How to Fix It When 'Move to iOS' Isn't Working

Network issues or storage space are the usual culprits

Apple's Move to iOS app makes moving all of your data from Android to iPhone easy and complete, but sometimes the app doesn't work. This article explains how to solve it when Move to iOS isn't working.

Why Is the Move to iOS App Not Working? 

There are lots of reasons for the Move to iOS process to not be working as expected. Some of the most common are:

  • Network issues: If both devices aren't connected to the same Wi-Fi network, or activity on your Wi-Fi interferes with the data transfer from Android to iPhone, Move to iOS can have problems.
  • Storage issues: Switching from one phone to another involves moving a ton of data. If you're trying to move more data than your new iPhone has storage space for, Move to iOS won't work.
  • Transfer interruption: There are lots of things that can interrupt Move to iOS's data transfer: phone calls, devices going to sleep, automatic updates, etc.

How to Fix It When Move to iOS Isn't Working

If Move to iOS isn't working, try these steps—in this order—to solve your problems and move your data from your old Android to your new iPhone.

  1. Plug in both phones. Transferring this much data takes a long time and drains battery. If either phone runs out of battery, Move to iOS won't complete the transfer. So, make sure both phone are fully charged or, even better, plug them both in before you start.

  2. Update to the latest OS. It's always smart to update both phones to the latest operating system before starting. That can help fix bugs and ensure you meet the Move to iOS requirements. Here are tips for updating Android OS and installing an iOS update.

    If you want to transfer Chrome bookmarks, make sure you're running the latest version of the Chrome app, too.

  3. Move to iOS only works properly when both phones are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Before you start a transfer, check your connections (on iPhone, Settings > Wi-Fi; on Android, Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi) and connect to the same Wi-Fi network.

  4. Make sure your iPhone has enough storage space. Transferring your data means moving a lot of files that can take up a ton of space. If your iPhone doesn't have enough storage for all of your Android data—data stored on both the phone and SD card—Move to iOS won't work.

    You should know how much total storage your new iPhone has (if not, check the iPhone's box). Assume iOS reduces your available storage by 5-10GB.

    Before starting the transfer, Move to iOS will tell you how much data it's going to move. If your iPhone doesn't have enough space, transfer less data or delete data from your Android.

  5. Keep Move to iOS open. Once you begin the transfer, Move to iOS needs to stay onscreen on both phones until it finishes. This means you can't use other apps or take phone calls. So, leave both devices alone until the transfer is done and consider putting the Android into airplane mode and then reconnecting to Wi-Fi before you start the transfer (Settings > Connections > Airplane Mode and then Wi-Fi to reconnect). This will prevent phone calls.

  6. Disable network-intensive Android apps. Some Android apps optimize or otherwise impact the network performance of your phone (such as Smart Network Switch and Sprint Connections Optimizer). Those can be great in day-to-day use, but they cause real problems for Move to iOS. Disable or delete those apps before starting your transfer.

  7. Remove unneeded Wi-Fi networks. If Move to iOS still isn't working, try removing all Wi-Fi networks from your Android except the one that the iPhone is connected to. To do this, go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi. Then tap and hold on the networks you want to remove and tap Forget (on some versions of Android, you may need to tap a gear icon first).

  8. Restart both phones. If your transfer won't start or won't complete, try the age-old solution to tech problems: restart! Restart the Android phone and restart the iPhone and then retry Move to iOS.

  9. Reset your iPhone and start again. If Move to iOS got partway through the transfer before the process was interrupted or failed, you may find it hard to resume. This could be because you've got partial data hanging around on the iPhone that's confusing the transfer process. In that case, you'll need to reset the iPhone to factory settings and start set up from scratch.

  10. Contact Apple for support. Nothing worked so far? You've probably taken things as far as you can go on your own. It's time to bring in the experts. You can get support from Apple online or by making an appointment for help at your closest Apple Store.

Move to iOS isn't the only way to get data from Android to iPhone. There are all kinds of other ways to move your data, including ways to transfer contacts, a tool to move WhatsApp messages, and tips on what content can move from Android to iPhone.

  • How long does Move to iOS take?

    Depending on how much content you have on your iPhone, Move to iOS usually takes about 10-30 minutes.

  • How do I fix it when my iPhone won't connect to my computer?

    If your iPhone won't connect to your computer, check the cable and make sure to 'Trust' your computer. If you're still having trouble, restart both devices and update iTunes, the operating system, and your driver software.

  • How do I fix it when my iPhone won't connect to Wi-Fi?

    If your iPhone won't connect to Wi-Fi, make sure Wi-Fi is on, turn off Airplane Mode, and check the Wi-Fi password. If you still have problems, restart your iPhone, check for iOS updates, and reset your iPhone network settings.

  • How do I move my iOS files to an external hard drive?

    To back up your iPhone to an external hard drive, go to Finder > Locations > your iPhone > Manage Backups. Choose a backup and select Show in Finder. In Finder, drag the backup to the external drive in Locations.

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