The best way to Export Photographs as a Totally different File Format on a Mac

Need to open one of your photos in another app but can't? Try exporting the photo to a different file format using these instructions.

Often times, it is best to save and export a photo as a specific file type, depending on how it is used. However, photos stored on your Mac may be in a different file format than your preferred file format and may not be compatible with third-party apps.

Learn how to use your Mac to export photos to another image file format that suits your needs.

About image file formats

File formats differ in image quality, size, compression options, and the software required to open and edit the file.

Related: Knowing which file format to use when: PNG vs. JPG, DOC vs. PDF, MP3 vs. FLAC

Before you start converting any image, you should know what type of file the current image is. File extensions are usually already specified in the file name. If not, just Ctrl + click the image, then select get information. Under Generally, the file type is displayed next to it Kind.

Note: iPhone and Mac screenshots are saved as PNG files by default, while images captured by your iPhone's camera – iOS 11 and higher – are saved in the highly efficient file format (HEIC).

How to change the file format of a photo on Mac

You can change the format type of a file, and change how you want the files to look when you export them from your Mac, by following these steps:

  1. Open minded photos.
  2. Select the file that you want to export.
  3. click file > export > Export (number) photos / s.
  4. Click the drop-down menu next to Photo Art to select TIFF, JPEG, or PNG. Expand the export options by clicking the button Down arrow next to the Photo Art Menu. Note that the options vary depending on the file format you choose.
  5. Choose how you want to name the exported files by clicking Filename.
  6. click Subfolder format if you want to categorize your exported files into subfolders.
  7. click export.


You can also export videos using the same procedure. Instead of choosing the file format, you can choose from 480p, 780p, or 1080p Resolution. Choose 480p for a standard definition television, or the other two high definition formats for video that you view on a high definition display or television.

How to export your photos in their original format

If the file format is not a problem, you can export images from photos in their original format. In order to do this:

  1. Open minded photos, and then select the images that you want to export.
  2. click file > export > Export unmodified original for (number) photo.
  3. Check the box next to Export IPTC as XMP if you want to export IPTC metadata and keywords as an XMP file with the photos.
  4. click export.

Another easy way to share photos would be through iCloud. Just export your files to iCloud and access them on any device.

Change before exporting

Changing the file format of your videos and photos is easy with your Mac. Changing file formats can be useful when you want to open, use a specific tool to process, view, or print your files on another device.

How to easily share files between Mac and Windows

If you use both Windows and macOS, you can easily transfer files from Mac to Windows and vice versa.

Continue reading

About the author

Rachel Melegrito
(107 published articles)

Rachel Melegrito gave up her college teaching career to become a full-fledged content writer. She loves everything from Apple – from iPhones to Apple Watches to MacBooks. She is also a licensed occupational therapist and budding SEO strategist.

By Rachel Melegrito

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