Switch from Android to iPhone 12: This is the best way to transfer your data
You want to "Move to iOS" but your photos, videos and message history are still on your old Samsung phone. Here’s what to do.
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.
Move To iOS is an Android app made by Apple that transfers contacts, message history, website bookmarks, mail accounts,
, photos and videos. Move To iOS also identifies any Android apps you had on your old phone and, if they're free in the
App store, downloads them on your new iPhone 12.
Transfer data from Android 9 or older to a new iPhone
The first thing you want to do is charge up both phones. Once the batteries are topped off, connect your Android phone to Wi-Fi. If you use Chrome on your phone and want to transfer your bookmarks, make sure the app is up to date before starting the transfer process.
Next, turn on your new iPhone and follow the prompts until you get to the Apps & Data screen. Choose Move Data from Android. On your Android phone, install Move To iOS from the Google Play Store, then open it. Back on your iPhone, tap Continue on the Move from Android screen. A 6- or 10-digit code will appear on the iPhone's display.
Go back to your Android phone, tap Continue on the Move to iOS screen and read the Terms and Conditions. Tap Agree. On the Find Your Code screen, tap the Next button in the top-right corner. Then, type in the 6- or 10-digit code from your iPhone when prompted.
Next, from the Transfer Data screen on your Android device, select the content that you want to move to your iPhone and tap Next. This process can take awhile, so I recommend starting it before you go to bed or another time when you aren't using your phones for awhile. Keep in mind that, even if your Android phone indicates that the process is complete, leave both phones alone until the loading bar finishes on your iPhone.
Follow the onscreen steps to finish the set-up of your iPhone and download the free apps that were matched in the App Store. Finally, make sure that all of your content transferred by browsing through your photo gallery and message history.
If you're on a phone running Android 10 or newer and transferring to an iPhone, I recommend trying Move To iOS. If it doesn't work, there are third-party apps for Macs and PCs that should. A popular one is an app called AnyTrans.
Hopefully, this helped make your move from Android to iPhone easier. If you have any tips or software you've used to transfer your Android data to a new iPhone please share in the comments. Otherwise read the best hidden features of iOS 15.