Difference between JPG and JPEG

JPEG, short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, is a widely used file format for storing digital images. However, you may have come across another term, JPG, which seems quite similar.

The main difference between JPG and JPEG lies in their file extensions. While JPG is a three-letter acronym, JPEG is a four-letter acronym for the same image file format.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are JPG and JPEG:

  • JPG: JPG is a file format primarily used for compressing and storing digital images. It utilizes a lossy compression algorithm that reduces file size while sacrificing some image quality.
  • JPEG: JPEG is an alternative file format with the same purpose and functionality as JPG. It stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and follows the same lossy compression principles.


Now, let’s move to JPG vs JPEG:

Major differences between JPG and JPEG

JPG uses a three-letter extension (.jpg). JPEG uses a four-letter extension (.jpeg or .jpg). The inclusion of the “E” in JPEG signifies its association with the expert group that developed the format.
JPG is more widely supported across different operating systems, devices, and software applications. JPEG is also widely compatible but might encounter slight variations in support compared to JPG.
The use of JPG has become more common due to its shorter file extension and ease of typing. JPEG is often used interchangeably with JPG, but the latter is more prevalent in everyday usage.
JPG has become the de facto standard in various fields, including web development and digital photography. JPEG, while technically the same format, is used less frequently in industry standards.
Some older systems or software might have limitations in recognizing the four-letter .jpeg extension. In such cases, using the three-letter .jpg extension ensures compatibility. As a four-letter file extension, JPEG does not have the same legacy considerations as JPG in terms of compatibility with older systems or software.


That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between JPG and JPEG”.

Also see:

Final words

Both formats are essentially the same in terms of functionality, compression, and usage. Whether you choose to use JPG or JPEG, it is important to consider compatibility requirements and adhere to industry standards when working with digital images.

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