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How to transfer photos from iPhone to Android
We haven’t stopped capturing precious life moments ever since manufacturers started putting excellent cameras on smartphones. Despite great strides in digital imaging and mobile interconnectivity, it’s not that easy to transfer photos between devices, especially those running different platforms — say, between an iPhone and an Android phone. If you own both or switch over from iPhone to Android, you will eventually need to know how to transfer photos and images. We’ll show you how it’s done so you won’t have to lose all those files.
There are many ways to transfer photos from iPhone to Android. If you're already syncing your pictures to iCloud, the simplest method is going to iCloud.com on your Android browser, signing in, going into Photos, hitting Select, and picking the photos you want to transfer. Hit the three-dot menu button and tap Download. This can be a long and annoying process if you have a bunch of photos, though.
You can also transfer the files manually, using a PC. Or try using Google Photos to upload images from your iPhone to the cloud, then access these on any Android handset. Keep reading to see which options best suits your needs.
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Editor’s note: Some of these instructions were put together using an iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.0, a custom PC with Windows 11, and a Google Pixel 7 using Android 13. Keep in mind some steps might be a bit different, depending on your device and the software it runs.
Transfer photos from iPhone to Android using a computer
One of the more straightforward ways to transfer your photos is to copy-paste them from the iPhone’s default photo directory to Android’s image folder. This requires no special accounts or fancy apps. For this method, you will need a PC and USB cables for both your iPhone and Android phones. Make sure that you’ve installed the device drivers of both handsets so that they will be detected.
How to transfer your iPhone photos to your Android phone:
- Connect your iPhone to your PC.
- Turn the phone on and unlock it.
- You will be asked to trust the computer. Hit Trust. Enter your PIN if asked.
- On your PC, click on the Start Windows button.
- Open the Photos app.
- Select Import.
- Hit Apple iPhone.
- Follow instructions. You can now pick which photos you want to import and where.
- Make your selections, click on Add items, and hit Import. Let the computer do its thing.
- Connect your Android phone to your PC.
- On your phone, open the notification shade.
- You should see a notification reading Charging this device via USB. Tap on it. Tap on it again when it expands.
- Select File transfer / Android Auto.
- On your PC, go to the folder where you saved the photos. Select them, right-click on them, and select Copy.
- Go to This PC, find your Android phone, and open the DCIM or Pictures folder within the phone. You can also go into folders within the folder, or create new ones. This will help keep files more organized.
- Once you’re where you want your images, right-click and select Paste.
- Let the transfer finish, and you’re done!
Transfer photos using Google Drive
Google Drive will make transferring photos from iPhone to Android much simpler, if you don’t mind using the cloud. Of course, there are some limitations. Cloud storage sends your pictures to servers over the internet. This means anyone with slow internet speeds may have to wait long to upload and download larger quantities of photos. Not to mention you might be limited in terms of data, so you might want to be connected to Wi-Fi to do this.
In addition, Google only gives you 15GB of storage for free. This can be quickly filled after storing photos for some years. You’ll need to pay for extra storage if your photo library is more extensive than 15GB. Plans start at $1.99 a month for 100GB.
Transfer photos from iPhone to Android using Google Drive:
- On your iPhone, download Google Drive from the Apple App Store.
- Open Google Drive and sign in to your Google account.
- Tap the + button.
- Select Upload.
- Go into Photos and Videos.
- Find and select the photos you want to transfer. Tap Upload.
- Wait for the images to upload.
- Now, let’s move to your Android phone. Google Drive comes pre-installed on most Android devices. If yours doesn’t have it, download it from the Google Play Store.
- Open Google Drive.
- Find and select the images you uploaded.
- Tap on the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner.
- Hit Download.
- Your photos will be downloaded to the Downloads folder.
Google Photos works too
Google has cloud services to throw around, and the Photos app is another excellent alternative to transfer photos from iPhone to Android. The difference between Google Photos and Google Drive is that the latter is meant to store any file you throw at it. Meanwhile, Google Photos is explicitly made for storing images and videos.
Google Photos had unlimited “high-quality” image uploads until July 2021. Now, uploaded images count against your Google storage space. Regardless, it’s a very convenient tool for those who no longer want to worry about backing up and restoring photos. You can set any phone to upload images and videos automatically, then simply have the app sync across all your devices.
Transfer photos from iPhone to Android using Google Photos:
- On your iPhone, download Google Photos from the Apple App Store.
- Open Google Photos and sign in to your Google account.
- Google Photos will ask you if you want to sync high-quality photos during set-up. Go ahead and do so. You can also go to Profile icon > Google Photos settings > Backup and toggle on Backup.
- This process will take a while, so give it some time.
- Now, let’s move to your Android phone. Google Photos comes pre-installed on most Android devices. If yours doesn’t have it, download it from the Google Play Store.
- Open Google Photos.
- All your images will be there! By the way, you don’t need to download them if you don’t want to. These images can live in Google Photos.
- If you want to download a photo, tap on it.
- Hit the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner.
- Hit Download.
Just use iCloud
You don’t have to stick to Google’s services, especially if all your photos are backed up to Apple’s iCloud servers. You can access and download all your images from iCloud.com.
Transfer photos from iPhone to Android using iCloud:
- If you haven’t yet, make sure iCloud Photos is syncing on your iOS device. Go to Settings > Photos > iCloud Photos and toggle the option on.
- Once your photos are synced, it’s time to move to your new Android phone.
- Open the Chrome browser.
- Go to iCloud.com.
- Log in.
- Go into the Photos section. All your synced photos will show up.
- Hit Select.
- Tap on the photos you want to download on your Android device.
- Select the three-dot menu button on the bottom-right corner.
- Tap on Download.
- Let the files download.
- Images will go into the Downloads folder on your Android phone.
Using a dedicated app like Send Anywhere
The options above are great, but there is room for other possibilities like Send Anywhere. This file transfer application is free for both Android and iOS. It also requires no cables or computers, as it operates in the cloud.
Transfer photos from iPhone to Android using Send Anywhere:
- Download Send Anywhere from the Apple App Store.
- Run Send Anywhere on your iPhone.
- Tap the Send tab.
- From the list of file types, select Photos. Select the photos that you want to send. You’ll see checkmarks at the bottom-right of the selected photos’ thumbnails.
- Tap the Send button at the bottom after selecting the photos.
- The app will generate a PIN and a QR code image for the receiver. These authorization credentials will expire after 10 minutes (by default, but you can also set them to 5 or 30 minutes). Make sure that the receiver device gets the file within that time frame. Or, if you want to share the file(s) with multiple recipients for a longer time, upload the file(s) by tapping the Upload button. This latter option will also generate a PIN, QR code, and a Web URL which are valid for use by the receiver(s) within 24 hours (by default, but can also be set to 12 or 48 hours).
- Download the Send Anywhere app from the Google Play Store on your Android phone.
- Run the Send Anywhere app.
- Tap the Receive button on the main screen.
- To receive the file(s), you can enter the PIN and tap the arrow button or scan the QR code generated by the iPhone. Or, if the sender shared the Web URL of the file, open the URL in a Web browser.
Images might lose quality if you transfer them from iPhone to Android, depending on the method you use. For example, if you use Google Photos and have opted to upload images using high-quality resolution, the photos will be a bit compressed when you download them. Of course, manually transferring them using a PC results in no loss of quality.
It depends on the method you use, but the only limits are usually related to your cloud storage limits, whether those are local or cloud storage spaces. In the case of Send Anywhere, you’ll have a 10GB limit, unless you opt to pay for the upgraded service.
iCloud’s free account offers 5GB of data. You will have to pay extra to get more. Prices start at $0.99 for 50GB.