What is an AVIF file, and how to open it?


While cleaning up my Mac’s desktop, I recently noticed a file name and extension that I didn’t recognize. The thumbnail didn’t register on my Apple Mac, and the name and the extension .AVIF weren’t jogging my memory.

Example of what an .AVIF file type looked like, with an empty thumbnail image, on my my MAC desktop.

Turns out the .AVIF file extension is an image file type. An .AVIF is a highly-optimized image file format that can use HDR color mode, not just 8-bit color depth.

View an AVIF image file

Often the most straightforward way to open a file with the extension .AVIF is to drag or open the file in Google Chrome or Firefox. This quickly let me see that in fact, the image is one that I want to keep.

Open and Save Images as AVIF in PhotoShop

As a designer, my default image program is Adobe Photoshop. By default, opening the .AVIF is currently a no-go.

Photoshop could not complete your request because Photoshop does not recognize this type of file. The error that Photoshop shows when trying to open an .AVIF file type.

However, as of Spring 2023, there are third-party plugins for PhotoShop that extend it’s .AVIF capability, but only on a PC. For an easy Adobe workaround, Adobe Illustrator (27.3.1) does open .AVIF files, which allows you to copy and paste the image into PhotoShop on either a Mac or PC.

Convert .AVIF image files using an online converter

As a Mac user, alternatively, I decided to use an online converter to turn my .AVIF file into a .JPG file extension that I can save and manipulate later. Covertio has a FREE .AVIF-specific converter. Use this free ad-based service to upload your .AVIF file, choose your new file format, and download the newly converted image file. Using online converters is one of my favorite tips for new designers; this technique sure beats saying, “I can’t open your provided file!”

Use Covertio, a free ad-based service to upload your .AVIF file, choose your new file format, and download the newly converted image file.

I hope you found this quick post about .AVIF image files, specifically how to view an .AVIF image and convert it to your preferred file type using Chrome or Firefox.

Happy Designing!

About the author

Kelly Barkhurst

Designer to Fullstack is my place to geek out and share tech solutions from my day-to-day as a graphic designer, programmer, and business owner (portfolio). I also write on Arts and Bricks, a parenting blog and decal shop that embraces my family’s love of Art and LEGO bricks!

Add comment

By Kelly Barkhurst

Recent Posts