iPhone to Android: The ultimate switching guide

Ready to brand the movement from iOS to Android? Here’due south everything you need to successfully switch from an iPhone to a Samsung Milky way, Google Pixel or whatever other Android device.

Table of Contents

  • All-in-one iOS-to-Android switching tools
  • Calendar, contacts, and photos
  • Email
  • Messaging
  • Files
  • Apps
  • Music
  • Welcome to Android

Show More

And so, you’re ready to go out your iPhone for greener pastures — specifically, the bright light-green hue of Google’s Android ecosystem.

It’s a major motion, to exist sure, but information technology doesn’t have to be daunting. Beneath the surface-level differences, Android and iOS actually accept a lot in common — and with the correct steps, you lot can switch from an iPhone to an Android device without losing annihilation significant (including your sanity).

Make your way through this easy-to-follow guide, and you’ll exist happily settled in your new high-tech dwelling in no time.

All-in-one iOS-to-Android switching tools

First things first: Some Android devices, like Samsung’s Galaxy phones and Google’s Pixel products, transport with their ain all-in-one iPhone-to-Android switching systems. These systems may include special software and possibly even physical cables for moving a agglomeration of data from your iPhone to your new Android device in one fell swoop. If your Android phone offers such a service, it’south a smart identify to start.

Of class, these all-in-ane methods aren’t available for every phone, and they don’t always work flawlessly or across all of the areas relevant to your needs. Next, we’ll get into the footstep-past-step details of how you lot can get every important category of data moved over on your ain, bit by flake, without giving yourself a migraine.

Calendar, contacts, and photos

We’ll offset with a unproblematic 3-for-one special. Believe it or not, the core categories of calendar, contacts, and photos are among the easiest things to migrate from iOS to Android.

All you’ve gotta do is install the Google Drive app onto your iPhone, so sign into the app using your chief Google account. (If you don’t yet accept a Google business relationship, the app will give you lot the opportunity to create one.)

On your iPhone, open the Drive app’s carte du jour, select “Settings” and so “Backup.” If y’all’re interested in moving over some but not all of the available areas, you lot tin can tap whichever area you want to handle individually. If you want to movement them all at once, just tap the blue “Start Backup” button to let the app deal with everything together.

google drive app ios backup
JR Raphael/IDG

Google Bulldoze for iOS provides an easy fashion to move your calendar, contacts, and photos data over to Android.

This process may accept a while and burn through a off-white amount of data, so you’ll probably want to save it for a fourth dimension when your phone can be plugged in, connected to a reliable Wi-Fi network, and not immediately needed for anything else. That beingness said, you can ever hit intermission and outset things up again after, so don’t worry too much about the timing.

All washed? Excellent: Now just sign into your new Android phone with that same Google account. Y’all should be able to find your calendar data in the Google Calendar app, your contacts data in the Google Contacts app, and all of your photos and videos in the Google Photos app. (Depending on your device, some or all of those apps may exist preinstalled past default; if whatever of them is not, you can only download and install it from the Google Play Store.)

One exception to the rule: If your contacts or calendar information is continued to a Microsoft Commutation account, it won’t be moved over every bit role of this process. In that scenario, yous’ll need to add together your Substitution business relationship into the Gmail app on your Android phone (see the next section for more detail), and your contacts and calendar info should then automatically show up in the appropriate apps.


All right — prepare to bring all of your email over to your shiny new smartphone? That migration will range from “ridiculously elementary” to “relatively hassle-free,” depending on the specifics of your setup.

Choose your own adventure:

If you’re currently using Gmail:
There’south naught to do; just make certain yous sign into your Android device with the same Google account associated with your Gmail address, and all your post will automatically appear in the Android Gmail app and exist waiting for you. If you lot take more i Gmail address and want to be able to admission them all on the telephone, open the Gmail app’south settings and look for the “Add account” option, then follow the steps to add any additional Google accounts into the mix.

If yous’re currently using a webmail provider similar Outlook.com, Hotmail, or Yahoo:
Add the account into the Gmail app on your new telephone, using the same steps described above but selecting the appropriate business relationship option on the “Add account” screen.

ios to android email setup 2020
JR Raphael/IDG

The Gmail app provides options for connecting different types of email accounts to your Android device.

If you’re currently using Apple Mail:
Over again, just add the account into the Gmail app on your Android phone. There’southward a little more to it this time, though: Later on you select “Add account” within the app’south settings, tap the line labeled “Other,” blazon in your email accost, and then select “Personal (IMAP).” When prompted, put in the diverse mail server settings provided on Apple’south support site.

If you lot’re currently using Exchange:
Aforementioned basic deal, but select the option for “Exchange and Role 365” in the “Add account” section of the Gmail app’due south settings. The app will walk you through the rest of the setup process. Of course, you tin besides opt to employ Microsoft’southward official Outlook Android app if yous’re accustomed to that program and desire a consequent experience.

One final selection to consider: If you lot’re using any of the aforementioned non-Gmail account types and want to ditch your erstwhile address and move entirely into Gmail, you tin can import all of your one-time account’southward email into Gmail by following the steps on this Google support folio. You may also desire to instruct your former mail service to frontward all new messages to your Gmail address so you don’t miss any important missives from people who haven’t yet learned about your move.


Not surprisingly, Apple tree’southward iMessage system doesn’t play nicely with non-Apple platforms. But that doesn’t mean information technology’s incommunicable to leave; you but take to take the right prepare of steps to avoid missing-bulletin misery.

First, go into Settings on your iPhone, tap “Letters,” and then toggle “iMessage” to off. While you’re in Settings, you’ll probably want to look for the “FaceTime” option and toggle it to off, likewise, since yous presumably won’t be active on that platform anymore.

Second, open Apple’s “Deregister iMessage” web page and curl down to the section labeled “No longer have your iPhone?” Put in your phone number, click the link to send a confirmation code, and then blazon the confirmation lawmaking you receive into the page.

Both of these steps are disquisitional; if you don’t consummate them, Apple volition probable intercept at least some of your incoming text messages, and you lot’ll never even know you missed ’em.

iPhone to Android switch - iMessage deregister
JR Raphael/IDG

Get your phone number out of the iMessage system or forever wonder if Apple is snatching your messages.

If you desire to go on all of your existing text messages and bring them over to your new phone, an app called iSMS2droid can go the job done. The procedure is a bit gnarly and involves manually backing upwards your iPhone to a calculator, so finding specific files and transferring them onto your Android phone — but if you lot really need to salve all your old messages, it’s nigh the all-time option you take.

The silver lining is that once you’re on Android, keeping your letters synced and available on whatsoever device can be thought-gratis. Just be sure to pick a messaging app that automatically backs upward and restores data from the become-go, and you’ll be fine as wine.


Then long, iCloud Drive — hello, Google Drive. The most direct way to get all your data off of Apple’s cloud storage service and onto Google’s is to install the desktop apps for both iCloud Drive and Google Drive on your Mac or Windows PC. Then, open up Finder or File Explorer windows for both locations, select everything from iCloud Drive, and drag it over to Google Drive.

Wait for the transfer to cease, and that’s it: Every one of your precious files is now available via Google Drive on Android (as well every bit on iOS and the web).


The bad news: Any apps you’ve installed on your iPhone won’t automatically transfer over to Android, and any apps you’ve paid for on iOS volition probable have to exist purchased again.

The good news: These days, virtually major productivity apps are readily bachelor on both platforms. And one time you’re all ready with Android, all of your apps and app data will automatically sync with Google’s servers and follow you to whatever future Android devices.

Take a few minutes to become through Google’s Play Shop — either on your Android phone or via a web browser on whatsoever computer — and search for the apps you want. If you install an app onto your telephone and it asks you to sign in when you showtime open up it, brand sure to use the same username or e-mail address you used on your iPhone so that any data tied to your account will carry over.

Later on you lot’ve settled in, you may want to explore a bit further beyond the apps you already know. Dissimilar iOS, Android allows all sorts of clever tools for customizing and controlling the cadre user interface, and some of them can enhance your efficiency in pretty interesting ways.

[ Related: Android apps: Best of the best ]


Thank your lucky stars, because bringing music over from iOS to Android is no longer the absolute nightmare it in one case was.

There’due south nothing to it if you apply a streaming service like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, or fifty-fifty — amazingly — Apple tree Music; just download the equivalent app from the Google Play Shop, sign in, and your entire drove will be at your fingertips in seconds.

If you have your own personal music drove, your all-time bet is to download the Mac- or Windows-based Music Manager app for Google Play Music. It can observe and import whatever music stored on your computer as well every bit in iTunes, in formats ranging from MP3 to WMA, FLAC, and OGG — and even AAC files without digital rights management (DRM) protection.  (Google has said this personal music storage characteristic will eventually exist brought over to the newer YouTube Music service — which is expected to supplant Google Play Music at some point in the foreseeable futurity — only we’ve seen no signs of that happening merely nevertheless.)

iPhone to Android switch - Google Music Manager app
JR Raphael/IDG

The Music Managing director app for Google Play Music can import songs from iTunes and elsewhere on your estimator.

The ane lingering exception is any music purchased from iTunes prior to 2009, equally such songs were encoded into a proprietary and DRM-protected version of the AAC format. Those files, by pattern, won’t exist compatible with any other music service. If yous want to pay $25 for a yr of Apple tree’s iTunes Match service, you can “exchange” those files for not-DRM-protected versions that’ll work anywhere.

Otherwise, your merely real option is to employ the old-school workaround of burning those tracks to a CD (assuming your reckoner still has a CD burner, of course), and so putting the CD back into the figurer and ripping the songs into a standard unlocked format. That’ll result in lower-quality audio than you’d get purchasing the tunes directly from almost any music service nowadays, just it is what it is.

Welcome to Android

Well, wouldya await at that? You’ve done information technology! All your important info is now off your iPhone and on your new Android device, and you’re set up to start anew every bit a card-carrying Android phone owner.

Before we bid good day and send you scampering off on your new adventure, let’due south take a moment to go over a few things of note every bit y’all larn your way around this wild new world.

Commencement, the getting-effectually basics: No affair where you lot are in Android, you tin ever swipe down in one case from the top of the screen to see any pending notifications and swipe downwardly a second time to run into the full Quick Settings panel. And speaking of notifications, Android makes them exceptionally easy to command — then learn the ins and outs of notification management and don’t permit your phone’s alerts command you lot.

ios to android notifications quick settings 2020
JR Raphael/IDG

Android’due south notifications panel (left) and Quick Settings console (right) are never more than than a swipe away. (Their verbal appearance may vary from i phone to the next.)

If your device shipped with Android 10, you’ll find what’due south sure to be a somewhat familiar-seeming gesture-driven system for getting effectually your telephone: From anywhere in the operating system, y’all can pic your finger upwards from the bottom of the screen to return to your home screen, swipe upward about an inch from the bottom of the screen and then stop to open up the system Overview interface and scan through your recently used apps, and swipe toward the right on the bottom of the screen to flip dorsum quickly through those same recently used apps.

You tin too swipe upwards diagonally from either lower corner of the screen to summon Google Assistant, and anytime you want to move back one step in whatever y’all’re doing, you can swipe inward from the left or correct border of your telephone’s display.

On phones with older Android versions — or those where gesture navigation isn’t enabled — you’ll find 3 buttons along the bottom of your screen that provide tap-friendly ways of accessing those same bones functions. In that arrangement, Banana is typically accessible past pressing and holding the Domicile key.

1 more thing: You’ve no incertitude seen some scary-seeming stories about Android security. Exist aware: Most of that stuff is overly sensationalized and woefully misleading. Malware really isn’t a real-world event on Android, and Google has its ain multilayer security system in identify to protect you from all sorts of threats — including the nigh realistic i of all: a lost telephone.

Craving fifty-fifty more practical tips and foundational knowledge? My, aren’t you a tenacious niggling monkey! Check out the post-obit Computerworld guides to continue your Android optimization educational activity:

  • Android apps: Best of the best
  • 8 ways to turn Android into a productivity powerhouse
  • 16 fourth dimension-saving Android shortcuts
  • 10 Android settings that’ll strengthen your security
  • 44 ways Google Assistant can make you more than efficient
  • How to create a consummate Microsoft experience on Android
  • thirteen handy hidden shortcuts for Gboard on Android
  • 21 fourth dimension-saving tips for the Chrome Android browser

This commodity was originally published in August 2017 and about recently updated in February 2020.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.