.JPG File Extension

JPEG Image

Developer Joint Photographic Experts Group
4.0  |  3323 Votes
Category Raster Image Files
Format Binary

What is a JPG file?

A JPG file is a raster image saved in the JPEG format, commonly used to store digital photographs and graphics created by image-editing software. JPEG features lossy compression that can significantly reduce the size of an image without much degradation and supports up to 16,777,216 colors.

More Information
Screenshot of a .jpg file in Microsoft Photos 2021
JPG file open in Microsoft Photos 2021

In 1992, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) released the JPEG file format to allow users to compress and share digital images more efficiently. The format's compression algorithm removes some data within the original image to reduce the overall file size and make it more easily transmissible, which has become especially important on the web.

While removing image data lowers the overall image quality, the loss is mainly unnoticeable to the human eye. However, professional photographers and graphic artists who require higher quality images may opt to utilize raw formats or lossless formats that are higher in quality and size.

Since its release, many technologies have adopted support for the JPEG format, which has led it to become the most common image compression standard in the world. Users may capture images with their digital cameras as JPG files and upload them to social sites, create web graphics with image-editing software as JPG files, share pictures attached to emails as JPG files, and more.

When to save images as JPG files

JPEG is ideal for saving digital photographs and images to be published on the web. In most cases, the minimal image degradation is insignificant enough to make the saved storage space worth the compression.

However, there are times not to save images as JPG files. For example, JPEG images are typically insufficient for high-quality print jobs, such as banners, books, and magazines (TIFF is better). Also, JPEG does not support transparency like the PNG format and is not suited for images that contain text or graphics with sharp edges (both the text and edges get blurred).

Difference between JPG and JPEG files

There is no difference between JPG and JPEG files; they are saved in the same JPEG format. The file extensions are different because earlier versions of Windows limited the number of characters in file extensions to three, but Macintosh and Linux systems did not. This difference resulted in Windows operating systems abbreviating the extension of JPEG images to .jpg, while Macintosh and Linux systems allowed the full .jpeg extension.

As Windows users grew, outnumbering Macintosh and Linux users, JPG files became more common than .JPEG files. While Windows now allows file extensions longer than three characters, JPG files are still more common than JPEG files.

How to open a JPG file

You can open a JPG file with any image viewer. There are a large amount of free and commercial image viewing and editing applications available for desktop and mobile platforms, including:

NOTE: You can also view a JPG image with your web browser, such as Google Chrome (multiplatform) or Mozilla Firefox (multiplatform), by dragging and dropping it into your browser window.

How to convert a JPG file

Many image viewers and editors, including Microsoft Photos, Apple Preview, and Adobe Photoshop, can convert JPG files to other formats.

For example, Microsoft Photos can convert JPG files to the following formats:

  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .TIF, .TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
  • .BMP - Bitmap Image
  • .JXR - JPEG XR Image
Open and view .JPG files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open JPG files

Updated March 22, 2022

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