Can’t import a .peg file? Use the Image Capture app

An old oddity seems to block certain file imports from iOS devices.

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You’ve heard of a JPEG file, which typically has .jpeg or .jpg at the end of its name. But what’s a “.peg” file? Likely an error on JPEG files, and one that appears to have cropped up years ago but still plagues some users.

It’s unclear why some JPEG files wind up with a “.peg” suffix, even though the image data isn’t correct. However, confronted with a .peg file, Photos for macOS will pop up an error on import that notes it “couldn’t load an asset.” This stymies people, because you can’t rename files in Photos for iOS.

The solution winds up simple enough, however. It requires your Mac.

  1. On your Mac, launch Applications > Image Capture.

  2. Connect your iOS device via USB.

  3. Select your iOS device in Image Capture’s Devices list in the left sidebar.

  4. Choose the images that won’t import.

  5. At the bottom of the screen, click the Import To popup menu and choose a location on a local drive.

  6. Click Import.

  7. In that folder, rename each file’s extension from “.peg” to “.jpeg”.

  8. macOS will warn you about changing suffixes. Click the “Use .jpeg” button to override the warning.

  9. With the image selected in the Finder, press the spacebar to use Quick View and ensure macOS can interpret the image correctly. If it doesn't appear in the preview, there may be more corruption involved. More on that below.

  10. After completing all the extension changes, import the images into Photos by dragging them into the app.

If you have trouble with previewing in step 9, I suggest downloading Graphic Converter, the Swiss Army knife of image-file format managers (as well as an image editor). Even with the wrong extension, you should be able to open any image in the app, and then save it in a compatible format. (The software offers a trial version; it’s $40 to register and unlock all features.)

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by a Macworld reader.

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