Secret Trick To Convert HEIC to JPEG in Gmail & Google Drive

One of my clients sent me some photos in HEIC and not even Photoshop can open it natively.

But I found a way in which you can convert HEIC to JPEG without leaving Gmail or using any fancy software.

Here’s how.

Go To The HEIC file

You will know it’s HEIC when you hover over it and it says [filename].HEIC .

heic files in gmail convert to jpg

Click on the image. It’ll open in a lightbox. If it doesn’t look like the image below, you might have clicked on one of the icons (Download, Google Drive, Google Photos).

gmail heic lightbo
  1. Then, put your cursor on the image.
  2. Press and hold.
  3. You should see a ghostly image of your image.
  4. Drag that into the address bar.
  5. Release.
  6. Press Enter.
gmail heic conversion to jpeg

Right click on the image and save it as a JPG.

As you can see, Gmail has automatically converted this into JPG so that it can be opened in the browser.

How To Get Full-Res HEIC-JPG Conversion in Gmail

This cheat method does have a downside. Google will only supply a shrunk-down version that is good enough to fill your screen.

For example, the original image supplied is 4032 x 3024 pixels, but the shrunk down version is only 1297 x 973 px.

BUT… apparently you can ask for the full-res version.

Focus in on your address bar.

Get to the end of the URL and you will notice a parameter sz=w[xxxx]-h[xxxx] .

If you know the actual size of your image, you can input it here.

If you’re on Windows and want to know the full-res size of your HEIC image, just download it from Gmail. Right click on the file, and click Properties.

Here, you will see the height and width.

Does this work in Google Drive?

Unfortunately no.

In Google Drive, if you clicked and dragged on any image, you will automatically get a box for commenting.

That’s not what you want!

If you want to get the image from Google Drive, you will need to open the console on your browser, and get the URL of the image. Here’s how to do it in the Google Chrome browser.

  • Open your image in a lightbox
  • Use the element selector by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + C (or CMD + SHIFT + C on Mac)
  • Hover on your image and click on it
  • You will an <img> tag on the left being highlighted.
google drive heic to jpg conversion
  • Look for the URL within the <img> tag. Double click it and Chrome will automatically highlight the URL.
  • Copy the URL and paste it in your address bar.
  • Press “Enter” and you should see the JPG. Remember the edit the width and height parameters if you need something bigger.

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