WhatsApp makes it easier to transfer chats from iPhones - starting with Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3

Transfer WhatsApp data from an iPhone to a Samsung Android device
(Image credit: WhatsApp)

WhatsApp and Samsung have announced that it’s about to get a whole lot easier in transferring your chats from one smartphone to another, starting with the Z Fold 3 and the Flip 3.

At the Samsung Unpacked event, it was announced that you will be able to transfer your entire chats from your WhatsApp account on your iPhone - that’s photos, group chats, voice notes, all to Samsung’s newest foldable smartphones first, with other Android devices to come.

Transferring your content from your old smartphone to a new one has always been a challenge, and while both Android and iOS have offered tools to do this, apps with encrypted content added another challenge in making sure your content was transferred correctly and securely. This is especially true if you were moving from an iPhone to an Android device (or vice versa). With this new feature from WhatsApp, it looks to be much easier now, albeit only on Samsung phones to begin with.

One galaxy to another

Having had experience in a past job of helping users transfer their content from one old smartphone to a brand new one across iPhone and Android devices, WhatsApp was one of the big priorities for customers at retail in making sure that their chats transferred across. But the method to achieve it usually took longer than what was expected, with some content simply refusing to transfer over.

However,  now it will be much easier to transfer your WhatsApp content across different smartphones. Users will be able to move their WhatsApp chat history to Samsung phones first, starting with the new Samsung Galaxy foldables. Other users who have a Samsung device that runs Android 10 and above will also be able to use this feature in the coming weeks.

“Your WhatsApp messages belong to you. That's why they are stored on your phone by default, and not accessible in the cloud like many other messaging services,” explains Sandeep Paruchuri, product manager at WhatsApp. “We’re excited for the first time to make it easy for people to securely transfer their WhatsApp history from one operating system to another. This has been one of our most requested features from users for years and we worked together with operating systems and device manufacturers to solve it.”

Analysis: moving your data is finally an easier affair

Having been asked repeatedly about whether WhatsApp content could be transferred, it was a request that I would hear all the time when customers would upgrade to a newer device, and understandably so.

The methods I would use would take an hour at least, and 2 hours at worst, depending on how much content there was to transfer. However, we’re finally at a point where encrypted data from WhatsApp can be transferred from one operating system to another, relieving that anxiety in making sure the same chats and photos carry over.

"If you’re upgrading to a Foldable, Smart Switch makes it easy to keep your apps and memories you’re used to. And now, that includes your messages.” Samsung explained at the event. “For the first time on any Android smartphone, you can now securely transfer your entire WhatsApp experience - including your ongoing conversations and photos – from your old iPhone to your new Galaxy phone.”

With users now safe in the knowledge that they can easily transfer their WhatsApp content over to their new Samsung foldables, other users will now be waiting for this feature to arrive for iOS, with the company confirming that it’s going to be available very soon - perhaps for the rumored iPhone 13 launch on the horizon.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.