So, you’ve decided to finally ditch Windows’ Live Tiles and join the growing ranks of Apple aficionados, huh? It’s not particularly surprising given the robustness of the App Store, the beautiful build of the iPhone, and the laudable hallmarks of the company’s latest mobile operating system. However, though switching from a Windows Phone to an iPhone can a momentous day for any smartphone user, it’s also one that doesn’t come without its fair share of hurdles. You’ve surely amassed a vast swath of important contacts, precious photos, and essential tunes regardless of how long you’ve been tethered to the Windows ecosystem, much of which won’t make the transfer without a little preparation and action on your part. We understand the bevy of questions running through your head. What’s going to happen to all my contacts? Is there a way to transfer all the memories I’ve captured in photos to my new device? Will I have to download all my music again?
Fortunately, our step-by-step instructions on how to switch to Apple’s signature device provide all the answers. Whether you splurged for the latest-and-greatest iPhone 6 or opted for a last generation iPhone 5 or 5s, you’ll find transitioning a breeze given the directions below. Too bad you’ll still have to repurchase all those apps in the process.
Related: Everything we know about the iPhone 6.
Step 1: Backing up your Windows Phone data
If you want to avoid a complete restart in terms of your contacts, it’s wise to back up all your phone numbers before making the switch to your new iPhone. If you’ve set it up correctly, your Windows Phone should automatically sync most of your phone’s data — including contacts — with Microsoft’s cloud services. If your phone wasn’t set up to sync your data, simply upload your contacts, calendar, and mail client via OneDrive or store them in your Windows Live account.
Once you activate your iPhone, navigate to the main Settings menu, select Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and tap the Add Account option at the bottom of the Accounts list. Afterward, select Outlook.com from the resulting list of options and enter your Windows Live login credentials to set up your account. Your iPhone should automatically sync the data you’ve previously backed up once you activate the account, but not, click the newly-created Windows Live account and make sure the sliders are active next to the appropriate data you wish to sync.
Step 2: Transfering your photos and music
Much like backing up your contact data, it’s always a good idea to transfer your photos and music files if you wish to use them on your new device. Cloud services such as OneDrive and Dropbox present a simple solution for uploading and downloading your photos and music files, both of which are accessible on Windows smartphones and iOS devices.
If using OneDrive, simply launch the app on your Windows device and tap the More button in the upper-right corner. Then select Add Items and choose the files you wish to upload. The Dropbox app for Windows phones works in a similar, allowing you to add individual files using the Upload option housed in the bottom-right corner of the app. After activating your iPhone, you can then download either app for iOS and log in with your credentials to download the contents.
Furthermore, it’s also possible to manually transfers photos and music using a Mac computer and the Windows Phone application. If you decide to go this route, first download the Windows Phone application from the Mac App Store and plug in your Windows Phone via a USB cable before launching the application. Then, select Browse Device, choose which files you want to copy, and click Import Selected Items to transfer the files to your computer’s desktop. Once the transfer is complete, upload the files to iTunes and the files should automatically sync with your device next time you plug your iPhone in to your Mac.
Depending on where you buy your iPhone, you may also have the opportunity to transfer your contacts, photos, and other information while purchasing your device. Just ask the store associate if they offer a transfer service before finishing your transaction and activating your new iPhone.