What is AAE File and How to Open it in Windows

Whenever looking via your pictures folder, and you may have come across some along with the file extension of AAE. On an Apple device, the picture we can name something like IMG_12345.AAE. On a Windows machine, the file extensions may not show via default. Thus, the image file name may simply be IMG_12345 along with a blank icon preview. This can be really confusing to Windows users. I am sure you are thinking what in the heck type of file this is and how you guys can open it because when you try. you will receive a message something along the lines of “Windows cannot open this file.” Just read this article, What is AAE File and How to Open it in Windows. Read this What is AAE File and How to Open it in Windows,

delete AAE files

An .AAE file is simply the edits that have made to an existing picture on an Apple device. An AAE file can also be deleted without even erasing the actual pictures. However, you will lose all edits you have made to the file. The edit data is saved in an XML format that can also be easily viewed in a text editor such as Notepad.

As mentioned, this file extension is native to Apple devices and machines as well. Specifically iOS 8 and above and Mac OS 10.10 and later as well. If you guys transfer a photo with this file extension to a Windows computer. Then the file will transfer as a regular old JPEG and also the edits made will not be present as well.

What is AAE File and How to Open it in Windows?

In older versions of iOS, any edits made to a picture would automatically overwrite the original photograph. Along with the creation of an AAE file, then this is no longer the case. Now whenever you guys make an edit, the original file is left alone and then saves the edit instructions in a separate file. The AAE file (that is also called the AAE sidecar file.) The location of the AAE file is actually in the same folder as the original photo. And follows the same naming format. However, rather than .JPG at the end, it will have the.AAE file extension.

So what do you guys DO along with these files? When you are finish along with your edits on your iOS device. Then the easiest thing to do is just to email the finished photo to yourself. Doing this will basically “seal” the edits to the picture as well. You can also post it to Facebook or Instagram (or just the same). However, as you know, doing so will always lower the quality of the image a bit.


As I mentioned, as of now these files are completely useless on Windows or Android devices as well. Options to use them may become available soon, however, we cannot predict when. You guys can delete these files safely if you select. However, if you want to save them in the hope then they’ll one day be usable, also it won’t hurt anything. Each of these files is tiny and takes up virtually no drive space actually.

Do you guys think making these types of files is a step forward or backward for Apple? However, I love that the original picture is no longer automatically overwritten. And it seems to me it would make more sense in order to simply ask us. If we would LIKE to overwrite them as well as save them separately. This could potentially save some space and some confusion.

How can you open AAE files?

Opening iPhone AAE files are a really simple process, and you can also see the images easily through following the few steps given below.

  • The first step is basically to display it, and you can do this via opening each of the edited photos individually along with the aid of a third-party IOS photo editor application followed via saving them again without even any editing or alterations. This is an effective way in order to create many copies in your camera roll along with the AAE extension alterations. All you guys have to do is get rid of the original pic and then import the resaved picture along with the modifications and editing.
  • Another alternative for this can making use of an IOS application that is fully dedicated to transferring only AAE extension file types. In order to transfer the pictures to the computer along with the retention of the alterations that were actually made to the original image. Before performing the transfer, just make sure that the application that you guys have chosen is compatible along with this type of function.

Opening AAE files in Windows

If you guys have been suffering from problems related to the opening of these kinds files in Windows. All the points which are given below will defintely help you in order to tackle such types of situations. In the case of windows, the OS must know that kind of program you prefer to make use of. Most of the time it so happens that the operating system automatically performs the function of searching for a suitable program even though you guys have manually searched from the programs showing on the desktop. There are provisions wherein you could also view the file extensions, and then this can be performed in a few simple steps that are given below:

  • Firstly of all, you guys need to upload your files to Dropbox.
  • The next step is basically to log in to your Dropbox account in order to gather all the pictures in their initial sizes.
  • The final step is basically to mail all those pictures to yourself. Although this process will result in the deletion of the original sizes.

In order to make use of the maximum potential of Windows, then you have to use a suitable photo editor application on your Apple device actually. Your task would be simply opening the application and importing all the important pictures. That is saving it again without even any editing or alterations to it. Always check that the program that you choose does not have the feature of adding watermarks to your photos. You also have to be sure that the program that you guys have selected does not crop or compress the images. So that you can achieve the best possible results.

How can you transfer photos to retain the existing modifications?

When you transfer photos along with modifications from your iPhone to the Mac computer. That basically runs OS X or the later versions, then you will not encounter any kinds of issues. And also the transfer will take place smoothly as well. However, in the case of windows and some older versions of Mac OS. Just like pre-os X Yosemite, the file with all the customization will actually be retained on your iPhone as well. Even if these types of files are moved manually, and also there is no default application. That can also open them. If you guys want to resolve this problem. You must take the help of third-party software that can also read .AAE file format as well.

If you guys are not a Mac OS user, then you might also face issues related to find such a type of software in order to open the files along with modifications. In such a situation, the most suitable solution would be to either force your iPhone. In order to make the important changes to the original or to export the copy that has also undergone modifications. Another efficient method is just to simply mail yourself all the photos from the iPhone. You could also take up uploading them on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

How can you keep or delete AAE files?

Many folks face the confusion of whether they should delete or keep these AAE files actually. Because they are not aware of the actual purpose of these files as well. Keep in mind that if you delete these files on windows, there won’t be any adverse effect. As they do not have a default software to open them. Also, as a user, you have to keep in mind that if the original file is renamed. There will be a loss of connection between the modified file and also the original file. Hence, if you rename a series of photos with modification and fail to remember the exact name of the images. Then, unfortunately, they will be useless and irrelevant as well. Note that deleting them will not affect your pictures though might occupy a few kb of storage.

If you have been facing issues in how you can open AAE files or problems related to retention of the alterations. That you guys have made to your photos on your iOS device. Then this article will definitely help you deal along with all these problems. And provide you some highly efficient solutions that will undoubtedly help you to achieve the best output.


Well, I hope you like this article and understand all the steps. However, if you still have any problems and queries related to this article. Then feel free to ask me in the comments section below. I’ll get back to you shortly.

Keep Smiling!

Also See: What is Class B Network – Know All About it

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