The time has come. Your Android device has reached the end of its contract (or its life!) and you have the opportunity to buy a new phone. People are suggesting iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S6 handsets, but what you have really got your eye on is a new Windows mobile device, perhaps a Lumia.
But there’s a problem. Your Android handset is loaded with personal data, music, photos, videos, documents, contacts, emails, and even text messages. How on earth are you going to be able to migrate this data from Android to your new Windows mobile device?
Actually, it’s quite simple.
The Switch to Windows Phone App
Soon-to-be-ex Android users who are moving to Windows Phone can use a pair of partner apps–one on each platform–to migrate their data.
Begin by installing Switch to Windows Phone from Android’s Google Play store and then in the Windows Phone Store find and install Transfer my Data.
Transferring data with these two apps covers all bases: contacts, text messages, photos, videos, and music are all transferred from the Android phone to the new Windows Phone handset.
Transfer Data from Android with the Windows Phone App
Android users migrating to the Windows Phone ecosystem from Android have two paths using the Microsoft app. If the Windows Phone is already set up, you should use the Wi-Fi option; the OneDrive option is for creating a new Windows Phone profile before you’ve purchased and set up the new device.
You’ll have to make this choice once you install the app on Android and run it. Choose the appropriate option, and agree to the EULA.
If you selected the Wi-Fi transfer route, you’ll be prompted to install the Windows Phone partner app, then click Next. A private network will be established on your Android phone, and the app will display a password that you should input on your Windows Phone. On the Windows handset, open Settings > WiFi and tap the wireless LAN name that matches the one displayed on your Android device, and enter the password.
Following this you will receive a series of notifications on your Android handset requesting permission for the Winmdows Phone to access your contacts, messages, etc. Agree to all of these, and wait while they are listed on the Windows Phone device–look out for the preview that displays how long the transfer should take. Then, select those you wish to transfer and tap Start.
You can rest now. Once your data is copied across, you can put your Android device down, perhaps even reset to factory settings and enjoy life with your Windows Phone.
(Note that if for some reason Wi-Fi doesn’t work, you can still connect the two phones via Bluetooth, by making one discoverable, and searching with the other; Bluetooth pairing in Windows Phone is just as simple as it is in Android. With this option, however, only contacts and SMS messages can be transferred.)
Migrate Data to a Windows 10 Mobile Handset
So that’s data transferring from Android to Windows Phone 8.1 all sewed up. But what if you have upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, or are running the preview version?
Fortunately, the Transfer my Data app is also compatible with Windows 10 Mobile, so you can use the same steps above to transfer your Android-based data across.
Meanwhile, if you’re using iOS, BlackBerry, or Symbian, Transfer my Data can also be used to copy across SMS messages and contact data via Bluetooth, making the transition from all other mobile platforms almost seamless.
What about Videos, Pictures, and Music?
Using the Bluetooth method to transfer SMS history and contacts? You’ll need something else to migrate your all-important photos, music, and videos.
If you want to transfer your files wirelessly, you can do this with the Easy Transfer Windows Phone app. Note that this doesn’t use the standard device-to-device Wi-Fi direct transfer type, however. Instead, it routes via a remote server, so if you have privacy conerns about this non-Microsoft app, then opt for one of the alternative transfer methods.
The best option is using a USB cable to transfer data from Android to your PC, and then from your computer to your new Windows Phone.
However, if a USB cable is not available (Windows Phone and Android devices all use the same USB connector), and you can’t set up a wireless connection between the phones, OneDrive is your next best option as the app is native to Windows Phone and there is a very good Android client.
With 15 GB of storage, you should have enough space to manage transferring the contents of your Android device, but make sure you have switched to Wi-Fi and have your device on charge. Open the app after installation and you’ll see you have the option to upload photos and videos from your Android device, which you can enable by clicking OK. Note that if you already use OneDrive, or have skipped this option, you can enable it in Settings > Camera upload.
To sync your MP3 files, things are a little stickier. The best option is to simply wait until you have a USB cable and manually sync to and from a PC, as OneDrive on Android doesn’t support MP3 uploads. Other solutions like Dropbox are good options, but MP3s don’t sync into the correct location for playback on Windows Phone.
Have you migrated to Windows Phone from Android? Do you plan to, or has anything put you off making the change? Tell us about it in the comments.
Image Credits: Micro USB cable By fotoknips via Shutterstock.com