Photos app Video Editor error: Can’t view this file type

Applies to: Windows 10

If you have an iOS or Android device, you might want to use photos and videos you take with that device with the Photos app on your PC or Surface. Most of the time it’s not a problem. But if the photos and videos you want to use are HEIF (High Efficiency Image File) or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec) files, you might see a message in the Photos app Video Editor that says “You need an extension to use this file.”

There are three different ways to fix this.

Option 1 (easiest): Buy the HEIF and HEVC Extensions from the Microsoft Store

Buy both of these extensions from the Microsoft Store and install them on your PC (as long as your PC meets the system requirements). You’ll need both, even if you only plan on using photos and not videos.

HEIF Image Extensions (free)

HEVC Video Extensions ($0.99) from the Microsoft Store

After they’re installed, restart the Photos app. Now you’ll be able to use your files in the Photos Video Editor.

Option 2: Automatically convert your files by reimporting them or emailing them to yourself

iPhone plugged into a Surface device.

Many devices will automatically convert HEIC photos and HEVC videos to a more common format when transferring or emailing the files. Try plugging in your iPhone or Android into your PC and moving the files over. Or just email the files to yourself from your phone and save them on your PC.

Then try adding the files to your video project:

  1. Open your video project in the Photos app.
  2. Select Add > From this PC.
  3. Browse to the files and select them.

If that didn’t work, follow Option 1 (get the extensions for the Photos app) or try Option 3 for your photo files.

Option 3 (photos only): Use OneDrive to automatically convert your photo files

Here’s how:

  1. Get the OneDrive app for your phone if you don’t have it already:

OneDrive for iPhone

OneDrive for Android

  1. Open the OneDrive app on your phone, go to Settings , and turn on Camera Upload. Then select JPG under Save HEIC photos as.

From now on, all photos you take with your iPhone or Android will automatically be saved in OneDrive as JPG files, which will work in the Photos app. Open OneDrive on your PC and download the files you need (type OneDrive into the search box on the taskbar to get started).

If you’d like to manually upload your photos to OneDrive, go to Settings  > Advanced and turn on Upload Most Compatible.

To make sure it worked, add your files to your video project by selecting Add > From this PC and browsing to the files.