Tech: How to migrate WhatsApp from iPhone to Android Samsung

October 01, 2017

So I just got a new Samsung Note 8 two days ago because I was sick of being an Apple prisoner. I was also swayed by a camera comparison video that I saw Supersaf do between the iPhone X (which was what I was waiting for) and the Note 8 which I saw had two 12mp cameras as well. Camera and video/photo function being my primary reason for choosing a phone (though my iPhone's Bluetooth and WiFi chip being half-spoilt is also a push factor).

My biggest worry when I was making the jump was the migration of data. How can I transfer my WhatsApp from my iPhone 6 over to my new Samsung Note 8 without spending a week figuring it out???

Everything else was simple. Contacts was backed on Google Drive, I was already using Google Calender and I backup all my iPhone photos regularly to my hard drive (no i dont believe in using the cloud). Music could be a bitch (though again you can retrieve from local drive) but i have long switched to streaming or downloaded music via my Spotify Premium. There's also a Samsung Smart Switch service (plug iphone cable to Samsung phone via an adapter) for all the above to be seamlessly transferred, including SMSes. All in all pain level 1/10.

However, what was really painful was WhatsApp. If you refuse to start from a blank slate, there is simply no way to transfer your chat history and media from iPhone to Samung natively because the backup on iPhone goes on iCloud or your iTunes (PC or Mac) but on Samsung/Android WhatsApp retrieves ONLY from Google Drive or locally. Pain level 10/10.

After much Googling and many dead ends to dodgy expensive software (that does not work or have bad reviews or look like a virus cesspool) I have come to the conclusion and acceptance that I have to pay a small fee of $4.49 S$7.99 to do the migration successfully via an app called the Wazzap Migrator. I was convinced it is legit also because the support level is really high by the creator of the app and the site doesn't look like a scam! Reviews on Google Play Store validated it too.

So to save my friends and everyone the pain I have experienced, here's the process I went through step by step and my how to guide to transfer WhatsApp chat history and media to Android from iPhone using a Mac:

1.  Backup your iPhone locally (not encrypted) on your PC/Mac via iTunes. This is rather important. I couldn't figure out how to extract the backup via iCloud so you need a computer for this.

2. For Mac/Windows users, download this iExplorer on your computer to extract the chat history and media files of the backup file on your com, following the instructions here. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you find the right files, looking at the screenshots in that link. You are to extract both the chat history file and the Media folder (which can be quite large).

3. If you are successful (only if you are), pay S$7.99 to download the Wazzap Migrator on your Samsung from the Play Store.

4. Download the free Android File Transfer software on you Mac to allow browsing and transfer of files between your Mac computer and Android. For Windows I think you might not require additional software.

3. Connect your Android to the computer via the USB-C and place the files you have downloaded from your iTunes backup extract to the Wazzap Migrator folder in your phone via the Android File Transfer app. Example here.

4. Install WhatsApp on your phone but do not open it or it will lock the chats from your iPhone after asking you to insert OTP via your phone number on your new phone.

5. Fire up the Wazzap Migrator app and it will show the iPhone archive if you have placed it in correctly. Press the play button. It will start to process the messages and could take some time (it does not run in background, just leave it plugged in and do your stuff. Make sure you have enough space).

6. The app will notify you when done. Disable Google Drive backup of WhatsApp if you have used an Android before your iPhone or WhatsApp will ask to restore from GDrive instead of local. I stumbled over this step. Refer to this link for more.

7. Download and sign in to WhatsApp by authenticating your phone number. WhatsApp should notify you of the local backup found and ask for permission to restore. Start restoring.

8. You might see all your chatgroups first with unread messages when you first go into the restored WhatsApp. That's ok, just exit groups or archive them! Rest should all be there! Yay! You can uninstall the Wazzap Migrator and go to Storage to clear unwanted files now to save space.

So there you go! I hope this is a clear enough guide. $8 is definitely a small price to pay for all your chat history to move with you. Even though I realised what if you want to transfer your WhatsApp history from Android to iPhone? Then how??? Haha the answer is don't....

P:S: Please don't ask me to help you troubleshoot ok. I can't help beyond my own experience... buy the app and then ask the owner of Wazzap!

PPS: Share this article if you think it might help others who are in the same boat!

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  1. Would transferring from Android to iphone have a similar procedure?

    1. Dear Jade, not really. You need a completely different app, from what I read it will be a desktop based software that's likely not free as well.

  2. Alexis this article just saved my life. I was so bummed out at the thought of losing years of chat history just to be free my iphone shackles! You are right, $4.99 is not a terrible cost for freedom. I will try this method now and update with my results...fingers crossed!

  3. Thank you for very clear instructions. Worked like a charm. Best money spent.

  4. thanks you ur info, I just get my note 8 few days ago and I'm following step by step and hopefully thats work

  5. Hey Alexis, thanks for this! I'm stuck at step 3. Android File Transfer can't seem to find my Note 8. Did you have this issue, and how did you work around it? Thanks!

    1. Managed to get it to work after repeated restarting / replugging of the phone and mac. Transfer was a success, thanks for this!! Immensely helpful

  6. Hi Alexis, did you also pay for using iBackup Viewer? It prompted me to upgrade to pro version at $39.90

    1. Hi Jessica, I was informed by another reader Alex that there's an alternative, iBackup is no longer free. Sorry - let me update the article and hope you found a solution!

  7. Thanks Alexis for sharing!
    This works well for me!

  8. hi Alexis, you could make a minor update to your post to feature this link instead: for iExplorer. The iBackup Viewer is no longer able to perform the steps with the free version. It requires an upgrade to Pro in order to extract the required files.

    Thanks for your steps though!


    1. Thanks for letting me know Alex! I'll update the article NOW!