Difference Wiki

JPG vs. JPEG: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 24, 2024
JPG and JPEG are the same image format; JPG was used in older operating systems with a three-letter limit for file extensions.

Key Differences

JPG and JPEG refer to the same digital image format used for compressing digital images. The term JPEG stands for 'Joint Photographic Experts Group', the group that created this standard. JPG is simply a shortened version of JPEG, originally necessitated by the file name limitations in older operating systems which only allowed three-letter file extensions.
The JPEG format is known for its lossy compression, which reduces file size by selectively discarding data. This is true for JPG as well, as both are based on the same technology and compression algorithms. The compression efficiency makes both JPG and JPEG popular for web use, where fast loading times and conserving bandwidth are crucial.
When it comes to functionality and how they're used, there is no difference between JPG and JPEG. Both are interchangeable and work identically in any software that supports JPEG image processing. This uniformity stems from the fact that they are essentially the same format, just with different extension names.
The change from JPEG to JPG as a file extension was primarily seen in the Windows environment. Mac OS, however, did not have such a limitation on file extensions and typically used the full '.jpeg' extension. Despite these naming differences, the images themselves are indistinguishable whether they end in .jpg or .jpeg.
Today, with modern operating systems supporting longer file extensions, the distinction between JPG and JPEG is mostly historical. Most contemporary software and systems recognize both .jpg and .jpeg extensions interchangeably, ensuring compatibility and consistency regardless of the extension used.

Comparison Chart

File Extension Format

Three-letter extension, e.g., '.jpg'
Original four-letter extension, e.g., '.jpeg'

Usage Era

More common in older operating systems.
Original format, used universally.

Image Compression

Lossy compression to reduce file size.
Same lossy compression method.


Interchangeable with JPEG in functionality.
Interchangeable with JPG in functionality.

Operating System

Adapted for systems with three-letter limit.
Used in systems without such limitations.

JPG and JPEG Definitions


JPG has a three-letter file extension.
The system only recognizes three-letter extensions like .jpg.


JPEG is a standard format for digital images.
The digital camera saves images in JPEG format.


JPG is a shortened file extension for JPEG images.
Please save the photo as a .jpg for the website.


JPEG is commonly used in web graphics and photography.
For the photography project, save all files as JPEGs.


JPG is a widely used format for web images.
All the images on our blog are in JPG format.


JPEG typically uses a four-letter file extension.
Older Mac systems use the .jpeg extension for images.


JPG is used for compressed digital photographs.
I compressed the image to a JPG to make it smaller.


JPEG stands for the Joint Photographic Experts Group.
JPEG got its name from the group that created it.


JPG utilizes lossy compression to reduce file sizes.
We use JPG for its balance of quality and file size.


JPEG images are known for their high compression ratio.
JPEG is ideal for reducing the storage space of photos.


A standard algorithm for the compression of digital images.


A digital image stored as a file so compressed
A JPEG of a cat.


Alternative case form of JPEG


A standardized format for storing graphic data in binary computer files, allowing over 16 million different colors. It allows for lossy compression, i. e. the compression of data into a form which re-expands into an image close, but not identical to the original image. Files stored in this format usually carry the extension jpg or jpeg. Compare GIF.


Why are there two different extensions?

JPG was used in older systems with a three-letter extension limit.

Can I convert JPG to JPEG?

No conversion is needed; they are the same format.

Can all image viewers open both JPG and JPEG files?

Yes, modern image viewers can open both formats.

Does JPEG lose image quality?

Yes, JPEG uses lossy compression, which can reduce quality.

Do JPG and JPEG have different compression?

No, they use the same lossy compression method.

Will a JPG look different than a JPEG?

No, they will look the same, as they are the same format.

Can I print JPG and JPEG images with the same quality?

Yes, they will print with the same quality.

Are JPG and JPEG the same?

Yes, JPG and JPEG refer to the same image format.

Are JPG files smaller than JPEG?

The file size is the same, as the format is identical.

Do professional photographers prefer JPG or JPEG?

Professional preference is based on the format, not the extension.

Is JPG better for web use?

Both JPG and JPEG are equally suitable for web use.

Can I upload JPEG images to social media?

Yes, social media platforms accept JPEG images.

Does the JPEG format support transparency?

No, JPEG does not support transparency.

Is JPEG a good format for high-resolution images?

JPEG can be used, but it may reduce quality due to compression.

Are JPG and JPEG suitable for printing?

Yes, they are suitable, but consider resolution and quality.

Is JPG more compatible with older software?

JPG was more common in older systems, but compatibility is the same.

Should I save photographs as JPG or JPEG?

Either extension works the same for photographs.

Is JPG widely used in digital cameras?

Yes, JPG is a common format in digital cameras.

Do JPG images load faster on websites?

JPG and JPEG images load at the same speed.

Can I change a .jpg extension to .jpeg?

Yes, you can change the extension without affecting the image.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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