I want to send images from macOS Photos in an iMessage conversation.

When I copy/paste an image from macOS Photos to iMessage, it is converted to a JPEG file and downsampled. This loses the Live Photo video and results in a much lower resolution image.

Original image from iCloud Photos Library on macOS:

.HEIC, Live Photo, 4032x3024, 1.1 MB

image in Photos

After copy/paste to Messages and send:

.jpeg, not Live Photo, 1024x769, 218 KB, creation and modification dates have been changed to today.

image after copy/pasted and sent in Messages

If I instead drag the photo to the Message conversation, rather than copy/paste, it is properly sent:

.HEIC, Live Photo, 4032x3024, 1.1 MB, filename has been changed.

dragged file

Why is copy/paste not transmitting the full resolution file?

Is there a setting that controls the quality of copy/pasted images from Photos or into Messages?

  • Hey pkamb, I have the same issue. This only happened to me after trying to convert .heic images to .jpg using this "quick action" method. Now whenever I copy an Image from the photos app to a new folder in finder, the image is saved as .jpeg in low quality instead of .heic Have you found a solution for this problem? This only happened to my after playing around with this "quick action" apple.stackexchange.com/a/439767/285241
    – JiiB
    Nov 2, 2022 at 9:09
  • Interestingly, sometimes when I copy and paste a HEIF from photos, it comes out as a HEIF, and other times it comes out as a JPEG. I can't find any clear pattern to help me figure out when it does which. I just did two HEIFs in a row; one pasted as a HEIF (into an application that doesn't accept those); the other pasted as a JPEF (which worked fine).
    – JakeRobb
    Oct 2 at 0:25


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