How to Transfer Photos From iPhone to Android

Yes, you can keep your photos during the switch

While iOS users can easily share photos using the Apple Airdrop feature, sending images from an iPhone to an Android device used to be challenging. It's not anymore, since Google Photos is available on the App Store. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, it's an easy way to transfer images across both platforms.

Instructions in this article apply to any version of iOS and Android that can run the Google Photos app. Some of these directions use the desktop version of Google Photos, but it works the same no matter which browser you use.

How to Share Images With Google Photos

Most people only want to share a few images at a time with friends and family. Here's how:

  1. On your iPhone, open Google Photos.

  2. Tap and hold to select the photo you want to share.

    Once the image gets a blue checkmark in the upper-left corner, add others by tapping them.

  3. Tap the share button (the box with an arrow coming out of it).

    Selecting and sharing a photo in Google Photos
  4. Select the contact you want to send the images to.

  5. To send a message with the photos, type it in the Say something field.

  6. When you're ready to send the photos, tap Send.

    Sending a photo through Google Photos
  7. Your contact receives a notification on their Android device. Once they tap it, they see your shared photos and can choose to add them to their Google Photos library. They can also reply to your message and send photos.

How to Create a Shared Album in Google Photos

If you want to send many photos at once to someone with an Android device, and you want to receive some in return, create a Shared Album in Google Photos instead of a message.

  1. At the top of the screen, select Create.

    The Create button
  2. Select Shared album.

    The Shared Album heading
  3. In the Add a title field, give the album a name.

    The Add a Title field
  4. Choose Add photos.

    The Add Photos button
  5. To add a photo, select it at the upper-left corner of each photo. (Hover the mouse over the preview image to display a white checkmark in the upper-left corner of a photo.)

    The checkmark
  6. After you select the photos for your new album, select Done in the upper-right corner.

    The Done button
  7. To share the album, select Share.

    The Share link
  8. Start typing the name, phone number, or email address of the recipients of the shared folder. Select the contacts from the autofill options until you've included all recipients.

    Adding a person to share in Google Photos.
  9. Enter additional recipients by selecting + (the Plus sign). 

    The Plus button
  10. You can also Add a message at the bottom to your recipients' invitation.

    The Add Message field
  11. Select the Send button to share the album.

    The Send button

How to Designate a Partner for Google Photos

Google Photos lets you add a partner to your account. This person automatically receives certain photos, so you don't have to manually share them every single time. To add someone to a partner account in the app:

  1. Open Google Photos.

  2. Tap your user icon in the upper-right corner.

  3. Tap Photos Settings.

    Photos Settings in Google Photos
  4. Select Partner Sharing.

  5. On the next screen, choose Get Started.

  6. Select the contact's name from the list or type their email into the text field.

    Selecting a partner for Google Photos
  7. On the next screen, choose to grant access to All Photos or Photos of Specific People. Tap the switch next to Only show photos since this day to share images you capture after you invite your partner.

    If you choose the more specific option, choose which photo subjects to share on the next screen.

  8. Select Next.

  9. The final screen shows a summary of all of the choices you made, including the recipients and which photos you're sharing. Tap Send Invitation to finish.

    Sharing settings

Once confirmed, the Android user receives a notification to accept the invitation. After accepting, they can see the shared photos in their Google Photos menu.

To end partner sharing, go to the partner library on either device, and then select Menu > Settings. Open the Shared libraries section and select Remove partner > Confirm.

The Remove Partner command

To remove a partner from the Google Photos app, return to the Settings screen, tap Partner Sharing, and then select Remove Partner.

Removing a partner from the Google Photos app