I would like to transfer text messages and contacts from an Android phone to an iPhone, but:

  • No jailbreaking
  • No online services (including iCloud or Google)
  • No third party apps (at least not GUI-based ones; terminal-based ones may be OK!)

I have at my disposal:

  • A Mac with iTunes
  • USB cables
  • Decent proficiency with Unix, SQLite, etc.
  • Official tools from Apple or Google (including subsidiaries such as Samsung).

Is this possible with the given limitations?

2 Answers 2


Apple publishes an app on the google play store that you could download to the android and then try running the transfer from a network that has nointernet connection to be sure it’s not using cloud based transfer.

I suppose that’s third party software from Android point of view but it seems pretty first party of you are ok with macOS and iOS. In fact, one of the troubleshooting steps is to disable cellular network which makes me think it uses local network discovery and intentionally doesn’t want your data going anywhere except from one Android device to one iOS device. (That also follows Apple’s long time design to never send data out when you can keep it local.)

If you have closed WiFi, use that and you don’t need the Mac. The only case I see needing Mac in this scenario is if you want to use the WiFi hardware to make a local network for both mobile devices to talk to each other.

  • Note to anyone trying this app: I fumbled a bit with the pass codes, and ended up having to delete the iPhone to start over the setup process completely, because it refused to give up more codes (without giving any explanation for this).
    – forthrin
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 10:24

Apple's 'Move to iOS' app requires WLAN connection between Android and iOS devices, so there should be no issues with the transfer in your scenario as I understand. Did a transfer through this way last week, everything seems to work OK so far.

p.s. Wanted to add this as a comment to bmike's answer but not enough reputation.

  • Great answer. You can certainly edit this into my answer to say authoritatively that it works without internet routing or access (once the google play app is installed first, of course)
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 23:20
  • "Move to iOS" does not transfer all of your text messages to the iPhone if you are copying from a Samsung S9. I got most of the text messages others sent to me copied over, but most of the messages that I sent to other people on my Samsung did not copy to an iPhone 12. I tried everything. Just doesn't work. (Yes, I added 'allow' to all options for "Move to iOS" on the Samsung.)
    – James L.
    Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 4:56

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