Apple introduced the Live Photos feature with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and the feature is present in the latest iPhones as well. The Live Photos feature, as you know, is a mixture of movie and still images. That is, a Live Photo is neither a photo nor a video.
When you capture a Live Photo on your iPhone, the iOS creates a MOV file as well as a JPEG file.
If you’re running Windows 11, Windows 10, or Windows 7 and want to view Live Photos on your PC, you have a couple of options.
You need to either play the MOV video file using a media player, convert Live Photos to GIF images first on your iPhone and transfer them to your PC to view them, or transfer Live Photos to your PC and then convert them to GIFs to view Live Photos on your Windows 10/11 PC before viewing them. Or, you can simply sign in to the iCloud account in a web browser to view your live photos.
For those who are wondering, a GIF image will look similar to a Live Photo, but the clarity of the picture might not be as good as the original Live Photo.
The following are the five ways to view Apple iPhone’s Live Photos on Windows 11 and earlier versions of Windows.
View iPhone Live Photos on Windows 10 without additional software
As said before, the iPhone creates a MOV file as well as a JPEG image when you capture a Live Photo. The easiest way to view your Live Photos on your Windows 10 PC is to transfer these MOV files (connect your iPhone to PC > open File Explorer > iPhone > Internet storage > DCIM) to your PC and then double-click on a video file to play it using the default Films & TV app. We recommend using a video player that automatically plays all the videos in a folder (GOM player does this best) to quickly play all MOV files.
View live photos on Windows 10/11 PC using iCloud
If you have been using the Apple iCloud service to back up your photos and other data, you can sign in to your iCloud account on your Windows 10/11 PC to access and view your live photos.
Step 1: In a web browser like Chrome or Edge, visit the iCloud website and sign in to your Apple iCloud account.
Step 2: On the iCloud home page, click Photos to view all photos.
Step 3: Simply click on a photo to view it. Simple as that!
Convert Live Photos to GIFs on iPhone to view them on Windows 10/11
There are dozens of apps out there to help convert Live Photos to GIF images. The only problem with these GIF-converting apps on iPhone is that most of them are either paid or support a limited number of photos at a time. Very few free apps that support unlimited Live Photos add a watermark while converting a Live Photo to a GIF. We tried the Lively app, but with default settings, the image quality of the GIF was not up to the mark, as you can see in the picture below.
So we suggest you search the store and install either a paid or free app depending on your needs.
After converting Live Photos to GIF files, transfer them to your Windows 10/11 PC to view them in the default Photos app or Windows Photo Viewer.
Convert Live Photos to GIFs on Windows 11/10/7 to view them
Quite a few free utilities are around to convert videos to GIF files. Any GIF Animator, Free Video to GIF Converter, and Freemore Video to GIF Converter are some of the popular programs in this space. We used Any GIF Animator to convert Live Photos to GIF and were quite happy with the end result.
Like most other programs, Any GIF Converter also allows you to select frame rate, GIF size (in pixels), and dither method. We suggest you play with these settings to get the best quality and size GIFs to view on your PC.
Convert Live Photos to GIFs online to view them on Windows 10/11
Those of you who want to view iPhone Live Photos on a Windows 10 PC without installing any additional program can use an online converter to convert Live Photos to GIFs. Like programs, a bunch of free video-to-GIF converter services are available. We used Make A Gif web service to convert one of our Live Photos to GIF.
I hope this helps!
Download photos from iCloud to your PC and then view them
Another option is to download photos from your iCloud account to your Windows 10/11 computer and then view them. Of course, this works only if you have been using the iCloud backup service.
Please refer to our how to download photos from iCloud to Windows 10/11 PC guide and then click on a photo to open it.