jpg vs jpeg

Is there a difference between JPEG and JPG?

Wambui Mugo
Wambui Mugo

Modern-day technology has made image file formats adopt new improved features. JPG and JPEG image file extensions are among the most used file formats when dealing with digital images on social media, digital cameras, or websites. The way the extensions are almost similar in spelling creates confusion about which one to use for a specific purpose.

Let us look into the differences in the file formats and which of them you should pick for your project.

What is JPEG?

It is the most common file format used by digital capturing devices including smartphones. Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is used to save, store and transmit digital images online. JPEG supports over 16 million colors and can store 24-bits per pixel. As a result, it has better contrast resolution and color schemes. But it isn't the ideal format for images with sharp edges.

It is majorly a lossy compression format that allows you to find a balance between image quality and file size. The major downside is that JPEG reduces the file size by removing blocks of pixels from the image resulting in a significant loss in the image quality. The compression ration can range from 2:1 to 100:1 depending on the number of saves you are making.

So it is advised to always work with RAW .jpeg files. Create a list of all the edits you want to make, then make them at a go and save the final version. This will make you reduce the rate at which the image quality is deteriorated.

What is JPG?

Other than the number of characters, JPG is the same as JPEG. The earlier versions of Windows OS or DOS systems could only allow 3 characters for file extension names. The ‘E’ in JPEG was dropped and JPG was adopted for these systems. However, the current Windows versions are accepting 4 characters and .jpeg file extensions are now being used.

Mac and Unix systems didn’t have the character limitation so they used the .jpeg extension.

The upside of JPG is that it has less data redundancy with each compression, compared to JPEG. The image quality is preserved better in this format, hence takes up more storage space. Nonetheless, the use of lossy compression makes image-quality degrade with the reduction in file size.

Most image editing applications like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint, and GIMP save the JPEG files with the .jpg file extension.

Major differences between JPEG and JPG

1. JPG preserves image-quality compared to JPEG during compression.

2. JPG was majorly used in previous Windows versions that have a 3-character limit while JPEG was used for the Mac and Unix systems.

3. JPG files take up more storage space compared to JPEG files that only takes up very little space.

4. As a result of quality images, JPG is popularly used by many image editing and online applications compared to JPEG.


Both JPG and JEPG are raster graphics image file formats that store and transmit digital photography. They are the same thing except for characters used in the file extension.