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3 ways to transfer data from iPhone to Android

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If you’re switching from an iPhone to an Android phone, you’ll want to transfer all your data to your new device. Google, Samsung, and other Android-based smartphone companies try to make it easy for you to switch. 

Android offers two main ways to transfer your data: with a cable or using WiFi. Each option has its advantages, and you may consider a third method of uploading your data to a cloud storage service. Proton Drive’s encrypted file syncing lets you transfer your data to your Android while retaining a backup copy in a secure vault for safekeeping. 

This article explains how to transfer your data from iPhone to Android using each of these three methods:

Transfer data with a cable

A cable is one of the simplest transfer methods. It involves physically connecting your iPhone and your new Android device with a Lightning to USB-C cable. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare your devices: Fully charge both phones and update your iPhone to the latest software version. 
  2. Get your cable: You’ll need either a Lightning to USB-C cable or a Lightning to USB cable and an OTG adapter.
  3. Turn on your new Android: After you turn on the device, you’ll be prompted to plug your cable into both phones. 
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions: You’ll be asked to select the data you want to transfer. 
  5. Disconnect the cable: Once your data is finished copying over to your new device, you can unplug the cable.

The steps are similar for Samsung and Google devices, but you can find detailed Samsung migration instructions here(new window) and Google instructions here(new window).

Pros: This is probably the fastest method, and it captures the most data from your iPhone, including messages.

Cons: You might not have a Lightning to USB-C cable or an OTG adapter handy. You also won’t have a secondary backup of your data stored anywhere. 

Transfer data over WiFi

If you don’t have a cable, you can also connect your devices over WiFi.

  1. Prepare your devices: Fully charge both phones and update your iPhone to the latest software version. 
  2. Turn on your Android phone: Follow the prompts and select No cable when asked.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions: Once you’ve connected the two devices over WiFi using the Switch to Android app, you’ll be asked to select the data you want to transfer. The kinds of data you can transfer over WiFi are far more limited than using a cable. 
  4. Your data will transfer to your Android. 

Again, you can find detailed Samsung instructions here(new window) and Google instructions here(new window).

Pros: Wireless migration is great if you have strong WiFi and no cable. 

Cons: Transferring via WiFi only lets you migrate contacts, photos, videos, and calendar events. Everything else — including messages, music, and apps — will be left behind. You can transfer this data with a cable.

Transfer data via the cloud

The third option is to upload your data from your iPhone to a secure cloud storage service and then download it to your Android device. Proton Drive has apps for iOS and Android, so you can sync your files across any mobile device.

  1. Download Proton Drive to both devices: Go to the app stores on your Android phone and iPhone and search for Proton Drive. Install the app on both devices. If you don’t have a Proton Account, you can create one here and then sign in using your new username and password on the mobile apps.
  2. Upload your files: Tap (+) at the top right. To add a file from Files, select Import file and tap the file(s) you want to upload. To add a file from Photos, select Upload a photo and tap the pictures you want to upload. Tap Add to upload.
  3. Upload contacts: Apple makes it difficult to export data from iPhone. For your contacts, you’ll need to sync your contacts to iCloud and then export them all as vCards to your computer. Then log in to your Proton Drive account at drive.proton.me(new window), click New, and select the contacts to upload.
  4. Upload WhatsApp chats: For WhatsApp chats, open the app on your iPhone and select a contact. Then tap Export Chat followed by Save to Files. Then upload the chats to the Proton Drive iPhone app.
  5. Download data to your Android device: Once everything you want to transfer is in your Proton Drive account, you can download it to your Android device at your convenience. The files are safely stored with end-to-end encryption in Proton Drive.

Pros: Proton Drive is built for privacy and security. Unlike other cloud storage services that can see your data, such as Google Drive, Proton encrypts all your files so that only you have access. Transferring your data with Proton Drive as a central hub also gives you a second backup of your files, so even if you lose your device, your data is safe. Proton also makes it easy to share files securely with anyone using a password-protected link.

Cons: Because Apple wants to lock your data into your iPhone, it can be a hassle to export certain files, such as contacts and messages. You may want to use a cable to transfer this information while still backing up as many other files as you can in Proton Drive.

One other thing to note for those switching from iPhone to Android: If you don’t disable iMessage and FaceTime, you won’t receive message notifications on your Android. Here’s how to do that: 

  1. While your SIM card is still in your iPhone, go to Settings Messages Turn off iMessage
  2. Then go to Settings FaceTimeTurn off FaceTime
  3. You’ll need to deregister your phone number from other Apple devices as well. 

Conclusion

Whether you opt for a cable connection, WiFi transfer, or cloud-based migration, Proton Drive is a convenient, secure, and private way to sync and share your files. Developed by the company that created Proton Mail, our platform lets you seamlessly encrypt your data inside a Swiss vault that only you can access. 

Because we believe everyone has the right to privacy, it’s free to sign up for Proton Drive. You’ll get up to 1 GB of data, and all your files — including sensitive location metadata — will be end-to-end encrypted. If you upgrade to a premium account, you’ll get more storage, version history, and access to paid features across Proton’s encrypted ecosystem.

Download our apps and take back control of your privacy.

Protect your privacy with Proton
Create a free account

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Ben Wolford(new window)

Ben Wolford is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in major newspapers and magazines around the world. Ben joined Proton in 2018 to help to explain technical concepts in privacy and make Proton products easy to use.

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