I have in my iPhone a mixture of HEIC and JPG pictures. I have set my "Photo" settings for the transfer of pictures to a Mac or PC to "automatic". From my understanding, this should convert the pictures from HEIC to JPG on download via cable (I conclude this from What is HEIC file, and how to convert HEIC to JPG?, paragraph "How to transfer iPhone photos as JPG, not HEIC").

On my MacBook, I use ImageCapture to transfer the files.

However, the HEIC files end up as HEIC. No conversion to JPG is done.

What did I do wrong?

Version information:

iPhone 14 Pro Max, iOS 16.6.1

MacBook Pro, MacOS 12.6.9

Image Capture 8.0


Export media from iPhone directly to external drive? claims that the conversion can be controlled by Image Capture. This does not seem to be true for my version of Image Capture, which does not have a "Keep Original" option, as can be seen from the screenshot:

Image Capture screenshot

  • Image Capture has its own setting, which ignores that of the iPhone - 'Keep Originals'. See apple.stackexchange.com/a/465517/85275
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 3, 2023 at 10:22
  • @Tetsujin : I remember having seen such an option in an earlier version of Image Capture, but it is not present on mine. I have updated my question to demonstrate this. Nov 3, 2023 at 10:31
  • 1
    Ugh! I despair of Apple these days. I just checked Ventura & you're right. They've moved open with & delete after import up to the top prefs button & removed a useful function entirely. Words cannot express what I think of that decision. Sorry, seems they've done it again. Removed functionality for no discernible reason.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 3, 2023 at 10:37
  • 1
    The two options used to be entirely separate. That last paragraph really makes little sense to me. I only see the 'Delete after import' option.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 3, 2023 at 14:07
  • 1
    Automatic is intended for Windows devices, etc. that can't read HEIC. It will automatically use HEIC on Mac, since Mac can read those files.
    – Ezekiel
    Dec 16, 2023 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


I know this doesn't solve the issue at hand. But could serve as an intermediary option for you in the mean time.

The app call HEIC Converter. On App Store - Free I've just started to use it as the last time I had to convert photos it was a longer than necessary process.

  • 1
    You can actually do it natively with a simple keyboard shortcut, using Automator as a Service [Quick Action]. I was going to drop that in if we couldn't get any further with the Image Capture settings.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 3, 2023 at 16:45
  • Well, the problem is not fixing the HEIC afterwards (I'm doing it mow with a script using ImageMagick), but I was curious on how to it during import. First I thought that the mentioned settings in my iPhone should be sufficient (i.e. that the iPhone would do the conversion), but this does not seem to be true. Nov 3, 2023 at 18:27

This may not direct answer your question, but you can use the Preview app on your MacBook to view HEIC files. To open HEIC files using the Preview app, locate the desired photos on your MacBook. Right-click on the image, choose the 'Open With' option, and then select Preview.

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