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Using a Windows Phone but want to make the jump to Android? Despite what you might think, it is surprisingly easy to migrate your contacts and documents across.

In November 2013, after 3 years using (and passionately supporting!) Windows Phone, I decided that the time had come to switch to Android. Largely for productive reasons, I found that my Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 920 Review & Giveaway Nokia Lumia 920 Review & Giveaway A couple of weeks ago, Nokia introduced two new devices to the world: the Nokia Lumia 925 and the Nokia Lumia 928. The top notch of Windows Phone 8 devices, these two smartphones will only... Read More wasn’t quite working as well as I had hoped, beyond being a superb camera. Windows Phone 8’s shortcomings This Is What’s Missing From Windows Phone 8 This Is What’s Missing From Windows Phone 8 Are you thinking about getting a Windows Phone 8? Although touted a next generation platform by Microsoft, Windows Phone 8 is missing several features considered standard by its competitors. Can you do without them? Read More didn’t help either…

Happily, switching to Android was nowhere as painful as I had expected, mainly due to the fact that the apps and services I rely on are available for the little green robot. If you’re planning on making the switch, the steps below should make it as painless as possible for you to maintain your contacts and documents while enjoying the Android experience.

What Data Do You Need To Migrate?

Which apps do you use on Windows Phone? You might use a few Microsoft apps such as OneNote or the rest of the Microsoft Office Mobile suite, or you might use your Windows Phone almost purely for social networking Why I Don’t Need Social Networking Apps on Windows Phone Why I Don’t Need Social Networking Apps on Windows Phone I recently reviewed Rowi, the Windows Phone Twitter app, for these very pages. Rowi has pretty much decimated the opposition in terms of quality and stability, and has become probably more popular than the official... Read More .

Switching to Android will mean migrating your contacts from Windows Phone. If you’re using Microsoft Office, then you will also need to be able to access any documents that you have created.

For the best results, you should use the Outlook.com app and the SkyDrive app for Android (both linked below) to migrate data and ensure that you can access the required documents. Once you’ve done this, you can turn your attention to other things, such as installing Office Mobile or OneNote.

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Best of all, because you’ve previously accessed all of these services using a single account, you can continue using them in exactly the same way, making your switchover to Android far less painful than it might be.

Use Outlook.com To Migrate Contacts To Android

When setting up email accounts on Android, you have the choice of providers including Gmail, Microsoft Exchange and Yahoo!, along with other POP3 or IMAP servers. If you’re migrating contacts from Windows Phone, however, you’re probably best advised to install the Outlook.com app from the Play Store.

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In order to use Outlook to sync your contacts to Android, you’ll need to ensure that all of your Windows Phone contacts are saved to your Microsoft account. This should happen by default, but to check, open www.outlook.com in your browser and compare the data in the People view with what you have on your Windows Phone. If you use Windows 8, just open the People app and check there. If you’re happy, proceed; any missing contacts should be added, before syncing, just in case.

Once Outlook.com is installed on Android, you’ll need to launch the app and enter your Microsoft account credentials. You will then be prompted to set a nickname for the account (as well as a few other email-related settings). Click Next to proceed, where you will have the opportunity to Sync contacts and Sync calendar, both of which are selected by default.

Over the next few moments, your Outlook.com account will be synced, and a check in your Android address book will reveal an almost identical collection.

Remember that Windows Phone uses Facebook accounts for populating your contacts. As such this information will be copied over to your Android device – stuff like date of birth, some phone numbers and email and the profile photo. Also, don’t forget that you may also have contacts stored on your Gmail account, which you should also set up.

Syncing Microsoft Office and OneNote Documents

One of the key strengths of Windows Phone (until recently) was the exclusive availability of the mobile version of Microsoft Office Mobile Working with Windows Phone - Microsoft Office Mobile 2013 Mobile Working with Windows Phone - Microsoft Office Mobile 2013 Since its initial release in 2010, Windows Phone has generally had a reputation as the "other". Neither iOS nor Android but something else entirely, its curious and fast user interface has led to it experiencing... Read More , and now that this is also available on Android, so too will your documents – assuming you have an Office 365 subscription.

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If so, all you need to do is Office 365 for Android and sign in. Once you’ve done this you will see a collection of your recently accessed Microsoft Office documents.

Without an Office 365 subscription you can’t access the service (although you can open view-only documents sent to you by email), but OneNote is available free. If you’ve used this excellent note-taking app on Windows Phone, installing it on Android will allow access to all of your previously created notes, providing they have been synced to your SkyDrive.

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Before starting, open OneNote on your Windows Phone, enabling it to sync over your mobile Internet or wireless connection.

Next, install Microsoft OneNote for Android, signing in with your Microsoft account credentials.

After a few moments, OneNote will sync, and is as easy to use as it is on Windows Phone – or even easier still, thanks to a collection of useful widgets.

Reconnecting With Your Photos

Nokia’s popular line of Lumia Windows Phones are equipped with market-beating cameras. As such, you may have a huge library of photos uploaded to your SkyDrive. Can these be accessed and even added to on an Android phone?

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You’ll need the SkyDrive app for Android to get started, available free from the Play Store.

After signing in, SkyDrive will display all of your files and folders, much as it does on Windows Phone.

However, unlike Dropbox on Android and SkyDrive on Windows Phone, you cannot set your photos to automatically upload to the Microsoft-provided storage. Any syncing must be done manually if you want to continue using SkyDrive on Android, with the hope that a future update might resolve this. Alternatively, you could install SkyDrive Auto Upload, one of our favorite photo upload apps 5 Tools To Sync & Auto-Upload Photos From Android To Cloud Storage 5 Tools To Sync & Auto-Upload Photos From Android To Cloud Storage Nothing is more convenient than taking a photo on your phone and automatically having it be backed up to the cloud. Read More , to get this functionality right now.

Migrating From Windows Phone To Android Is Easy!

I’d known for a few months that I was going to switch to Android: to be honest I had put if off for a while as I’d feared the endless hours spent syncing data and making sure my contacts were copied across, all my photos and documents were accessible.

There was genuinely no need to worry. Within 30 minutes of taking my new Android phone out of the box, my old Microsoft life had been synced.

Planning to switch to Android from Windows Phone, don’t be afraid – do it, and tell us all about it.

  1. Can
    January 20, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Hey there,

    I have also recently switched from Lumia 920 to and Android device (Xperia Z5 to be exact). I have managed to transfer my contacts, however I have never been prompted to choose what to sync, so I could not transfer my Outlook calendar to my Google Calendar. Where have I done wrong do you reckon?

    Thank you for your time,
    Can

    • Christian Cawley
      January 20, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Can

      There's not much you can do for syncing, not even with the Xperia Sync tool, when going from WP to the Xperia.

      I would recommend installing the Outlook app on Android so you have access and full control over that calendar.

  2. Melanie
    May 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Can apps be synced too?
    Like the scoreline of a game?
    from wp to android

  3. Howard
    April 16, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Most of my contacts are in a corporate Exchange (Outlook) environment, and not in Live/Hotmail/Outlook.com - is there any way to sync those over? I don't see any options in the Outlook Preview app or Contacts app.
    Looks like I can manually create a VCF file and import in, but would rather have an automated way for future updates.
    Any comments/suggestions are welcome!

  4. Andrew Carney
    January 19, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Awesome! You have saved me a lot of heart ache

    • Christian Cawley
      January 26, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Glad to read that. That's why many of us write at MakeUseOf, to share our experiences and make life easier for others.

  5. Ron
    May 19, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Thnx for sharing this. I have a Nokia Lumia 920 and within a couple of days I'm getting me a HTC One X. Windows Phone didn't gave me the joy I expected.

  6. prashanth
    April 17, 2014 at 4:36 am

    well u didn mention how to get the old sms backed up in cloud to android. kindly update if u know. thanks

  7. Russell Smith
    December 30, 2013 at 9:20 am

    It is possible but need to careful with synchronization issues to avoid any kind of duplicate items.

    Regards:
    Russell

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