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What Is an AVIF File?

Could one day replace JPEG

An AVIF file is an AV1 image file that you can open with Chrome or nomacs. To convert one to PNG, JPG, or SVG, we recommend Convertio.

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What is an AVIF file?

An AVIF file is an image in the AV1 image file format. Similar to JPEG, it uses compression to try to preserve quality at a smaller file size. Contrary to JPEG and AVIF files have a higher quality to compression ratio, so they can be much smaller without the same loss of quality.

The format was developed by the Alliance for Open Media, an association governed by companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Google and Mozilla. Files are compressed with AV1 (AOMedia Video 1) algorithms and stored in HEIF container format.

The AV1 compression technology used by this image format is royalty free. Therefore, there are no license fees, which means that file compression and decoding can be done royalty-free.

AVIF vs. JPEG

Netflix Technology Blog

The most obvious advantage of AVIF over other formats like JPEG is its smaller file size. A smaller size means less bandwidth is needed, which in turn means less data usage and storage. A web page that replaced all of its JPEG files with AVIF could see half the data consumption absorbed by images.

Color depth is another way that AVIF outperforms JPEG. The latter is limited to 8-bit color depth, while AVIF supports HDR. This results in richer colors and more detail.

Netflix has good visual examples comparing identical images when compressed into JPEG and AVIF. It’s also worth checking out other comparisons of WebP and PNG formats.

How to open an AVIF file

Chrome and Firefox browsers are the easiest ways for most people to view AVIF files, as no additional plugins or downloads are required. Just make sure your browser version is fully up to date, as versions prior to v85 (Chrome) and v93 (Firefox) are not supported.

You can test if it works by visiting this AVIF test page.

Another option is the free nomacs image viewer. It is a downloadable program that works on Windows and Linux.

How to convert an AVIF file

Convertio is the easiest way to convert an AVIF file. It’s done completely online, so you don’t need to download the converter, and multiple output formats are supported, including PNG, JPG, SVG, and GIF.

How to create an AVIF file

Another converter we like is avif.io, but it does the opposite of Convertio by creating AVIF files from other images, such as PNG, JPG, and WEBP. It all happens in your browser and bulk conversions are supported so it’s really fast.

Still can’t open it?

Some files share some of the same characters in their file extensions, so it’s very easy to confuse one with another even if the formats aren’t related at all. When this happens, you may get an error message that the program is not compatible with your file. If this happens, you probably don’t have an AVIF file.

For example, AVI is a video format that shares the first three letters of the file extension. But videos and images do not always open with the same program.

The same goes for similar ones like AIFF and AVL.

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