Two round tables with guests seated. The table in front has nine guests, the table in the rear has six guests. The back corner has a Christmas tree.

Automator: HEIC to JPEG

I occasionally have a need to convert my iPhone HEIC images to JPEG. Previously, I only needed to convert a couple of images at a time. I accomplished that through Preview on my iMac, one image at a time. After attending a winter wedding, I wanted to convert 54 images from HEIC to JPEG. I came across a How-To Geek article, explaining how to use Automator on my iMac for this task; I had results for my 54 images in less than a minute.

The need identified

The newlyweds set up a share site and asked various attendees to upload their photos to the site so that the couple would have access to them in one location. After culling my images from two events, I was ready to upload them…or so I thought.

The site selected by the couple didn’t support HEIC format. My largest group of images was 54, and I didn’t want to use my Preview approach to save each image as a JPEG. A quick search yielded this How-To Geek approach using the Automator application on my iMac.

A screen shot of the Automator application on an iMac. There are three sections in the screen shot. In the right section, two Actions have been added to achieve the desired result.
Executing the How-To Geek instructions that will convert my images from HEIC to JPEG.

It took me five minutes to read the article, open Automator, build the Quick Action as described, and achieve my desired result.

Modifying the Quick Action

As the How-To Geek article mentions, a Quick Action can be saved and reused. The one change I needed to make was to change the To: folder to a generic “HEIC to JPEG” folder on my desktop so that when I ran the Action next time, the resulting JPEG images would be placed in a generic folder. (I wouldn’t always want my JPEG images in the Alex-Ally wedding folder.)

First I created the “HEIC to JPEG” folder on my Desktop. Then, I edited the Quick Action:

A screen shot of a Quick Action on an iMac. On the far right, options have been save selected images to an "HEIC to JPEG" folder as JPEG files instead of HEIC files.
The To: folder now specified is on my Desktop and can be used as a temporary place to store any converted HEIC images (not just those for Alex and Ally’s wedding).

I will make it a practice to immediately move, upload, or otherwise act on the images in this folder and then promptly delete them from the folder so that it is always empty, ready for the next conversion.


Finding a simple solution that was quick to implement and can easily be used again (I just need to remember to right-click) gave me the same sense of relief felt by these two ladies at the conclusion of the reception.

Two ladies in a banquet room that has been cleaned up after a reception. Tables with white cloths and skirts
Cleanup happens fast. Relief that a festive and joyful reception has concluded.