Monterey Photo Conversion

macOS Monterey has several new features that are really cool. Occasionally, the things that interest me the most are the little features in the OS that are super helpful, but not too noticeable unless you go looking for them. One of those less notable features in Monterey is the ability to convert photos in the Finder. Here is how that works.

Photo Conversion

The iOS Camera is set to take photos in the HEIC format. HEIC is a very lean file format that saves space. However, some photography people are concerned about the storage longevity of the HEIC file format. For that reason, they either change the default image format in iOS to “Compatible” which usually means JPEG, or they convert the HEIC file to JPEG using a third-party App on their Mac.

With the advent of macOS Monterey, converting HEIC files to JPEG’s or PNG’s using a third-party App is no longer needed. Monterey has a new builtin feature in the “Actions” menu in Finder to do this conversion.

Here is a typical photo from my iPhone in HEIC format that I have imported to my Mac. It is 1.5 MB.

All you have to do to convert this file is select it, click on the “Actions” menu, and select “Convert Image”.

You are presented with this window.

You can choose to convert to PNG format, and you can choose a smaller size image if you wish. When you click “Convert to JEPG”, your image saves into the same folder as the original.

It is now in JPEG format. Notice it is 2.5 MB, while the HEIC image was 1.5 MB. HEIC definitely saves you space, but the JPEG format has additional information in the file, which may be better for long-term storage.


This obscure image conversion feature in macOS Monterey is totally cool. I will be exploring other “behind the scenes” features in the future.