Difference between JPG and JPEG image formats

When coming across images you have noticed two very consistent image formats other than the PNG image format and those are the JPG and JPEG formats that have been floating around for long enough. While the extra alphabet ‘e’ can be a source of confusion for many and they might find themselves having a hard time in choosing which extension they should use, it is actually not that hard considering the two formats may not be as different as you may think. Let us quickly go through what makes the JPG and JPEG formats different or if they are even different at all.

Difference between the JPG and JPEG image formats

JPEG image format

JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Groups and was released in 1992. This format is actually a bitmap compression format which is mostly standard for lossy compressions. The ratio for which would be ranging around 10:1 to 20:1 however this compression ratio is easily adjustable. This means that you can determine the balance between the storage size and image quality by yourself. This extension has been widely used with digital cameras and other photo sharing devices. This format may be great for colors and photographs but the lossy compression comes with other cons. One of the biggest con from those would be the loss of quality that occurs due to the compression. The whole process of editing and resaving surely impacts the quality of the images. This also depends upon your edits and how many times you have saved the images. Re-saving it multiple times while editing is more likely to degrade your image quality. Not only that but you can also convert other image file formats into the JPG format. For example, you can use Adobe Acrobat to convert a PDF to JPG.

JPG image format

Then there is the JPG format. To be exact there are no actual differences between the JPG and JPEG format other than the number of the characters that are used. The earlier versions of Windows (MS-DOS 8.3 and FAT-16 file systems) required three letter file extensions and this is why JPG was mainly used by shortening the .jpeg to .jpg. This limitation was fairly for Windows and DOS so the others like UNIX and MAC users were easily able to use the .jpeg extension. The newer versions of windows started to accept more than three letters in their file extensions however many Windows and DOS users had already become accustomed to using the JPG extension therefore it is still a widely used extension even in the present.

Many photo editing programs tend to save the JPEG format files into .jpg extension by default on both Windows and MAC. Some of these photo editing programs may be Adobe Photoshop and Gimp that tend to automatically save the image files on a default .jpg extension. Moreover even if you change the extension both ways the files can still continue to work in a similar manner. Not only that but you can also convert other image file formats into the JPG format like for example PDF to JPG.


There are no differences between the JPG and JPEG format other than the letters used. JPG was mostly the outcome of the limitations in the file extensions that were allowed on the previous versions of Windows and DOS. Nowadays both formats are used interchangeably and are the most common image file types used for image compression.

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