Photos on my iPhone are taken and stored as HEICs. If I use the share sheet in the Photos app to email a photo as "Actual size," the message arrives with the photo as a JPG attachment. How can I email the actual HEIC file?

  • Does "File > Export > Export unmodified original" not give you what you want? Nov 8, 2022 at 20:16
  • Where do I find File>Export on my iPhone? Nov 8, 2022 at 20:48
  • Sorry, my bad, I saw "Mac" and you wrote "iPhone." When you share on iPhone there is an option (scroll down...) for "Save to Files." On my iPhone it saves the original HEIC picture Nov 8, 2022 at 21:14
  • Sorry for sounding snarky, which wasn't intentional. Saving to Files and then sharing to email works, but that requires making a copy of the photo that's already in the Photos app, right? Is there no way to simply email a photo file directly? Nov 9, 2022 at 1:58
  • I now know you are excluding anything which requires a copy of the image. In my answer I have added another method which just copies a link to the image. Both my methods work, though I prefer the first one.
    – Gilby
    Nov 9, 2022 at 2:11

1 Answer 1


Just to confirm, Photos > share sheet > Mail sends a JPEG.

The reason for this is to ensure maximum compatibility for the recipient whose mail and OS may well not be able to view HEIC. And given that the Photos/Mail interaction only send JPEG, you need to look for a workaround.

To send as an HEIC:

  • In Photos share sheet use "Save to Files" and save the file locally. I put it into "On My Phone" > Downloads.
  • In Files, open the image and the share to Mail. The image will be sent as an HEIC.

Another method:

  • In Photos share sheet use "Copy iCloud Link".
  • In Mail create a new message and paste the link.
  • The recipient will need to open the link and download the HEIC.
  • Upvoted due to useful information and workarounds, but the core answer to the question of how to send an HEIC file from the Photos app seems to be that you can't. Nov 9, 2022 at 3:10
  • Thanks. It will be good if you do get a better answer. I shall watch with interest.
    – Gilby
    Nov 9, 2022 at 5:43

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