How to transfer from iPhone to Android: the complete guide

April 13, 2014

    So, you are finally seeing the light and decide to live in the world of light. This means pain — especially the pain of having to give up old, dark, enslaving habits. It is heart-rending to bid goodbye to the tyrannical habits associated with iPhone use, especially if you’ve grown too attached to it. But, you find consolation in the fact that you’re welcoming a free world where there is color and where you can breathe. The transition is not easy. You’ve taken the most difficult step — that of deciding to leave the iPhone for good and embracing Android. We, at Android Authority, want your grief (for having ended your iPhone love affair) to be short and your joy (for having embraced the freedom of Android) to be sweet and well-deserved. In short, we want your migration from iPhone to Android to be as painless and as easy as possible. In this guide, you will learn how to transfer from iPhone to Android. This guide offers several easy methods for carrying out the various common tasks associated with transferring from iPhone to Android for good. In particular, you will find guides for the following:

    All of these guides require you to have a Google account. We tried our best to select the simplest, easiest, and least-complicated method for accomplishing a task. At the same time, we also tried to choose methods that won’t cost you a cent or that won’t require you to buy software that you’ll use only once.

    Moving your iPhone contacts to Android

    If I were in your shoes, the very first thing that I’d want to transfer to my new Android phone would be my contact list. Especially since I use my smartphone as a phone more than anything else, contacts are at the top of the list of data types that I’d consider most important. how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0159 In earlier versions of iTunes, you could easily sync your iPhone contacts with your Google account, but Apple has since removed that convenience in the more recent iTunes versions. The good news, however, is that you can still transfer your contacts to Android with the help of iCloud. The method will require you to first sync your iPhone contacts to iCloud, from which you will export your contacts into a vCard file (VCF), and manually import your iPhone contacts to your Google account. What you need for this method:

    • iPhone and Android phone
    • iCloud account set up, activated, and synced on your iPhone
    • Google account
    • Internet connection

    The first thing that you need to do is to enable iCloud on your iPhone and sync your contacts to the cloud:

    1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > iCloud.
    2. Login with your iCloud account.
    3. Enable “Contacts” on the iCloud page to allow your phone to sync your contacts to iCloud.
    4. Make sure your iPhone is connected to the Internet to sync your contacts to iCloud.

    how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0158 With your contacts now synced to the cloud, the next thing to do is to export your contacts from iCloud into a VCF file, and then import it to your Google account:

    1. Open a Web browser on your computer.
    2. Go to https://www.icloud.com/ and sign in with your iCloud account.
    3. Click Contacts to view your list of contacts.
    4. Select the contact(s) that you want to export.
    5. Click the Actions Menu button (cog wheel icon at the lower-left corner) to open the settings menu.
    6. Select Export vCard from the settings menu.
    7. Your browser will download a VCF file containing the exported contacts.
    8. Open a new tab in your Web browser and login to your Google Contacts account at http://www.google.com/contacts.
    9. On the left pane, scroll down to the bottom and click on Import Contacts. A window will appear.
    10. Locate and select the VCF file that you exported from iCloud.
    11. Click Import to import your iPhone contacts to your Google account.
    12. Let your Google account sync your contacts to your Android device.

    For other methods for transferring contacts from iPhone to Android, see the post entitled “How to transfer your contacts from iPhone to Android.” how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0102

    Moving your iPhone calendar events to Android

    iCloud has a feature that allows you to share your calendars to other Apple users — pretty much like Google’s own calendar sharing feature. The method in this section actually takes advantage of that very same sharing ability because it allows you to save your shared calendar into a file. In a nutshell, this method will export all of your iPhone calendar events into a file that you can import into Google Calendar. The trick here is for you to have an iCloud account properly set up and activated on your iPhone and synced. The great thing about this method is that you can migrate all of your iPhone calendar events in one go. The minor downside is that if you have several calendars in your account, you need to export them one at a time. What you will need for this method:

    • iPhone and Android phone
    • iCloud account set up, activated, and synced on your iPhone
    • desktop or laptop PC with Web browser (preferably Chrome or Firefox)
    • Google account
    • Internet connection

    Unless you have already done so, first set up iCloud on your iPhone, as follows:

    1. Open the Settings page.
    2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
    3. Tap Add Account and log in to your iCloud account.
    4. Once you’ve logged into your iCloud account, ensure that syncing is turned on or enabled for “Calendars.”
    5. Connect to the Internet to allow iCloud to sync your iPhone data to the cloud.

    how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0104 Next, export your iCloud calendar entries. Perform the following steps on your desktop/laptop PC:

    1. In your Web browser, open www.icloud.com and login to your iCloud account.
    2. Click on the calendar icon to open your Calendar page.
    3. Your list of calendars will be listed on the left pane.
    4. Click on the Share Calendar button beside the name of the calendar that you want to export.
    5. On the popup that appears, place a checkmark beside “Public Calendar.” Copy the URL that appears below it. It looks like a string of random characters beginning with webcal://.
    6. Open a new browser tab or window.
    7. Paste the URL onto the new tab or window’s address bar — but do not press the Enter key yet.
    8. Edit the URL by changing webcal:// to http:// and then press the Enter key to open the URL.
    9. No webpage will open. Instead, a file will begin downloading. Its file name will be made up of a long string of random characters. This file is actually a plain text file that contains your calendar entries. Save the file to a convenient location on your PC. You may also rename the file into something shorter and easier to remember (e.g., calendar.ics).
    10. Close the browser tabs/windows for iCloud and the download URL.

    how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0160 So far, you’ve succeeded in exporting and downloading your calendar entries into a file on your PC. Your next step is to import the file to your Google Calendar account. Here are the steps to accomplish that:

    1. On a new tab/window, login to Google Calendar (http://www.google.com/calendar/) using the same Google account as the one logged in on your Android device.
    2. Near the bottom of the left pane, locate the Other Calendars menu. Click the downward-pointing arrow at the right of the label.
    3. Click on Import Calendar to open the dialog for importing your calendar.
    4. Click on the Choose File button. Locate and select the calendar file that you exported from iCloud.
    5. If you have several calendars in your Google Calendar account, they will appear on the drop-down list. Choose one as the destination for the imported entries.
    6. Click the Import button to begin importing the calendar entries.
    7. After importing is completed, the new entries should now be visible in the Google calendar that you selected as destination for the entries.

    For other methods for moving calendar events from iPhone to Android, see the post entitled “How to transfer or sync your calendar from iPhone to Android.”

    Moving your iPhone images to Android

    Unless you belong to the breed of iPhone users who rarely — if ever — take photos and capture videos using their iPhones, in all likelihood your iPhone will contain images and videos that you captured through its camera. How do you completely migrate all of those to your Android phone? how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0107 There are several ways to transfer your images and videos, but here’s an easy one that will do the job really quickly — and without requiring an Internet connection. The upside to this method is that it will copy all of your images and videos in just one go. The downsides are that you will need your desktop or laptop PC to act as intermediary, this method requires a wired connection between your iPhone and your PC, and this method will transfer images and videos in your Camera Roll only. In a nutshell, this method copies your Camera Roll images and videos to your PC so that you can then transfer them to your Android. You will need the following:

    • your iPhone and Android phone
    • your iPhone’s proprietary, non-standards-compliant USB cable
    • your Android’s standards-compliant USB cable
    • Windows PC

    First, import your iPhone images and videos to your Windows PC. Follow these steps:

    1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via the iPhone’s proprietary USB cable, preferably using a USB port at the back of your PC.
    2. Open My Computer. Under the Portable Devices section, find your iPhone’s storage and right-click on its icon.
    3. Click on Import Pictures and Videos from the menu that pops up. This will cause your PC to scan your iPhone for images and videos.
    4. After scanning completes, click on Import to copy found images and videos to your PC. The default location for the copied files will be in a subfolder in your My Pictures folder.
    5. At this point, you may now unplug the iPhone from your PC.

    Next, copy the imported videos and images from your PC to your Android device. Here’s how to do it:

    1. Connect your Android device to your PC via USB cable. Your Android’s storage should be automatically detected.
    2. Open your Android device’s storage and navigate to the image folder. This is usually the DCIM folder. If you want, create a subfolder to hold the iPhone photos and videos that you will be copying in the next steps.
    3. Open the My Pictures folder on your PC.
    4. Copy the imported images and videos from your My Pictures subfolder to your Android’s images (sub)folder.

    Find more alternate methods for moving your iPhone images to Android in the post entitled “How to transfer photos and images from iPhone to Android.” how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0108

    Moving your iPhone music to Android

    Transferring music from your iPhone to Android is a bit tricky, but not impossible. The method recommended in this section generally involves (1) syncing your iPhone music tracks with your iTunes Music Library on your desktop PC and (2) uploading the music files to your Google Music account. To accomplish this, you will need the Google Music Manager software. There is another easy method that will let you quickly transfer your music from iPhone to PC and from PC to Android, but that method allows limited access to your music. However, in the method recommended in this section, once you upload your music tracks to Google Music, those tracks will be available to any device from where you can log into Google Music using the Play Music app (e.g., an Android device) or a supported Web browser. For this method you will need the following:

    • iTunes software installed on your PC
    • Google Music Manager installed on your PC
    • Apple ID and Google account

    First, you need to sync your iPhone music tracks to the Music Library on your PC’s iTunes. Also ensure that your purchased songs are downloaded from iCloud to your PC, as Google Music Manager only uploads songs that are saved on the PC. Here’s how to do this:

    1. Run iTunes on your desktop. Login to your Apple account using your Apple ID.
    2. Open the iTunes Music Library. Click on the Songs tab to see a list of the music tracks on your iPhone, including songs bought using the logged-in Apple ID.
    3. Check whether the music tracks that you want to copy are stored on the PC. Tracks that have an iCloud logo with a downward arrow displayed beside the track title are tracks that have not yet been saved to the PC. To download the file to your PC, just click on the iCloud logo beside the track title. You can also download several tracks simultaneously by multi-selecting tracks, then right-clicking on a highlighted track title, and clicking Download from the popup menu.
    4. If you don’t see your purchased music tracks on the Songs tab, try going to Preferences > Store, then enable “Show iTunes in the Cloud Purchases.”

    Now, your music tracks are ready for upload to Google Music. Follow these steps:

    1. Launch Google Music Manager on your computer and log-in with your Google account. Follow the setup instructions flashed on the screen.
    2. Select Upload Songs to Google Play on the setup page. Select “iTunes” on the list. You can upload all the tracks in your iTunes library, selected music playlists, or podcasts to Google.
    3. On the next screen, Google Music Manager will prompt you about whether you want all newly added songs to iTunes to be also automatically uploaded to your Google Play Music account.
    4. Once you’ve specified all setup options, Google Music Manager will scan your iTunes Music Library and begin uploading your songs to Google.

    how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0112 Now that your songs are uploaded to Google, you can listen to your songs via the Play Music website on your supported Web browser or via the Play Music app on your Android device.

    Moving your iPhone bookmarks to Android

    Bookmarks help you find your way back to a particular location on the Web.Β  In many cases, the bookmarks that you save actually indicate your favorite places on the Web; some Web browsers aptly call such a collection “Favorites.” If you ever use your iPhone for Web browsing, you most likely will have bookmarked some sites or webpages. And, when you move to Android, you will want to bring those bookmarks with you. how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0113 Although Safari is the default Web browser on the iPhone, there are other compatible Web browsers not developed by Apple. So, the method for transferring bookmarks can vary according to the browser that you use on your iPhone. The method recommended in this section, though, applies only to the default browser on the iPhone — Safari, which most people likely use. Broadly speaking, transferring your iPhone bookmarks to Android involves syncing your iPhone bookmarks to your iCloud account and merging the iCloud-stored bookmarks to Google Chrome or Firefox on your desktop PC. Thereafter, syncing to Android should be a breeze. For this method, you will need the following:

    • an iCloud account
    • iCloud Control Panel installed on your Windows computer
    • an active Internet connection
    • Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox installed on both computer and Android device

    First, use iCloud to sync your Safari bookmarks to your computer, as follows:

    1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > iCloud and set up or login with your iCloud account. Also enable Safari on this menu to sync Safari data to iCloud.
    2. Launch iCloud Control Panel on your computer and log-in with your iCloud account.
    3. Tick the checkbox for “Bookmarks.”
    4. Click Options and select the browser that you want to merge the bookmarks to. Choose either “Firefox” or “Google Chrome.”
    5. Click on Apply.
    6. When asked, choose to merge your bookmarks. Select Merge to continue.
    7. You will be asked to download the iCloud Bookmarks extension for Google Chrome and Firefox.
    8. Click Download to download and install the extensions.

    After the extension finishes installing in the last step above, the Safari bookmarks from your iPhone will be transferred to Google Chrome or Firefox on your computer. You can now sync your Google Chrome or Firefox bookmarks to your Android device. The next sections will show you how. how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0114

    Transferring bookmarks to Google Chrome

    If you chose Google Chrome as your browser, syncing your bookmarks to your Android device will be easy. Just login to your Google account in Google Chrome on your computer. Your browser data (including bookmarks) will then be synced to your Google account, making your data accessible to the Google Chrome app on your Android device. Make sure that you login using the same Google account in Chrome on your Android device. how-to-transfer-from-iphone-to-android-0115

    Transferring bookmarks to Firefox

    The Firefox browser on your computer has an option that allows you to sync your bookmarks to Firefox on your Android device. If you haven’t enabled this option yet, you can do so by following the steps below.

    1. On your Windows computer, open the Firefox menu and select Set Up Sync.
    2. Login to your Firefox account with your credentials to sync your browser data (including bookmarks) to the cloud. If you don’t have an account yet, create an account within the browser. Syncing your local browser data to the cloud will take a moment, so give it some time to complete the sync before moving on to the next step.
    3. On your Android device, launch the Firefox app and open the settings page.
    4. Select Sync and take note of the unique pairing codes generated by the app.
    5. Go back to Firefox on your computer and open the Options menu.
    6. Go to the Sync tab and click on Pair a Device.
    7. Input the pairing codes generated by the Firefox app for Android.
    8. Click Next to begin syncing browser data between your computer and Android.

    Firefox on both your computer and Android device will now be paired.Β  Browser data from your Firefox on your PC will now be synced to your Android device. More alternate methods for moving your iPhone bookmarks to Android, are described in the post entitled “How to transfer bookmarks from iPhone to Android.”

    Conclusion

    Migrating from the iPhone to Android doesn’t have to be very painful — but, the pain is definitely worth it. With our easy-to-follow guides, you should be able to easily transfer your most important data and files to your Android phone. This post in particular showed you easy methods to transfer your contacts, images, videos, calendar events, and bookmarks from iPhone to Android. Have you made the big move already? How was it? Did you follow any of the methods described in this post? What methods did you use? Share your stories in the comments section below.

    (with contributions from Alvin YbaΓ±ez)

    Comments

    • Follower

      Waw, just waw!
      But the most painful part is moving your apps and apps data. In this part you need to rebuy everything and start over again :(

      • mobilemann

        yeah, and what they don’t tell you is most of the replacement apps are inferior.

        • Andrew T Roach

          Android has as many apps as the App Store right? Except half of them are widgets. Most of which haven’t been updated since Gingerbread. Most of the mainstream apps are on Play but the Game selection is still mostly old iOS ports, and many games never make it at all. Real talk.

          • BoomOrBust

            @ Andrew — I’ve always been intrigued by Android’s flexibility and openness. However, you bring up a good point about the apps. Not only for iPhone, but especially when deciding on the tablet experience. I feel that Google’s long term aspirations are to move apps from residing on your device to residing on the internet (in other words, accessing all of your apps through a web browser). Using today’s technology would equate to an even less polished experience than what we currently have on Android. I will admit that Google has done a better job in closing the gap than I would’ve ever envisioned. It’s hard to match what Apple is able to achieve by controlling the hardware and software aspects of the device experience.

    • Neema

      I have a mac and a nexus 7. I used to have an iPod touch 4gen but I switched to android about a year ago. Now the question is: how can I transfer my itunes music to my nexus 7 without using internet. it would be great if you could make a tutorial about that. Thanks.

      • Paco Inurreta

        Well, just download your music so is “physically stored” in your hard drive and copy it to the Nexus 7.

      • Jon

        Use doubletwist.
        It actually copies playlists, album art, etc. When you sync back with your comp it will update playcount, last played fields etc.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Really for an iPhone user the only smart option would be a Nexus or GPE device. No bloatware. No carrier shenanigans (GS5 Download booster for instance), Updates to the most recent and most secure software. And a cohesive and smooth software experience from the people that created the OS.

      • David Gabel

        Are you meaning the carrier blocking of the GS5 booster?

    • Marie Braden

      Huge call out here: TURN OFF imessage and send a few texts before switching over. MUCH easier than later deregistering the device to ensure you get your messages from other iOS users.

      • DaFox

        This is a painful process if you don’t follow this advice..

      • mobilemann

        this lady speaks the truth!

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    • Gordon Marcus

      here is a way to transfer iphone to samsung directly, just connect both iphone and samsung with your computer

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHs9AjQ5FCQ

    • copeland lee

      there is a tool can help transfer data from iphone to android, vice versa

      http://youtu.be/8sDCvxeNZMc

    • TiffanyD

      Iphone to samsung…download samsung smartswitch app on new samsung device. Enter icloud user name and password. Check box of what to transfer (contacts, call logs, pics, memo, calender, etc) hit transfer…DONE

    • Unicorn Drank

      I just switched from an iPhone 5S to a Galasy S5 and I am not seeing the light as much as i would like to, I don’t have many of the apps that I use on my iPhone and if they are a replacements, it looks horrible or it just doesnt work as great as on the iPhone, ill try to get use to it, not seeing the light as much as they make it seem if I can’t even have apps that are essential to me.

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