Android devices and iPhones run two different operating systems, so transferring crucial data between the two isn’t an easy task. Luckily, software developers have recognized this issue, meaning that moving your contacts, photos, calendars, and other digital essentials from your old Android to your iOS device has never been easier.
Apple has developed a Move to iOS app which allows you to connect your old Android to your new Apple device wirelessly and transfer all your data. In this guide, we’ll take you through the entire process and explain how to transfer data from Android to iPhone in a few simple steps.
Step 1: Prepare the Data for Transfer
Data transfers between two different devices usually imply wireless or wired transfer. This could mean moving tens or even hundreds of gigabytes (GB) of data between two devices. This is a time-consuming process, the length of which depends on the quantity of data you want to transfer. So, it’s a good idea to delete any data you deem unnecessary from your Android device.
This mostly means removing any photos and videos you don’t need, since those files usually take up the most space. You don’t have to move any music since Apple’s official transfer method doesn’t transfer music files anyway. By deleting the unnecessary photos and videos, you’re significantly reducing the amount of data for transfer, thus reducing the duration of the transfer process.
Step 2: Prepare the iPhone
Apple’s official guide for transferring data between Android and iPhone infers that you’ve bought a new iOS device. As a result, the transfer method is actually part of the set-up process for the new iPhone. However, that’s not always true; you might own both Android and iPhone and are looking to transfer all your data to an iOS device. Alternatively, you might have bought a used iPhone and are now looking to make a switch.
Regardless, if you have already set up your iPhone, you’ll need to restart your device. This is rather inconvenient, but it’s part of the process. Before you reset your iPhone, make sure to back up your phone’s data to prevent any loss of important contacts or media. Next, you want to perform a restart:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap General and scroll down to Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- After that, tap on Erase all Content and Settings.
- The Erase This iPhone settings window will open, select Continue.
- iCloud will perform an automatic backup; tap Skip Backup if you’ve previously backed up your data.
- A warning prompt will appear; tap Erase iPhone. Your iPhone will now reset itself and greet you with an initial “hello” message.
- Follow the prompts to set up your iPhone until you reach Apps & Data screen.
Step 3: Download Move to iOS App
Once you reach Apps & Data screen on your iPhone, set it aside for a minute. Take your Android phone and connect it to the same Wi-Fi network you previously connected your iPhone to. This is crucial to the process. Next, you want to do the following:
- Turn on the location settings on your Android device.
- Open the Google Play Store app on your Android phone.
- Search for, download, and install the Move to iOS app.
- Once the app is installed, tap Open, and then Continue.
- A Terms and Conditions window will open. Tap Agree.
- A Send App Usage prompt will appear; tap Don’t Send Data.
- The app will request permission to use the device’s location; tap While using the app.
- Next, tap Continue, and the Enter One-Time Code prompt will appear.
Step 4: Select and Transfer Data
The next step implies entering specific instructions on both your iPhone and your Android device. Here’s what you need to do:
- On your iPhone, tap Move from Android, and then tap Continue. Your iPhone will generate a 6-digit code.
- Enter the 6-digit code generated by your iPhone in Enter One-Time Code prompt on your Android device. The devices should connect now.
- The Android device should now switch to the Transfer Data prompt, where you can select what type of data you want to transfer to your iPhone. This includes messages, contacts, calendar, Google Account, cameral roll, Display Settings, and Accessibility Settings.
- Select the data you want to transfer to your iPhone. Please keep in mind that the Move to iOS app may request several access permissions to perform this action. Just tap Allow.
- The new 2022 version of the Move to iOS app allows you to select specific files to transfer. This may include music files that you want to move to your iPhone.
- Once all the data has been selected, tap Continue. The transfer should begin.
- Once the data transfer is complete, tap Done on your Android device, and Continue Setting Up your iPhone on your iPhone.
- Continue setting up your iPhone as you usually would.
The data you’ve selected is now transferred to your iPhone. This might include music files if you selected them for transfer between two devices. However, we strongly advise against this as it may prolong the data transfer time, thus rendering your phone unusable for a significant amount of time. There’s a better way.
Step 5: Transfer Your Music — Optional
Transferring your music after you’ve finished setting up your iPhone is preferable. Unlike the previous method, your phone will be connected to the carrier network during the transfer, allowing you to answer calls or even text. Also, you’ll need to use the computer to transfer music files between phones. Here’s how to do it:
- Connect your Android to your Windows PC and find your music files. If you’re using Mac, install Android File Transfer, open the app, and go to Music.
- Select the music files you want to move, and transfer them to your computer. Drag-and-dropping them in a pre-destined folder usually does the trick.
- Disconnect your Android phone, and connect your iPhone to your computer.
- If you’re using Windows PC or a Mac with macOS Mojave, open iTunes and select Songs. On Macs with macOS Catalina or later, open the Music app.
- Open the folder containing the transferred music files on your computer, then drag and drop them into the Songs section in the Music app or the iTunes Library.
- Select your iPhone in the Finder of iTunes, and click Music. From here, you can either sync your entire library or transfer specific songs.
- After you’ve made your selection, click Sync. Once the data has been transferred, you’ll find your music in the Music app on your iPhone.
While Apple’s official method is the best, despite being somewhat limited and time-consuming, its main drawback is the need to restart your iPhone. Sure, you can always back up your data and restore it, but it seems like unnecessary extra work. Luckily, there are alternative software solutions that enable you to transfer data from your Android device to your iPhone without having to restart your phone. Unfortunately, these apps usually have some drawbacks, either in terms of limited functionality or the fact that they’re mostly shareware or freemium software.
That’s because most of them usually grant you very limited functionality unless you purchase the app with a one-time payment. Or they’re free to use, but you have to pay to remove ads from the app. Additionally, most of these apps operate via physical, wired transfer of data from Android to PC or Mac, which makes the process quite time-consuming. Still, they may pose viable solutions if you don’t want to restart your iPhone. Here are some of the most prominent third-party apps for transferring data between Android and iPhone:
#1: Contact Transfer
Contact Transfer is specifically made for Windows PC. It connects to both iPhones and Androids, enabling quick transfer of your phone’s contacts between two devices. Unlike Move to iOS, Contact Transfer can be used after setting up your iPhone, eliminating the danger of data loss. However, it requires a physical connection between the devices and the PC via USB. In turn, it offers fantastic contact management features.
#2: Droid Transfer
Droid Transfer provides plenty of unique features for transferring files between Android and PC. Using this tool, you can transfer Messages, Contact, Photos, Calendars, Files, Music, and even Call Logs. However, the drawback is that it only transfers the files from an Android device to a PC, so you’ll have to perform extra steps to transfer that data from your personal computer to your iPhone.
#3: Smart Transfer
Unlike the previous two apps, the Smart Transfer app doesn’t require a USB connection to transfer data. The catch is that it has to be installed on both your Android and iPhone devices to perform the transfer. It’s also capable of transferring more kinds of data. The downside is that you can’t select individual files, only the file category.
As seen in this guide, transferring files between an Android device and an iPhone isn’t a complicated process — it’s just time-consuming, especially in the preparation phase. But good preparation will significantly reduce the duration of the data transfer and make your phone fully functional.