WhatsApp finally makes moving from Android to iOS less painful

In case that was preventing you from making the switch.

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Cherlynn Low
June 14, 2022 1:00 PM
SPAIN - 2022/04/25: In this photo illustration, a WhatsApp logo seen displayed on a smartphone on top of a computer keyboard. (Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images via Getty Images

If the thought of losing your tremendous trove of WhatsApp chat histories, files and other data has been keeping you from making the jump to iOS, you'll no longer have to worry. Today, the app is adding a feature to help you move your content over, and it'll be part of Apple's existing "Move to iOS" tool. To be clear, WhatsApp's feature is available as a beta for now, so you may encounter bugs during the transfer process.

To port your files over, you'll want to pay attention to the Apps and Data transfer page while setting up your iPhone. After you select the "Move data from Android" option, your new iPhone will look for the Move to iOS app on your older device and create a peer-to-peer connection. Here, you can choose what apps, files, contacts and more to bring over to your iPhone, and starting today the option for WhatsApp will join that list. 

When you select WhatsApp, it will open automatically and prompt you to give permission to move your data over. Depending on the amount of content you have, it'll take awhile to package everything up to transfer to your iPhone. Apple will also pre-load the WhatsApp icon on your home page so you can just tap it to finish installing it on your new iPhone, instead of having to go through the App Store. 

You'll need to authenticate in WhatsApp when you first open it in iOS before the data is decrypted, but once that's done you should see all your chats safely transferred to their new home. Once the migration is completed, you can also choose to back your WhatsApp chats to iCloud Drive to make upgrading to new iPhones easier.

The Move to iOS process will also look at the apps on your Android phone and see if they exist on Apple's App Store. If they do, the icons will appear on your new iPhone's home screen and you can tap them to finish downloading . This feature works for those using Android 5 and later, as well as iOS 15.5 onwards. 

Prior to this, WhatsApp users making the move from Android to iOS had to give up their chat histories (or find extremely convoluted ways to port their data over). Though this process still requires numerous steps, it at least offers those switching platforms a built-in method of transfer. Those who already made the move before today will unfortunately not be able to make use of this tool.

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