Camera Format Changed To High Efficiency On iPhone? The Fix!

You were using your favorite app when, all of a sudden, your iPhone said “Camera Format Changed To High Efficiency”. This is a new iOS 11 feature which slightly lowers the quality of your iPhone photos to save on storage space. In this article, I’ll explain why the camera format on your iPhone changed to high efficiency, what the benefits of high efficiency format are, and how you can change it back!

Why Does It Say “Camera Format Changed To High Efficiency” On My iPhone?

Your iPhone says “Camera Format Changed To High Efficiency” because it automatically changed your camera capture format from Most Compatible to High Efficiency. Here’s the difference between these two formats:

  • High Efficiency: Photos and videos are saved as HEIF (High Efficiency Image File) and HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) files. These file formats are slightly lower quality, but will save your iPhone lots of storage space.
  • Most Compatible: Photos and videos are saved as JPEG and H.264 files. These file formats are higher quality than HEIF and HEVC, but they’ll take up significantly more storage space on your iPhone.

How Do I Switch iPhone Camera Format Back To Most Compatible?

If it says “Camera Format Changed To High Efficiency” on your iPhone, but you want to change your photos and videos back to Most Compatible format, open the Settings app and tap Camera -> Formats. Then, tap Most Compatible. You’ll know Most Compatible is selected when there’s a small check mark next to it.

iphone camera formats most compatible

Which Camera Format Should I Use On My iPhone?

The type of pictures and videos you take and how often you take them will help you determine which camera format is best for you. If you’re a professional photographer or videographer, you’ll probably want to choose Most Compatible format because your iPhone will take higher quality images and videos.

However, if you just like taking pictures of your cat for your own enjoyment, I’d recommend choosing High Efficiency. The pictures and videos are only slightly lower quality (you probably won’t notice the difference), and you’ll save a lot of storage space!

iPhone Camera Formats: Explained!

Now you know why your it says “Camera Format Changed To High Efficiency” on your iPhone! I encourage you to share this article on social media to teach your friends about the different iPhone camera formats. If you have any other questions about your iPhone, leave them in the comments section below!

Best Wishes,
David L.

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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sally e.s. jones
2 years ago

I saved the heic pictures to my Photos on my iphone. Then I selected them to email to myself. Iphone converted them to jpeg when it sent them.Only then, could I could save them as: **.jpeg in my computer.

3 years ago

What would you use if you were filming for an information product/instructional website quality?

Liam Shotwell
3 years ago
Reply to  George

For professional recording, I would recommend whatever file format has the highest visual quality. However, keep in mind that certain file formats may not be compatible with some devices and software. .mp4, .mov, and .flv are pretty standard in the industry. Apple’s high efficiency file format might save space, but it actually got some people in trouble when they tried to submit test answers to College Board for Advanced Placement testing because College Board’s proctors couldn’t open the images! Although iPhones and smartphone cameras have improved a lot over the years and some people do record video professionally with them,… Read more »

3 years ago

Is there a way to convert already taken photos that are HE to most compatible?

3 years ago

Hello, David, no matter how many times I switched it it still saves to hvec format. I am using iExpand, copy files there and need these files to be in .jpeg but no matter how many times I switched back and forth it’s still copies files in hveic format. Any ideas why?

5 years ago

My phine us says there is no space to take pictures after showing in srttings lots of free space ,,,,, how is that happened

6 years ago

how can I download pictures from the phone to computer ? it use to pop up on the computer screen now it wont. Help I have an apple 4s