Converting HEIC to JPG on a Mac

I take a lot of photos on my phone, and while HEIC is a great photo format there, it doesn’t work everywhere yet. I am frequently converting photos to send to family, post to social media, or even just to get them printed. I don’t use Photos normally, so having to import them into Photos and then export them as another format, like JPG, is tedious and time-consuming.

I started researching options, and I came across a great tutorial that explains how to add a Quick Action to your right-click menu to convert an image to a JPG file. It even allows you to convert multiple images at the same time.

Before you get too excited, this does require you to have macOS Mojave (v10.14) or greater, so check first to see which version of macOS you are running. You can do this by clicking on the apple icon in the upper left corner and then choosing “About This Mac”. Your operating system version is listed at the top of the Overview tab.

Once you are on a compatible version of macOS, you can then open Automator and add a Quick Action to convert images to JPG files. Instead of listing all of the steps here, I am going to link to the original tutorial as they have images and everything is described really well. However, I am going to include the brief steps below just in case How-To Geek ever removes this tutorial. So, head over to How-To Geek for the tutorial:

And if that link has stopped working, here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Open Automator (you can use Spotlight for this or find it in your Applications folder).
  2. Click “New Document” in the lower left corner.
  3. Click “Quick Action” and then “Choose”.
  4. In the search box, type “Copy Finder” and hit enter.
  5. Drag “Copy Finder Items” to the workflow window on the lower right.
  6. Choose the folder where you will save the converted versions of the images.
  7. In the search box, type “Change Type” and hit enter.
  8. Drag “Change Type of Images” to the workflow window on the lower right.
  9. Change “To Type” to “JPEG”.
  10. Under File, choose Save (or push Command + S).
  11. In the “Save quick action as” box, enter what you want it to say in the right-click menu (like “Convert Image to JPG”, etc.).
  12. Click “Save”.

You can now right-click on an HEIC image, go into the Quick Actions submenu, and choose “Convert Image to JPG” (or whatever you named your Quick Action in Step 11 above). This will create a copy of your image, convert it to a JPEG file, and then save the copy into the directory you specified in Step 6 above. You can highlight multiple images and convert them all at once. Your original image files are not changed or deleted.