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Android to iOS WhatsApp data transfers are now much easier

Android to iOS WhatsApp data transfer
(Image credit: Pexels / Torsten Dettlaff)

As of today, Android to iOS WhatsApp data transfer is not going to be the biggest problem in the overall transfer process. 

The Cupertino tech giant and one of the world's most popular encrypted messaging platforms, which also happens to be owned by Meta, partnered up to smooth the path from Android to iOS, at least for your previous WhatsApp conversations and activities on Android.

On Tuesday, the pair introduced an addition to Apple's "Move to iOS" app in the Google Play store on Android. The app is far from new. In fact, thousands of people use it to switch platforms every year. The core benefits of it are that it creates a peer-to-peer connection between your Android device and your new iPhone and then copies over all your key data (photos, messages, Contacts, Calendar) and puts all of it in the right places on the iPhone.

This update recognises if you have a WhatsApp app and account on your Android phone and then offers to package up the data and transfer it over to your new iPhone.

Move to iOS does not decrypt your encrypted WhatsApp messages. Instead, it's all copied in an encrypted bundle that, while sitting in the right place on your iPhone, does not open on the device without action from you.

How to transfer WhatsApp from Android to iOS

  1. Open the Move to iOS app on your Android phone and follow the on-screen prompts. 
  2. A code will be displayed on your iPhone. When prompted, enter the code on your Android phone. 
  3. Tap Continue and follow the on-screen prompts. 
  4. Select WhatsApp on the Transfer Data screen. 
  5. Tap START on your Android phone, and wait for WhatsApp to prepare the data for export. You’ll be signed out from your Android phone once the data is prepared. 
  6. Tap NEXT to return to the Move to iOS app. 
  7. Tap CONTINUE to transfer the data from your Android phone to your iPhone and wait for Move to iOS to confirm the  transfer is complete. 
  8. Install the latest version of WhatsApp from the App Store. 
  9. Open WhatsApp and log in using the same phone number used on your old device. 
  10. Tap Start when prompted, and allow the process to complete.
  11.  Finish activating your new device and you’ll see your chats waiting for you. 

How to switch from Android to iOS

(Image credit: Future)

Things to know before you transfer WhatsApp from Android to iOS

Before you attempt to transfer your data from your Android phone to your iPhone, here are the things you need to check or update. 

On your Android device, check the following:

● Android OS Lollipop, SDK 21 or above, or Android 5 or above installed on your Android device 

●  Move to iOS app installed on your Android phone 

●  WhatsApp Android version or above on your old device 

On your iPhone, check the following:

●  iOS 15.5 or above installed on your iPhone 

●  WhatsApp iOS version or above on your new device 

●  Use the same phone number as your old phone on your new device 

●  Your iPhone must be factory new or reset to factory settings to pair with the Move to iOS app and move data from your Android phone 

On both devices, check the following:

●  Both of your devices must be connected to a power source 

●  Both of your devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network or you’ll need to connect your Android device to your iPhone’s hotspot 

While WhatsApp is just one of many apps on your Android phone, billions of people use it (opens in new tab). If even just a small fraction of them want to switch platforms, this Move to iOS and WhatsApp update is a huge deal.

If you also want to switch from WhatsApp to a new encrypted messaging app, here is a list of the best encrypted instant messaging apps for Android, most of which also have iOS versions as well. Whether you can easily transfer your encrypted data from an Android phone to a new iPhone varies from app to app, however.

If you want to switch from iOS to Android, Google has you covered, though there is currently no WhatsApp assistance.

Daanesh Kalyaniwalla
Daanesh Kalyaniwalla

Daanesh Kalyaniwalla is the Executive Editor at Techradar Middle East and is a consumer tech journalist, based in the UAE, who has spent almost a decade in the industry covering events, writing reviews and creating a whole load of content relating to everything from smartphones and laptops, to headphones and tablets, to air purifiers and robot vacuums and so much more. If you're looking to figure out what product is perfect for you, he's probably going to be the one to set you on the right path.

With contributions from