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What is AAE File Extension and How to Open it

AAE File Extension
Written by Kelly Houstan

Whenever you come across your photos folder, you guys may see some photos along with the file extension ‘AAE’. These files are really important, edits made to your images via the Photos app, on iOS devices. Simply put, along with the use of.AAE files. One can actually refer to the collection of edits made on an iPhone. Whenever you guys try to open these .AAE images prompt an error message. That says that it is not a valid image file. This might really confuse and also annoy many users as they are unaware of how you can open images with .AAE file extension. If you guys are also dealing with the same problem, then this article will help you. Just read this article to know all about What is AAE File Extension and How to Open it. Let’s begin!

What is AAE File Extension and How to Open it?

AAE is basically a file-type found on iOS 8 and newer and macOS 10.10 and also newer systems. It details the modifications that are here to JPEG pictures via the Photos app. Information about any edits that are actually made is stored in the AAE file in XML format. This also means you guys can open it via any text editor program.

So basically, whenever you guys edit a photo on an iPhone as well as Mac. Then a corresponding AAE file with the detailed edits is created as well and saved in the same location. AAE files aren’t readily visible in your gallery, however, when you open an edited picture. The system analyzes the modifications made to it and also applies them instantly.

But, this file type is unique to macOS and iOS and it can’t also run on Windows. So, if you guys transfer edited pictures directly from your iPhone or Mac gallery to a Windows device. It will look like it did before any changes were made. Thankfully, this problem can circumvent via emailing the pictures to yourself as well as sharing them through a messenger app. In order to seal the changes before transferring them to another device.

What Is an .aae File on iPhone?

An AAE file on iPhone is basically a JPEG file extension that basically contains any modification data. It’s also created whenever you make edits via the native Photos app and is saved in the same folder as the modified picture. Hence, every time you guys edit a photo, two files save rather than one.

Don’t worry – AAE files are small don’t just take much data storage. They aren’t even visible in your gallery, however, whenever you guys open an edited picture on your phone. Then the system analyzes the AAE file and applies the changes as well.

You guys likely won’t know about the existence of AAE files on your iPhone until you guys try to transfer an edited photo to a device along with a different operating system. Whenever you do this, the AAE files get separated from the JPEG files, and only the original, unedited photos will be transferred as well.

Can I Delete It?

AAE files are really unique for macOS and iOS systems and also consist of modification data applied to a JPEG file. Basically, whenever you guys edit a picture on an iPhone or Mac via the native Photos app. Then your device saves two files – the picture and also the edits in a text format as well.

The corresponding AAE file also has the same name as the JPEG file and is saved in the same folder. Every time you guys open an edit photo, the AAE file analyzes as well as changes apply instantly. But, if you guys try to rename the file, then the edits won’t even apply.

This also happens if you guys delete the AAE file from your iPhone as well as Mac. Thankfully, AAE files take up really little storage space, so the need to delete them isn’t a really big issue. But, Windows and Android devices can’t even read AAE files. That means that even though you guys will see them in the photos folder after transferring them to these devices, the changes won’t be even applied. You guys can safely delete AAE files from your Windows as well as Android device since they are useless there.

IN order to transfer modified pictures from an iPhone or Mac to a device running another operating system. Now you will either have to use a different app for editing or send the photos. Through an email as well as messenger app first and then you can transfer it to a Windows as well as Android device.

How to Open .AAE Files in Windows

Suppose you guys try to open a .AAE file in a text editor, such as Notepad or Apple TextEdit. Only the XML data will also display. Whenever you guys face trouble opening .AAE files in Windows, then the below points will also help you in order to tackle this. You guys can view the file extensions on a Windows PC via performing the below steps:

  • Then you have to upload your files (images) to Dropbox.
  • Also, you have to collect all uploaded photos along with original sizes via logging into your Dropbox account.
  • Send a mail to yourself along with all these photos as attachments (or) post the edited pictures on Instagram or Facebook.

Note: After sending a mail or posting the images on Facebook as well as Instagram. Then the original file size of photos will also diminish automatically.

  • Now Launch a photo editor application and import the photos. We recommend you guys use a suitable photo editor app as well.
  • Then, save the photoswithout even making any alterations.

Tip: Make sure the program you guys have selected does not insert any watermarks/comments to the picture as well as crop/compress the original quality of the image.

What Is an .aae Sidecar File?

In general, sidecar files are basically file extensions corresponding to main files. That contains data of a different format from that of the original file as well. Just simply put, they are files that we can connect to another file of a different format as well. AAE is a file type exclusive to the latest iOS as well as macOS versions. And they detail edits done to a JPEG picture via the native Photos app actually.

It is actually used to preserve the original photograph. Each and every time you open an edited version. The system analyzes XML data saved in the corresponding AAE file in order to apply the modifications. Hence, AAE files are sidecar files to JPEG pictures on Apple devices.

What Is an .aae File on My iPhone Photos?

An AAE file basically contains the edits made to a corresponding JPEG file in an XML format. It’s in the same folder as the picture modify and also the iOS as well as macOS system reads the file. Every time you open a modified picture in order to apply the changes. This type of file extension is really unique for the latest versions of iOS and macOS. Hence neither Windows, Android, nor older Apple devices can actually open it.


Well, That is all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

Also See: How to Fix GeForce Experience Won’t Open in Windows 10

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Kelly Houstan

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