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(Pocket-lint) - So you've decided to go for a shiny new Android phone and leave Apple behind. Good for you. But how can you successfully transfer over all your data from all your various apps? While there are plenty of tools available to do various parts of the switch over, including dedicated apps from the likes of Samsung and Huawei, you'll probably want to make sure you look after your WhatsApp chat history messages and attachments too.

While backing up your messages if you stay on iPhone or stay on Android is easy via the WhatsApp app, switching from iPhone to Android or vice versa isn't.

There are three main ways to transfer your chats, some straightforward, others not so much. Here we look at the three most popular choices.

Using dr.fone to transfer your WhatsApp data from iPhone to Android

When it comes to switching from iPhone to Android, there's one app that covers all your needs: Wondershare: dr.fone - Restore Social App.

The app allows you to transfer your chat history directly from one phone to another and can also be used to periodically back up messages, file attachments and chat histories from your phone to restore later or simply download to your computer.

After installing dr.fone - Restore Social App for Windows PC (Windows XP or later) or Mac (macOS 10.8 or later), launch the program and select "Restore Social App" from the main menu.

The tool will launch in its own separate window. Restore Social App offers tools for backing up and restoring messages, plus it supports transferring WhatsApp messages directly from one phone to another.

The trial version allows you to back up your phone's messages and content, plus preview them in the Restore Social App browser, but you'll need to purchase the full version to transfer messages and media from one phone to another, or to recover data from backups - whether to your new phone or your computer.

The full version of dr.fone - Restore Social App costs from as little as $19.95 for a personal 12-month license spanning up to five devices and one computer - a lifetime license is just $29.95, and family and business licenses are also available. You can purchase from within the program by clicking the shopping basket icon or by visiting the online shop.

Method 1: Transfer WhatsApp messages to a new phone

Follow these simple steps to transfer your WhatsApp data to a newly purchased phone or tablet:

  1. Plug in your phones and click "Transfer WhatsApp messages".
  2. After connecting your iPhone via USB, click "Trust" on it to allow Restore Social App to access the phone.
  3. Make sure your Android device is in USB Debugging mode; the app provides handy step-by-step instructions for a wide range of models and versions of Android (click "General USB Debugging Setting").
  4. Your old phone should be listed on the left, and your new phone - the one you're transferring the messages to - should be shown on the right. If this isn't the case, click the Flip button to switch them around.
  5. Once you're happy, click Transfer. You'll be warned that the process is destructive: you'll lose your new phone's chat history in favour the data currently on your old phone. If you're happy to proceed, click Yes.
  6. Follow any prompts given - you may, for example, be instructed to update WhatsApp to the latest version on your target phone. When done, click OK to continue followed by Retry.
  7. Once the transfer is complete, you should find your chat history has been successfully transferred, along with any file attachments.

Method 2: Use the back-up and restore function

If the process doesn't work, or you only want to transfer selected messages from an iPhone to your Android device, use dr.fone's back-up and restore tools instead:

  1. Click "Backup WhatsApp messages", select your phone and click Next.
  2. If necessary, follow any detailed step-by-step instructions provided by the dr.fone app, such as updating WhatsApp on your phone. A progress bar informs you how far things have gone.
  3. Once complete, your backup will be displayed in a list along with any other backups you subsequently take. Helpful information about each is displayed, such as the time and date it was made, plus which phone it originated from.
  4. From the main Restore Social App screen, click "Restore WhatsApp messages to Android device". The process is destructive, which means any conversations already on the phone will be replaced by the data you restore.
  5. A list of available backups will be shown - to restore an entire backup, simply select it and click Next.
  6. The restoration process is like a phone-to-phone transfer in that restoring a backup wipes any existing WhatsApp data on your phone. If you're still happy to proceed, click the Restore button.
  7. Follow any instructions - you may be asked to enter your Google account email if you've connected it to WhatsApp on your new phone, for example - and wait for the transfer to complete. Once done, follow any additional instructions provided to complete the restoration process.

Exporting your chats to yourself

There are other ways to export your WhatsApp chats on your phone. Some are very basic, others interesting work arounds, but all involve a bit of hassle to some degree.

Exporting your WhatsApp chats from iPhone to Android using email

One way, which isn't great, but means you at least have a record, is to email yourself your chats. You won't be able to import them back into WhatsApp, but at least you'll have a record of it. Do to this go to the chat in question, tap on the name of the person or group, and then scroll down to "Export Chats".

From here you can then opt to send the backup via email. The email will come through as a zip file for you to unzip.

The chats will be all in one big text file, for you to read again or search if you need to find something relevant.

You can't import them back into WhatsApp on your new phone.

Backing up your WhatsApp chats from iPhone to Android using Dropbox or Google Drive

You basically follow the same process as above as you would exporting to email, but choose the cloud storage service you want.

To to this go to the chat in question, tap on the name of the person or group at the top of the page, and then scroll down to "Export Chats".

As before you get to decide whether or not to also download the accompanying media files, although it's worth noting that by doing so could increase the time it takes to export the backup.

Once you've tapped on "Save" your files will be backed up to the cloud storage space you chose and saved as a zip.