How to Easily Transfer Data from iPhone to Android
Transfer your texts, photos and more from Apple's iOS to your new Android phone.
Patrick HollandManaging Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Making the big leap from an iPhone to an Android phone, you'll find yourself with a pretty long checklist of things to do. Whether you're transitioning to Google's Pixel 7 or a new Samsung phone like the Galaxy Z Flip 4, switching operating systems can quickly become a hassle if you don't know the most efficient way to move your data.
The secret to an easy-peasy transfer process lies with the tiny plastic adapter that Google and Samsung (sometimes) include in the box. It's like hiring professional movers to move your stuff, unpack it and decorate your new house just like your old one! The adapter has a USB-A connector on one end and a USB-C connector on the other that allows you to connect your new phone to your old iPhone. You can also use a USB-C to Lightning cable for newer phones like the iPhone 11.
With the adapter, you can transfer your photos, videos, files, music and wallpaper. You can even use it to automatically download any Android versions of free iOS apps you had on your old Apple phone. While iMessage, Apple's messaging service, won't work on an Android phone, you can even move your message history and threads to your new phone.
Switch from iPhone to a Google Pixel phone
If you're switching specifically from an iPhone to a Google Pixel, the first thing you want to do is to charge up both phones. Next, you're going to turn off iMessage across all of your Apple devices -- any device that uses your AppleID. Go to Settings, then Messages and then toggle off iMessage.
If your new Pixel came with a
, install it, turn the phone on and tap the Start button. Next, connect to a
network and then select Copy your data. Now unlock your old iPhone, and put your lighting power cable into the bottom. Then, plug the other end into the "magic adapter" which Google calls a Quick Switch Adapter (QSA). Finally, plug in the QSA into the Pixel. You can also use a USB-C to Lighting cable.
When prompted, tap Trust on your iPhone. Then sign into your Google Account on the Pixel. Next, choose what exactly you want to copy (photos, music, messages, etc.), then tap Copy.
Now it's time for your Pixel to actually transfer everything. Depending on how much stuff you're moving, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. While the transfer happens, you can continue setting up your phone like adding a PIN or setting up Google Assistant and Google Pay. Once the transfer completes, you're done. Check to make sure everything you wanted to migrate actually did and enjoy your new Google life.
Switch from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy phone
If you got a new Samsung Galaxy phone, it also comes with an adapter, though you can move your data over Wi-Fi, too. I recommend using the adapter because it's faster. You can also use a USB-C to Lighting cable to connect the two. Just like the Pixel transfer, the first thing you need to do is make sure both phones are charged up and turn off iMessage on your iPhone.
However, unlike the Pixel, you have the option to set up your Galaxy phone as new and then transfer the data which means you can start using your phone right away instead of waiting. To start the transfer, open the Smart Switch app on your Samsung phone. Your phone might take a minute to download the app.
Once you have it opened, you might be prompted to send or receive data. Tap Receive. Then, choose how you want to transfer: Wi-Fi or cable. Next, connect both phones with the adapter and your iPhone's lightning cable - if you're transferring over Wi-Fi, there's no need to connect the phones together with a cable.
On the iPhone, tap Trust and on the Samsung phone you'll see a message pop up that reads Connecting to your iPhone. If your iPhone uses encryption for backup, you might be prompted to enter your password. It should be your Apple ID password.
Next, the Samsung phone will scan your iPhone for data. This can take a few minutes after which you can choose exactly what kind of data you want to bring over. Then, tap the transfer arrow. The actual transfer can take a couple of minutes to an hour. Once it's done, go through your new Samsung phone and check on your data. If you're not finding your photos and videos in the Gallery app, check the Google Photos app.
Five surprises switching from iOS to Android and back again