HEIF in iOS 11 and Camera Upload

In IOS 11, Apple has introduced a new image format called HEIF for photos. HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image Format. As the name suggests, it's a more streamlined way to store images. Using advanced compression methods, it allows digital photos to be created in smaller file sizes all while retaining higher image quality than it’s JPEG alternative. While this format has the potential to be great, currently very few 3rd party apps support the new file format, including Plex.

With iOS 11 and the current Plex for iOS app, when using Camera Upload, these files are by default uploaded to your Plex Media Server using the HEIF format, making them unviewable to the current Plex for iOS release. In order to enable viewing, the easiest method today is to modify your iOS settings to force the default photo format to JPEG, which is the Most Compatible option. Here’s how to do that in iOS 11:

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Select Cameras -> Formats
  3. Change the option to Most Compatible


That way, all 3rd party apps including Plex, will support the viewing of your photos. We recognize this is not an ideal solution, since it doesn’t allow you to take advantage of the benefits this new format provides.

Rest assured we are working on enabling support for HEIF in Plex as soon as possible.


If you’re not using an iPhone 7 or later, or the latest generation of iPad Pro models, your devices won’t capture photos or videos using this new format. If you do have a new model, you can choose how to handle these formats via different settings in the Settings app. (And iOS 11 doesn’t dig back through your archive and re-encode your old files in these new formats.)