Here’s how to get the HEVC and HEIC codecs installed and set up on Windows 11.
A High-Efficiency Image Container (HEIC) file, the revised version of High-Efficiency Image Format (HEIF,) is a space-saving container that uses High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) to compress and stock your images and videos across devices. These formats help improve the image and video quality.
HEIF comes pre-installed on Windows, but that’s only true for the image codecs (MPEG-H Part 2). If you’d like to play H.265 videos, you’ll need the HEVC extension. If you can’t seem to open files using these codes on your Windows 11, we can help.
How to Add HEIF Codec Support on Windows 11
In most cases, the HEIF and HEVC codecs will already be installed on Windows 11. In case they aren’t pre-installed, you’ll have to install them manually.
You can easily install the codecs from the Microsoft Store. However, searching for these codes in the Microsoft Store will show you the paid version. Here’s how you can install the codec for free.
Open a new browser window on your PC and go to the HEVC Video Extensions page. Click on the Get in Store app button and then the Install button.
Next, go to the HEIF Image Extensions page. Click on the Get in Store app button and then the Install button.
Once you’ve installed both codecs, you should be able to view .heic files using an appropriate app.
How to Fix a Faulty HEIF Codec Support on Windows 11
If you’re facing technical issues with the codecs, reset the extensions by uninstalling and reinstalling them. You won’t find the codecs listed in the installed apps list on your PC, so you’ll need to use the winget command-line utility. Check out how to download and install winget if you don’t have it yet.
Search for cmd in the Start Menu, hover your cursor over Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator. To uninstall the HEVC extension, execute the following command and press Enter:
winget uninstall Microsoft.HEVCVideoExtension_8wekyb3d8bbwe
If you’re prompted to agree to the source agreement terms, press Y to consent.
To uninstall the HEIF extension, execute the following command and press Enter:
winget uninstall Microsoft.HEIFImageExtension_8wekyb3d8bbwe
After the codecs are uninstalled, follow the installation process in the previous section to reinstall the codecs.
The HEIF and HEVC Codecs Are Now Installed
HEIF and HEVC extensions are necessary if you’d like to save storage on your PC, improve the quality of your images and videos, and open images or play videos on any photo or video app in Windows 11. Adding support for these codecs will also help you take advantage of your device’s hardware capabilities. If you still couldn’t get HEIC files to open for some reason, you might consider converting them to a different format.