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How to transfer WhatsApp chats from iPhone to Android
One of the most important things you want to carry forward with you when switching phones is your chat history. While most apps and chat platforms make it relatively trivial to carry years of chat history with you, WhatsApp is an outlier. Sure, you can use cloud backups to keep moving your chat history from one phone to the next as long as you stay on Android or iOS. However, switching WhatsApp between iOS and Android has previously meant losing all your conversations. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
WhatsApp is the most popular chat platform in the world. With over 2.5 billion users, the service relies on Google Drive and Apple iCloud, respectively, to maintain online chat backups. As a free platform, this makes sense to mitigate storage costs for WhatsApp — my own WhatsApp backup clocks in at over 15 gigabytes.
However, it isn’t possible to directly connect and transfer encrypted backups between Drive and iCloud. Moreover, neither platform integrates deeply with the competing platform’s smartphones. Apple doesn’t even offer an iCloud app for Android devices. This essentially leaves local transfers the only real option to move data from one platform to another.
THE SHORT ANSWER
Local transfers of WhatsApp backups from an iPhone to an Android device require you to have a freshly reset phone with Android 12 onboard. Additionally, you'll need to ensure that you have the Google migrate tool installed on your phone. After that, it is a simple process of connecting the two phones via a USB-C to lightning cable, tapping the move chats to Android button, and following along the guided steps.
JUMP TO ESSENTIAL SECTIONS
How to transfer chats from an iPhone to any Android phone
Starting with Android 12, Google has added operating-system-level changes to allow users to bring their WhatsApp chat histories from iPhones to Android devices. For now, the feature is limited to Pixel phones but should be rolling out to all new smartphones that launch with Android 12.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- You’ll need a freshly reset phone with Android 12 onboard.
- Connect the iPhone to your Android 12 device via a USB-C to Lightning cable.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to import all or selected data from the iPhone to your Android 12 phone.
- Tap the continue button to finish transferring data.
- When prompted during the transfer process, scan the QR code shown on the Android device using your iPhone.
- Scanning the QR code will pop open WhatsApp on the iPhone. Tap the start button, and you’re good to go.
How to transfer WhatsApp chats from an iPhone to a Samsung phone
WhatsApp announced the ability to move chats between platforms earlier this year alongside a partnership with Samsung. This waves off the requirement for Android 12 on Samsung devices but does make for a more involved process.
- Reset your Samsung device.
- When prompted by the onboard smart-switch app, connect your iPhone to your Samsung device via a USB-C to Lightning cable.
- Select all the apps and data you want to transfer, including WhatsApp.
- When prompted, scan the QR code displayed on the phone’s screen.
- The QR code should open WhatsApp on your iPhone. Tap the start button to continue transferring data.
- You can now finish setting up your Samsung device.
- Once done, open WhatsApp and log in using the same number as on the iPhone.
- Press the import button when prompted to complete the process.
Transferring WhatsApp chats from iPhone to Android is a pretty straightforward process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, depending on the size of the WhatsApp backup. The entire transfer takes place locally and remains encrypted. All media, including chat history, photos, and videos, should carry forward, but you will lose out on your WhatsApp call history.
Also read: How to delete a WhatsApp account