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  • Chris Smith

iOS11 Filetype Issues - How to Fix

Last week saw Apple’s iPhone X leap gallantly into the public’s arms (and in some unfortunate cases, also leap out of their hands). And while we may all be loving the frankly hilarious ways people are making use of the new Animoji functionality, the device’s £1,000 paywall may prove a little too steep for most of us to join in the fun.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Apple has left their consumers completely short-changed. In mid-September, all Apple device users could download the latest iOS mobile operating system, known as iOS 11, appropriately. The update brought about many simple quality-of-life changes, a revamped control centre and integration of the ARKit developer kit which makes the mentioned Animoji possible, to name only a few.

One change that hasn’t received quite as much press, though, we discovered, is the updated file types that iOS 11 now generates on most of Apple’s devices.


In short: if you own an iPhone 7 or above, or the latest generation of iPad Pro, then your device will now create photos and videos in what are known as High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) or High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), respectively, rather than traditional JPEG or H.264 formats. These basically allow for more detailed and numerous amounts data to be captured in your media while reducing file size.

To the casual user this won’t prove a problem – you’ll still be able to edit and upload these files from within your device and its apps with no issues. But, with Apple constantly pushing their mobile devices regarding camera functionality and quality, it’s easy to assume that some of us might want to take some of our media and work on it back on our computers, and this is where things get complicated.

Unfortunately, these new formats do not translate on Windows operating systems, and your device will transparently convert your media into JPEG or H.264 format before it can even be viewed, even on a Mac (unless you’re updated to macOS High Sierra, which can read these files). Seems a little backward, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen Apple pull this kind of trick. Headphone jack, anyone? Attempting to use these files in applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro though, as many of us in the social market may need to do regularly, is where you’ll bump into trouble.


Here at Hydrogen, we ran into this snag when attempting to put together some raw footage captured at an event on an iPhone 7 Plus. The files were viewable on our Mac, both in Dropbox and on the Finder application, but as soon as we attempted to import them into Premiere, we were greeted with this message:

The same thing happened when we tried in After Effects:

Looking up the error codes proved fruitless, but we did manage to find an easy solution to this problem, though it comes with a catch. To prevent your device from creating your media in these new formats in the first place, simply head to your Settings app, into Camera, then Formats, and then select “Most Compatible” under Camera Capture.

Now your device will continue to use the traditional formats for media capture!

We did mention a catch, however, and that’s that this fix will only apply to media you create from that point onwards. Any images of videos you’ve already created will remain in the new HEIF/HEVC formats. So, if you’ve come home from a day of shooting without changing to ‘Most Compatible’, you’ll need to find yourself a converter of some form online.

This simple fix is sure to save us a lot of time in the future, and now hopefully it will do for you too!

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