A deep chasm runs between the universe of Apple’s smartphone operating system iOS and Google’s Android platform. Anyone who regularly exchanges data between devices from both worlds or even plans to switch systems will quickly feel the effects. We show you which WhatsApp data you can transfer from Android to iPhone and how.
Although WhatsApp is at home in both worlds, it is not easy to transfer data from an Android smartphone with the WhatsApp client installed to an iPhone with WhatsApp. This is because both systems store their content in different clouds that are not compatible with each other. In addition, there are many possible combinations of Android and iOS versions that cooperate differently, so in case of doubt you have to try different approaches for the data transfer. The best chances are as follows.
Transfer contacts, pictures and videos via Move to iOS
With the free Android app “Move to iOS” you can first of all transfer your contacts, pictures and videos from the Android device to the still empty, new iPhone. To do this, you need to download the corresponding app from the Google Play Store.
Now create a backup of your current chat history under WhatsApp in the Settings menu under “Chats | Chat backup” on your Android phone. Select the option “Including videos”.
Now set up your new iPhone, for which you need a WLAN. Important: The next steps will only work properly if the device is connected to the charging cable and a SIM card is inserted:
- While you go through all the steps of the initial device setup, tap “Transfer data from Android” on the “Apps & Data” screen.
- Then launch the “Transfer to iOS” app on the Android phone and tap “Continue” during the setup there
- Then tap “Next” at the top right of “Search code”.
- On the iPhone screen you will now see a numerical code that you have to enter on the Android device in order to pair both phones via WLAN. Sometimes the devices have problems to see each other, then you might have to repeat this step.
- Next, you can select which data should be transferred under Android. Now follow the further instructions on the screen. Depending on the volume of your data, this data transfer can take an hour or longer.
Create a new WhatsApp account
The next step is to download WhatsApp from Apple’s App Store and set it up on your new iPhone. At this point, WhatsApp will tell you that no account has been activated on the new device and ask you for your mobile number. Enter this number and confirm the entry.
Depending on whether the corresponding SIM card is currently inserted in the old or already in the new cell phone, the SMS with the WhatsApp activation code will land there. If the SMS is already in the new cell phone, the activation code is usually recognized directly by WhatsApp and entered in the corresponding window. With this, you have set up WhatsApp.
WhatsApp will try to extract your chat history from the data previously transferred from the Android phone during this new setup. Since this will probably not work, you will have to transfer the data separately via software interface.
WhatsApp from Android to iPhone: Transfer chat data
One possible way is to use an intermediate PC or Mac, two USB cables and the tool “Backuptrans Android WhatsApp to iPhone Transfer”. This software is available for both Windows and macOS. The free trial version is limited to copying up to 20 Whats-App chats – that should be enough for a basic test.
- After you have installed the program on your PC or Mac, you have to enable “USB debugging” on your Android device. This is necessary so that the program can temporarily download WhatsApp data from the depths of your phone’s memory.
- Activating “USB debugging” works as follows: Depending on the Android version, tap “System” in your phone’s settings menu, then “About phone” or “Phone info”. If you have an older Android version, you do not need to tap on “System”; you will see the sub-item “Phone info” directly in the first menu and tap on it.
- In the opened menu, look for the entry “Build number” or “Build number”. If you don’t see it directly in your Android version, first tap on “Software information”, then you should be able to see the build number. Now tap on this line as often as necessary until this message appears: “You are now a developer.”
- It can happen that the lock screen is activated in between. You have to deactivate it and then continue tapping on the build number. If the developer mode was already activated, you will read the message “Not necessary, developer mode has already been activated.” That is also okay.
- Now switch to the main menu “System” or its submenu “Advanced”, depending on the Android version. There you will find the “Developer options”. Here you have to activate the setting “USB Debugging”. Note: For the best possible protection of your phone, you should deactivate this function as soon as your WhatsApp data has been transferred from Android to the iPhone.
- In the next step, connect the previous Android phone and the new Apple phone to the PC or Mac on which you have installed “Backuptrans iPhone WhatsApp Transfer” using two USB cables at the same time. Now start the transfer program. Under the menu item “File” you will find the sub-item “Transfer Messages from Android to iPhone”. However, you can only see this item if both phones are connected via USB and USB debugging is enabled on the Android device. Otherwise this item is grayed out and you will see an error message.
Besides Backuptrans, there are other programs that you can use to transfer your WhatsApp data from Android to iPhone, for example MobileTrans from WonderShare or WhatsApp-Transfer from TenorShare.
WhatsApp from Android to iPhone: Soon much easier?
The good news at the end: Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp has announced that one of the next updates of the chat program will make it possible to transfer WhatsApp content across operating system boundaries. However, it is not yet known when the update will be released. Then you will probably be able to transfer a WhatsApp backup from Android to iPhone without any help.