIC images with QuickLook from Finder on my MacBook Pro (2019) there is always a slight delay of almost a second. Other formats (jpg/png) work just fine.

When viewing the images in Photos they show up instantly.

Can this be fixed?

  • Note: Technically HEIC does require more processing power to decode and encode, as it uses HEVC codec, than JPEG or PNG. But yeah, Finder on macOS is overall slow.
    – sfxedit
    Jan 9, 2021 at 9:39
  • It seems like a rather strange design choice by Apple. Going through a bunch of jpg files is a breeze, and only larger jpg files cause a big of "lag" where the old jpg file will stay on screen for a moment before the new one is loaded. For HEIC files, it definitely takes longer than it needs to to load, and the "loading" screen is shown every time a new image is previewed, causing your screen to "flash" every time you change an image. I'm not even sure if this might be a bug
    – Oion Akif
    Jan 9, 2021 at 12:18

2 Answers 2


Since I found no fix I wrote a small app that uses macOS components to display the HEIC instantly.

  • It would be nice if someone could write a QuickLook plug for this. I'm a little disappointed at how slowly QuickLook loads HEIC files, whereas third-party apps (like ApolloOne) loads them in just a fraction of a second
    – Oion Akif
    Jan 9, 2021 at 7:18
  • 1
    I'm still on macOS High Sierra so I cannot compile the program (Swift is too old). Can you compile and release the program?
    – Joy Jin
    Jan 9, 2021 at 7:29
  • @JoyJin I don't have a dev cert but give this a try: github.com/laktak/termplug/releases/tag/v1.0
    – laktak
    Jan 11, 2021 at 7:44
  • @laktak Unfortunately, the app is built for macOS 10.15 and higher, so I can't run it (it won't open even when I changed the minimal system version to 10.13 in Info.plist). Also, it unzips to Contents so I'm guessing that zip did not include the app directory but instead the Contents directory.
    – Joy Jin
    Jan 11, 2021 at 10:35
  • @laktak I guess the version of Swift and other libraries you are using are too new for macOS 10.13, so it doesn't really matter. I will try it in a VM when I have time. Thank you for your help!
    – Joy Jin
    Jan 11, 2021 at 10:37

Another possibility is using a third-party app such as ApolloOne. I have tried and succeeded in skimming through 50 HEIC files in just a couple of seconds. In contrast, QuickLook took nearly a whole second to view each individual HEIC file.

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