Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

How to switch from iPhone to Samsung

Does the new Samsung Galaxy S8 have you thinking about making the switch? If so, make sure your data comes with you.

Matt Elliott Contributor
Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.
Vanessa Hand Orellana CNET Senior Editor
As head of wearables at CNET, Vanessa reviews and writes about the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers. She joined the team seven years ago as an on-camera reporter for CNET's Spanish-language site and then moved on to the English side to host and produce some of CNET's videos and YouTube series. When she's not testing out smartwatches or dropping phones, you can catch her on a hike or trail run with her family.
Matt Elliott
Vanessa Hand Orellana
5 min read
Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure
This advertising widget is powered by Navi and contains advertisements that Navi may be paid for in different ways. You will not be charged for engaging with this advertisement. While we strive to provide a wide range of offers, this advertising widget does not include information about every product or service that may be available to you. We make reasonable efforts to ensure that information in the featured advertisements is up to date, each advertiser featured in this widget is responsible for the accuracy and availability of its offer details. It is possible that your actual offer terms from an advertiser may be different than the offer terms in this advertising widget and the advertised offers may be subject to additional terms and conditions of the advertiser which will be presented to you prior to making a purchase. All information is presented without any warranty or guarantee to you.
Watch this: The easy way to switch from an iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy

Are you ready to give Samsung another shot after last year's exploding Galaxy Note 7 scandal? The troubled electronics giant just released its newest flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy S8. If you've taken an iPhone detour while Samsung worked out its issues and are ready to return to Android with the Galaxy S8, then you'll want to take a few things with you, namely your contacts and calendar, your texts, photos and music.

Before you get started switching, you'll need to sign up for a Google account if you aren't already using Gmail. You can sign up for a Google account here, which you'll then need when setting up the Galaxy S8.

With a Gmail address in tow, it's time to getting started with moving over the data you have stored on your iPhone.

The Samsung way

Samsung makes ditching your iPhone easier than ever with its Smart Switch app using a USB cable or via Wi-Fi. You'll see the "transfer from iOS device" option when you first set up your new Galaxy phone, or you can access the app once you've completed the setup process.

Search for the Samsung Smart Switch Mobile app in the Google Play store on your Samsung device and hit update. Once you're able to open the app, tap through until you see the two transfer options on screen.

Transfer via USB

For the first option (the most reliable of the two) you'll need a Lightning cable and the small USB-C to USB adaptor that comes with your new S8. Plug the adapter into the Samsung phone, the Lightning cable to the iPhone and then connect the two.

You should immediately see a message pop up on your iPhone. Tap Trust on the iPhone, and then Next on the Galaxy to continue, then wait a few minutes while it searches for data to transfer.

Once this is done, you'll see a list of content available for transfer from the iPhone to the S8: contacts, text message history, call log, music, photos and even Wi-Fi settings are fair game. Select all the categories you want to transfer and tap Transfer on the Galaxy.

Now take a coffee break because this may take a while, depending on how much baggage you plan on bringing along with you. The phone will display an estimated wait time on the top of the screen.

When it has completed the transfer you'll have a few more download options to choose from. There's even a list of all your old iOS apps, with links to manually reinstall their Android counterparts.

Make your final selections and then welcome to your old phone. Even the wallpaper should look familiar if you transferred that too, but on a sexier screen.

Transfer over Wi-Fi

If you don't have the adapter, you can also chose the wireless option, as long as you have your iPhone backed up to iCloud and a solid Wi-Fi connection.

You'll need to sign in to your iCloud account on your Galaxy phone to continue, but the remaining steps should be similar.

Or, if you'd rather not give Samsung complete control over the content you're transferring, there are content-specific apps you can download to help you transfer everything individually.

Mail, Contacts and Calendar

If you are already using a Gmail account for your Contacts, Calendar and Mail on iOS , then you're all set; just sign into the Galaxy S8 with the same account you use on your iPhone and make sure sync is enabled for Mail, Contacts and Calendar. Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts and tap your Gmail account and then toggle on Mail, Contacts and Calendar.

If you're all-in on iOS and are using an iCloud account, you can still transfer your contacts and calendars but you're going to need the help of an app. On the Galaxy S8, install SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar to grab your calendar appointments and reminders and SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts for your contacts. These two apps will add your iCloud account to the Galaxy S8, letting you continue to use your Mac or iPad and keeping your calendar and contacts in sync.

Text messages

If you need to take your texts with you, give free app iSMS2droid a try. I haven't used it, but the app gets positive marks online, has a good rating in the Google Play store, and has been updated somewhat recently. It requires you to make an unencrypted backup of your iPhone to iTunes, locate and copy the backup SMS database file and then import it from the Galaxy S8. Take a look at the developer's step-by-step instructions.


If you stream music with Apple Music , Pandora or Spotify, then you've got no worries. Just download the apps (yes, there's an Android version of Apple Music) on the Galaxy S8, log into your account, and your playlists and preferences will be there waiting for you.

If you've amassed an iTunes music library that's too large and valuable to give up for a streaming music service, then you will need to head to Google Play Music on Chrome or download Google's Music Manager app on the Mac or PC that has your iTunes library and point it at your music collection. Google lets you store up to 50,000 songs for free in the cloud, which you can then stream on the Galaxy S8.

Photos and videos

The easiest way to get the photos and videos from your iPhone to your Android device is to install Google Photos on your iPhone and upload the files. (You can also use Google Drive to perform a backup of your photos by going to Settings > Backup.) Then you can just log into Google Photos on the Galaxy S8 and either view them from their spot in the cloud or download them. You can perform a similar maneuver with cross-platform cloud apps such as Dropbox and Flickr.

If you have a large photo library on iCloud, you use the Photos app on a Mac or iCloud.com on a PC to download photos to your computer to transfer via USB to your Galaxy S8.