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Import HEIC files into Photoshop Elements / Organizer

New Here ,
Apr 23, 2022 Apr 23, 2022

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Our new iPhone saves photos in HEIC format, but these files are not importing into Photoshop Elements or Organizer. I followed the help instructions by loading the Microsoft HEIF image extension and the HEVC video extension.  Now we can see the previews in Windows Explorer or Photos, but still cannot import them into Elements.  So I purchased the new (2022) version from Adobe, and still get the error that this format is not supported - even though it provides a link back to the instructions I already followed.  Can someone please help me to import HEIC files?

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Import and export , Organizer , Problem or error

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Community Expert ,
Apr 23, 2022 Apr 23, 2022

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What model iPhone are you using? Please post a copy of any error messages you are receiving.

 

Have you tried connecting your phone to the computer and using Import>From Files and Folders?

 

Frankly, I don't see the value in importing .heic files to a computer.  There are very few usages for them, and if you want to edit or save them on a Windows computer, they will have to be converted to another format anyway.  I have not seen any convincing evidence that the quality of the .heic format is noticeable, even when compared to a .jpeg compressed photo. (Apparently, Adobe may disagree with me.) So, the only advantage the format has is disk space.  This may be important when saving to an iPhone, but for most users this is not a relevant factor on a modern computer's hard drive.

 

For these reasons, although I shoot photos and videos using the HE formats, I convert the images to jpgs when importing to the Organizer.  This has saved me a whole lot of time since I was having all kinds of problems, particularly importing HEVC videos.

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New Here ,
Apr 23, 2022 Apr 23, 2022

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We have an iPhone XR.  Yes, the direct connection between the computer and phone gives the same error:

Ken5E10_0-1650760976763.png

We followed the "click here" link instructions and still the same error.  Ideas to get Adobe to import these?

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2022 Jul 27, 2022

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quote

What model iPhone are you using? Please post a copy of any error messages you are receiving.

 

Have you tried connecting your phone to the computer and using Import>From Files and Folders?

 

Frankly, I don't see the value in importing .heic files to a computer.  There are very few usages for them, and if you want to edit or save them on a Windows computer, they will have to be converted to another format anyway.  I have not seen any convincing evidence that the quality of the .heic format is noticeable, even when compared to a .jpeg compressed photo. (Apparently, Adobe may disagree with me.) So, the only advantage the format has is disk space.  This may be important when saving to an iPhone, but for most users this is not a relevant factor on a modern computer's hard drive.

 

For these reasons, although I shoot photos and videos using the HE formats, I convert the images to jpgs when importing to the Organizer.  This has saved me a whole lot of time since I was having all kinds of problems, particularly importing HEVC videos.

Hi Greg, sorry for bringing this up a few months later, but I am having the same issue as OP and it's driving me nuts.  I don't care about what format I use, just want to get my files (photos and vid) from my iphone into Organizer.  Do you or someone else mind elaborating on how you prefer to convert to jpgs prior to importing into Organizer?  This would save me 20k headaches lol!  Thanks in advance!
Regards, M.

By @Greg_S.

 

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Explorer ,
Nov 21, 2022 Nov 21, 2022

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Hi Greg,

 

Have a major issue with your answer.  Adobe should be the one to support new/better formats, not the user converting imgaes/videos to older (and using more space) formats to use Adobe SW.  I have been having issues with 2022 and 2023 with HEIC/HEVC on Windows.  This is an Adobe issue that they need to solve.  Unfortunalety, it will be the normal fix in next release.  I have been using PSE since original version, but ready to give up as Adobe cannot keep up.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 24, 2022 Apr 24, 2022

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It's not clear from your response whether you have tried to copy the files from your phone to your computer, e.g. using Windows File Explorer or the Windows Photo App.  You can then import into the Organizer from Files and Folders.

And do you get the message for all files or just a few?

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New Here ,
Apr 24, 2022 Apr 24, 2022

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Typically I copy the files from the phone to the computer Files and Folders using the Windows File Explorer.  Trying to import from there into Elements Organizer (and Photoshop Elements) gives this error - for all HEIC files (not just a few).   Now that I've installed the Microsoft HEIF image extension and the HEVC video extension, I can see the HEIC previews in Windows Explorer or open them in MS Photos, but still cannot import them into Elements.

Thanks so much for your great questions and trying to help!

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Community Expert ,
Jul 28, 2022 Jul 28, 2022

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@Podad143, the conversion to jpeg can be done automatically when you import from your iPhone into the Organizer via Import>From Camera or Card Reader.  All you need do is change the settings on your iPhone.  Go to your iPhone's Settings.  Go to the Photos app settings.  At the very bottom, there should be a setting for Transfer to Mac or PC.  You probably have it set to Keep Originals.  Change this to Automatic.  When you use the Organizer to import files, they will automatically be converted to jpegs.

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New Here ,
Jul 28, 2022 Jul 28, 2022

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Awesome, thank you so much for the guidance!  Have a wonderful day!

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New Here ,
Nov 05, 2022 Nov 05, 2022

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At least in Photoshop elements 2020, you can also open HEIC files with File - Open in Camera Raw -  and then can manipulate basic features lossless. Like in Lightroom. You can then save it in .dng format (so another lossless format) or open it in Photoshop Elements Editor as jpeg. 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2022 Nov 05, 2022

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So, to keep the issue focused: I have a number of HEIC photos in a folder. If I upgrade to the current Elements will it import the HEIC files?

 

I THINK the answer is no. Apparently I need to convert the HEIC files to JPG and then I can import them. That seems odd. My Elements 2018 does not import the HEIC files.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 05, 2022 Nov 05, 2022

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@Bobh123us, Elements 2018 could not handle .heic files.  Elements 2023 does without first converting them to .jpeg.  You can download a free trial of Elements 2023 to confirm this for yourself.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 21, 2022 Nov 21, 2022

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@rtd3, since you haven't told us what problems you are having with Elements 2022 and 2023, we can't offer you any help.  

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Explorer ,
Nov 21, 2022 Nov 21, 2022

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Hi Greg,

You can see prior post here about issues with importing HEVC.  I also have been having issues with HEIC files in PSE 2023.  Faces not being recognized, thumbnails not properly displaying.  I'm not the only one.  

To me, this is a problem with PSE.  They need to add direct support for the new file types as these save more photo/video information in a smaller size.  As you probably can tell, i am extremely frustrated by this.  I really like PSE and what the Orgainzer provides me as a home for all my photo/video collection.  But (pardon the pun) that foundation is starting to crumble.  If I have to manually add faces to all my HEIC photos and HEVC videos (when they can be imported) the Organizer loses it's value when compared to other solutions.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 21, 2022 Nov 21, 2022

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@rtd3, what problems are you having with Face Recognition of .heic files?  I have not seen that problem reported by anyone else and I am not experiencing it.  If you want to attach a few of your problem photos, I will be happy to look at them to see if Elements can recognize faces on my machine.  (I'm not sure whether .heic files can be attached on the forum.  You may have to zip them to upload here.  Or if you have a file sharing site like Dropbox, give us a link to download them.)

 

FWIW, I only use HEIF on my phone.  They cannot be easily shared so need to be converted to jpeg or other format for most purposes.  (HEVC video is also more difficult to edit in most cases.)  Their only value is their size, and since I have virtually unlimited storage on my computer, I see no need to use this format.

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Explorer ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Hey Greg,

Here are the issues I have discovered to date with HEIC files.  My best guess is that the Microsoft HEIC/HEIF/HEVC add-on that Adobe requires you to purchase to get access to these file formats does not play well together. (thus my request for direct media type access support like they do JPG/MP4):

  • When in full view mode of pictures the screen will randomly go black when paging thru pictures (see Black Screen.jpg)
  • With new HEIC pictures I had added, PSE mistook one persons face for another and applied it.  I had to go clean up ~100 photos. (I already fixed it so don't have screen capture)
  • Intermittabtly i will get a strange thumbnail on an HEIC picture.  I can fix by manually updating.  (see Strange Thumbnail.jpg)

On the HEIF/HEIC -> JPG.  I use PSE Organizer as the "source of truth" in that I treat the original files (RAW/HEIC/HEVC/MP4/Whatever) as negatives and create photos from those.  It would be another step in my orgnizational process to convert everything to a new format just so that PSE Organizer can catalog it properly, and I would lose that "source of truth".  I use PSE to help me save time, not add to it.  I have over 122k items in PSE.

One other thing i did notice prior to upgrade to PSE 2023, was that PSE 2022 did not give me any issues with the newer formats.  WhenI get time, i will re-import to PSE 2022 and see if the same issues appear or these are new issues in PSE 2023.

Appreciate any help.  

Rob

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 25, 2022 Nov 25, 2022

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I just purchased 2023 yesterday.  It did fix my horrible performance issues with Organizer, like night and day better.

 

However I do have the same issue as you with some thumbnails produced from HEIC photos being stripped and blurry.

Hopefully there is a fix coming.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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@rtd3 said: 

My best guess is that the Microsoft HEIC/HEIF/HEVC add-on that Adobe requires you to purchase to get access to these file formats does not play well together. (thus my request for direct media type access support like they do JPG/MP4)

I'm not sure that it is Adobe that requires you to purchase the HEIF extensions.  I'm guessing that there is probably some licensing fee involved, and rather than include it in the OS itself, M$FT controls the cost by charging a dollar for the video codec which only a few users actually need.  I have found that different editing programs cause conflicts when vying for control of a codec.  Do you have any other video editing programs installed?  And have they been installed after Elements?  If so, uninstalling and reinstalling Elements may help with any conflict.

 

@rtd3 said:  :

  • When in full view mode of pictures the screen will randomly go black when paging thru pictures (see Black Screen.jpg)

I believe this may be related to the thumbnail issue.  I think I read somewhere that .heic files do not have embedded thumbnails, so when you scroll through the grid in Single Image View (SIV), Elements has to create a full size thumbnail.  That's why you may be seeing the random black screen while Elements is creating the thumbnail on-the-fly.   In your example, I'm guessing that the Face Recognition overlay display is generated by the associated .json file.  Have you tried manually refreshing the thumbnail while in SIV?  Please let us know if that fixes the issue.

 

@rtd3 said: 

  • With new HEIC pictures I had added, PSE mistook one persons face for another and applied it.  I had to go clean up ~100 photos. (I already fixed it so don't have screen capture)

Face Recognition, while improving with each new version, is not perfect.  The problem you describe can happen with any format of image.

 

@rtd3 said: 

  • Intermittabtly i will get a strange thumbnail on an HEIC picture.  I can fix by manually updating.  (see Strange Thumbnail.jpg)

Yes, I have seen similar issues in Elements 2023.  As you have already found, the solution is to rebuild the thumbnails.  (You can do a file search for all .heic files using the Shift+Ctrl+K keyboard shortcut.  Select them all  with Ctrl+A. Then update the thumbnails with Ctrl+Shift+U.  If you have a large number of .heic files, you may want to do this in batches.)

 

@rtd3 said: 

On the HEIF/HEIC -> JPG.  I use PSE Organizer as the "source of truth" in that I treat the original files (RAW/HEIC/HEVC/MP4/Whatever) as negatives and create photos from those. 

I'm not exactly sure what point you are making here.  When you develop your digital negative .heic files, I presume you are using the Photoshop Editor to do so.  As soon as you move the .heic file into the Editor, it is converted to the PSD format.  You will then have to convert the edited file to some other format because Elements cannot save the file in the .heic format.  And what ultimate use is there for .heic files?  Most display options cannot read them.  You therefore have to use the Editor's Save As function to either save the file as a PSD or choose some other type of file format such as jpeg or tiff.  The Save As function allows you to save the converted file as a Version Set with the original source of truth .heic file.  Elements will never delete the original file and it will always be available for you to edit again.

 

@rtd3 said: 

One other thing i did notice prior to upgrade to PSE 2023, was that PSE 2022 did not give me any issues with the newer formats.  WhenI get time, i will re-import to PSE 2022 and see if the same issues appear or these are new issues in PSE 2023.

I will be interested to hear your findings. 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 25, 2022 Nov 25, 2022

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@Chris22853298zhyx, have you tried updating the thumbnails with Ctrl+Shift+U as I suggested in an earlier post?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 25, 2022 Nov 25, 2022

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Will do when I get home.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 25, 2022 Nov 25, 2022

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I can confirm this works!  I even ctrl-clicked and chose multiple photos and used this fix.

 

I do have the HEIC or whatever $1 software from days gone by, which I think is now in the latest 22H2 photos app (horrible app).  Anyhow it seems to work well and like I said before 2023 fixed the peformance issues.

 

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