How to Open and Convert an AVIF File

How to Open and Convert an AVIF File

What is an AVIF file?

An AVIF file is an image saved in the AV1 image file format. The Alliance developed it for Open Media to store the image in compressed data. Though this image file format is like JPEG or PNG, it came in as an alternative to these formats but as a competitor to the HEIC image file format. In 2020, Netflix carried out further tests, and the results showed that the AVIF file conversion efficiency was higher than that of JPEG. Its preservation factor is also more recommended. Other benefits include less color bleeding and fewer blocking artifacts.

The Rise of AVIF

The Alliance for Open Media invented AVIF in 2015. This non-profit work group was formed by major tech companies, including Amazon and Microsoft. Intel, Mozilla, Netflix, and Google. As time passed, the workgroup found out that the AV1 codec could still be used in the HEIF file format for images, and they, therefore, developed the AV1 files with confidence that it could be used to save compressed images of high quality. The space required is the same as that of the lower-quality images saved in JPEGs. Other benefits realized in the AVIF files include less blocking, fewer virtual distortions than in JPEGs, and less blurriness. The AVIF file format supports lossless and lossy compression. It also supports images supported by AVIF, including HDR and monochrome images whose color depths range between 8, 10, and 12 bits. This has seen the format grow in popularity, and many companies have enjoyed using it. For instance, as early as 2020, companies like Netflix have been using AVIF files internally. Microsoft also provides its users with a codec used to create AVIF images in their programs. Other companies using the format include Google and Amazon, notably.

How to Open AVIF Files

There are several ways to open AVIF files, and the most common ones include using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, GIMP, Webkit, or qView. Apart from these, users can still open the files in the free Nomacs image viewer (compatible with Windows and macOS), Microsoft Photos, or Microsoft Paint. High-end users can still encode or decode AVIF images using the open-source libavif library (multiplatform). The others that fall into this category include libheif, SAIL, and FFmpeg. All these help to encode or decode an image.

What are AVIF files good for?

Many companies still ask why they should use AVIF files for image storage. Here are the benefits.
    • Better compression
    • Excellent performance
    • Excellent optimisation

The Best Ways to Convert AVIF Files

Several methods can be used to convert AVIF files. So long as the AV1 Video Extension is installed, Windows users can use Microsoft Paint for conversion. Some of these formats include:
    • JPG-JPEG Image
    • BMP-Bitmap image
    • PNG-Portable Network Graphic
    • GIF (Graphical Interchange Format)
    • HEIC: High-Efficiency Image Format
But of all these, the most renowned way to convert AVIF files is by using online image converters like the Converter App. It also offers a free browser plugin that allows you to convert images with just a right-click from your browser. It also works to create AVIF files from other image formats, including JPG and PNG. Below are the steps to enable you to convert AVIF files to JPG:
    1. Go to the Converter App and select the file you wish to convert to JPG.
    1. Wait for the JPG conversion to take place.
    1. When completed, a download button will pop up. Click it and save, and your image will appear.
Note: The AVIF image file is relatively new on the market, and you might find that not all applications support the format. But if you come across one you wish to convert, there is no need to worry. The most commonly used web browsers can be used to convert AVIF images, such as Google Chrome and Firefox. Open any of these browsers and open the AVIF file using them.

About the author

Steven Ly

Steven Ly is the Startup Program and Events Manager at TheNextHint Inc. She recruits rockstar startups for all TC events including Disrupt, meetups, Sessions, and more both domestically and internationally. Previously, she helped produce Dreamforce with Salesforce and Next '17 with Google. Prior to that, she was on the advertising teams at both Facebook and AdRoll, helping support advertisers in North America and helped grow those brands globally. Outside of work, Steven enjoys Flywheel, tacos, the 49ers, and adventuring around the globe.

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