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How to Open AAE files on Windows

Have you ever received an email with an AAE file attachment? Do you feel that you and your computer are having difficulty understanding this? There is no need to worry because you are not alone who does not know what AAE files are and how to open AAE files.

You may have tried AAE files in your Windows system before and got an error. If you try to open AAE files in your system like other files, it is natural to see an error message because it is an XML-based photo format from an iOS device.

Let’s further get into details like what are aae files, how to open AAE files, its uses etc.

What are AAE Files?

AAE files, alternatively known as Apple Adaptor Files, are small sidecar files produced by Apple devices, mainly iOS products such as iPhones and iPads. They come with image files that have been edited or adjusted using the Photos app provided by Apple. They are typically stored in a non-destructive format, which retains the initial image file while enabling smooth transition of editing data across other Apple-based gadgets.

Their major objective is to ensure that any modifications carried out on photographs are consistent regardless of the device being used; nevertheless, this may prove problematic when it comes to sharing them with non-Apple platforms due to their proprietary character.

The best part of these files is that they keep the original file intact and unmodified, just in case if you decide to revert the modified photos to their original state. In simpler words, when you decide to make any modifications or changes to your original file, they’re stored in a separate thread and when you decide the delete the modified version of the file, only the changes are deleted while the original file remains. 

Wondering how to open AAE files on Windows or Android devices?

  1. Double click on the AAE file from the Windows File Explorer.
  2. If the reading software associated with the AAE file is correctly associated, the file automatically opens. 
  3. If not, you have to locate the corresponding JPEG image manually and open it.

Please note that, though you will be able to open AAE files in any text editor from the Android or Windows devices, you will not be able to apply changes to the respective JPEG files. AAE file viewer is exclusive only to the recent versions of macOS and the older operational system does not support these files. Therefore, when you try to open AAE file that is edited, the file will be opened in the original state and you will not see reflections of the changes you made. If you still want to transfer the files along with their modifications, you need to consider converting the AAE files to JPEG files before transferring them.

How to open AAE files on windows?

Although, all this while we have been mostly only considering only IOS and mac when talking about AAE files, it is also possible to open AAE files and view them in Windows. These files are up and running in iOS 8 and the later versions, and OS X 10.10 and further versions. When you try to open these files in the non-supported versions of macOS and IOS, you will find an error message popping up saying ‘The file format is invalid’.

If you’re a Windows user, you will see ‘Windows cannot open this file’ stopped. Follow few simple steps to open and use these files in your Windows. These steps, along with helping you open AAE files on pc running on Windows, will also help you transfer files from the older versions of IOS and mac where this file format is not supported.

  • Upload the files as the first step to Dropbox.
  • Collate all the pictures from your Dropbox and mail them to yourself.
  • Now, save it on your device as a JPEG file. Now you can transfer this file to any device of your choice.
  • Edit your file using any other app rather than the native app (as .AAE files only exist in the native apps). It gets saved in JPEG format rather than with .AAE extension which you can later transfer to any device.
  • If you still want to edit your pictures only using the native app, edit them and send them to your email. Save it as a JPEG file and transfer it using any method of your choice.
  • Share the picture through any social media messaging platform like Messenger, WhatsApp, telegram, etc., and save them to your device in JPEG format.
  • Use any third-party software (like Snapseed by Google and Darkroom by Adobe) that helps to convert AAE files to JPEG format.

How to convert pictures from iPhone to JPEG format?

  • Open Paint
  • Open the image from your computer.
  • Click on File -> Save As
  • From the file formats available choose JPEG
  • Give a name for your file and click on Save. 
  • If you want to export the file, choose File -> Export. 
  • Choose the relevant option from the pop-up menu to specify a file type.


In this article, we have covered what is AAE files, how to open AAE files, how to transfer them to different devices, how to view aae files on pc and how to delete them. In the past, whenever you edit a file, mostly a picture file, the modified version overwrites the original file, thus making it difficult to undo the changes and keep the original file, in case you changed your mind. 

Thanks to technological developments in the recent past, the changes you made to a file can be reverted and you can get your original file back, with no frenzy. These files take up as little space as 1 KB. It is the best way to preserve your original content with little memory consumption.

I hope you got a clear picture of what is AAE files is and how it could benefit you.


Do I Need to Save AAE Files?

No, you don’t need to save AAE files. However, if you want to keep your work organized and make it easier to edit later on, it’s a good idea to save them as AAE files. That way, you’ll have all of the information you need in one place. Plus, if you need to make changes to your animations later on, you can open up the AAE file to make those changes.

Can I delete .AAE files in Windows?

No, you will not be able to delete .AAE files in Windows. These files are associated with the Adobe After Effects application and cannot be deleted without causing damage to the program. If you need to free up disk space on your computer, you can choose to uninstall the Adobe After Effects application. However, if you only need to access the contents of these files, you can simply open them in the Adobe After Effects application.

Are AAE files safe?

I understand if you are worried about procuring your photos. Fortunately, the AAE file viewer is safe to use. These files are quite small, and they do not take up much of your storage space. The next most common question is–Are these files safe to delete? All AAE files contain modification data that applies to the JPEG file.

Apparently, whenever you edit a picture from any native app from your iPhone or Mac, there will be two files as part of it–the original picture and the modification in the text file. Every time the edited file is opened, the corresponding AAE file gets processed instantly and the changes are applied. However, the modifications would not be applied, if you rename it.

This is the same case when you try to delete an AAE file from your Mac or iPhone. Deleting an AAE file would be a smooth and quick process as the file size is comparatively too less. It would be ideal to delete the AAE file from your Android and Windows devices as they cannot read these files. Though you will still be able to see the photos on your device, the changes wouldn’t be reflecting. Therefore, you can go ahead and delete these AAE files from your Android device and Windows.

As we have already seen, to transfer these files from mac and iPhone operating system to any other device running in a different operating system, you should either be using a third-party application or a different app altogether for editing.

They are mostly used to transfer back and forth, non-destructive modifications you made to a file. Therefore, it is absolutely safe to use them.


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