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I recently uploaded images from an iPhone to my windows computer.

Some of the images were cropped on the iPhone itself prior to upload.

The upload includes 2 files for the edited images:

  • my-image-001.jpg
  • my-image-001.AAE

Does anyone know if there is a way to open and access the cropped version of the image or other information in the .AAE file?

  • 1
    The information I'm finding on the web says the .aae file is an XML (text) file recording information about the edits that were made, but not containing image data itself. So it sounds like you may be looking for a Windows image editing app that can apply the edits from the .aae XML file to the original (unedited) .jpg. – Spiff Jan 1 '18 at 17:24
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Is a way to open and access the cropped version of the image or other information in the .AAE file?

.aae files are only used by iOS and OS X 10.10+.

They can be viewed by a text editor to see what edits were made to the photo, but won't allow you to access the modified photo in Windows.

An AAE file contains edits made to an image using the Photos app on an iOS device. It is used to transfer non-destructive edits a user has made to .JPG images in iOS to the macOS system. AAE files can be found accompanying the images for which they contain edits.

More Information

AAE files are used by iOS 8 and later and OS X 10.10 and later. If you import pictures from an iOS device to Windows, the JPEG images will only get transferred and not the AAE files, which will cause you to lose your edits. Also, AAE files can be deleted without erasing your pictures but any edits made to them will be removed.

The AAE file is referenced by the Photos app when opening the JPG file in which it is associated. It can also be opened by text editors such as TextEdit and Notepad to view the edits made to the corresponding photo.

Source .AAE File Extension


So how can I access the modified photo on Windows?

Use any other photo editing app on your iOS device. Open the app and import the photo in it, and then save it again without making any changes. The only thing you need to be careful of here is that the app you use doesn’t add a watermark and that it doesn’t compress the photo, or crop it.

You’re obviously going to want a free app in this case so we recommend Snapseed by Google or Darkroom by Adobe. Both let you save a copy of a photo without having to make single change to it. Once you’ve saved a copy, simply connect your phone to your PC/Mac and copy it from the device’s storage like you would any other photo.

Source How To Import A Photo Edited On Your iPhone To Your Computer

  • just an FYI in my experience, the .AAE files are included during the import to windows. – qxotk Jan 1 '18 at 18:11
  • @condiosluzverde I know. But they cannot be used for much on Windows (they can be opened of course to see the editing instructions). – DavidPostill Jan 1 '18 at 18:13
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I was having this problem, but I realised windows has saved the edits! If you have a photo with an accompanying aae file, windows/apple is somehow making a copy of that photo. For example, if you have an apple photo IMG_2602 with IMG_2602.aae, another jpeg copy will be saved with IMG_e2602 and this image contains the edits. So we can go ahead and delete these aae files and it doesn’t have an issue with the img_exxxx copy

  • +1. When I browse my iPhone using Windows Explorer, I see the edited images as IMG_E####.JPG. Edited movies are also there (the filenames seem to have 4 seemingly random letters followed by 4 seemingly random numbers followed by .MOV). – pacoverflow Apr 28 at 6:14
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Upload the photo to cloud storage like Google Drive and download it to your windows pc, then you get the photo with the modifications made .

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