How to share photos from iPhone to Android via Bluetooth?

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Guide showing iPhone to Android photo sharing via Bluetooth in a step-by-step process

Before transferring pictures, it’s essential to ensure both your iPhone and Android device are prepped and ready for the process. First, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth on both devices. On your iPhone, swipe up from the bottom to access the Control Centre, then tap the Bluetooth icon to switch it on. For Android, pull down the notification shade from the top, then tap the Bluetooth icon to make it active.

Once Bluetooth is enabled, the next step is to make your Android phone discoverable. Head to the Bluetooth settings on your android – typically found in the ‘Connections’ or ‘Network & Internet’ section of the ‘Settings’ app – and ensure your device’s visibility is turned on. Now, from your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Bluetooth’ and look for new devices. Your Android phone should appear in the list. Tap on it to initiate pairing. A pairing request with a code will appear on both devices; confirm that the codes match, then tap ‘Pair’ on both devices.

Here’s a quick rundown of the pairing process:

  1. Enable Bluetooth on both devices.
    • Swipe up or down to access Control Centre on iPhone and Notification shade on Android.
    • Tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it on.
  2. Make the Android device discoverable.
    • Go to Bluetooth settings and enable discoverability.
  3. Pair the devices.
    • Select your Android device from the list on your iPhone.
    • Confirm the pairing code and tap ‘Pair’ on both devices.
sharing photos from an iPhone to an Android using Bluetooth

Step-by-Step Guide to Sharing Photos via Bluetooth

With the devices paired, sharing options open up. Go to the Photos app on your iPhone and browse for the photos you wish to transfer. Once you’ve found them, tap ‘Select’ in the upper right corner, then choose the photos by tapping them. Click the share icon (a square with an arrow pointing up), and among the various sharing options, there might be ‘Bluetooth’ if you have a third-party app installed that allows for this. However, note that iOS does not support Bluetooth file transfer to non-Apple devices natively. Since this is a standard limitation, you might not see Bluetooth as an immediate option. In this case, you would need to use a third-party app that facilitates file transfer via Bluetooth.

  1. Enable Bluetooth on Both Devices: Navigate to the settings menu on both devices you wish to share photos between. Look for the Bluetooth settings and turn the Bluetooth on.
  2. Pair the Devices: On one of the devices, scan for available Bluetooth devices and select the other device from the list of available options. You may need to confirm the pairing on both devices, sometimes requiring a PIN or confirmation button.
  3. Open the Photo Gallery: On the device that has the photos you wish to share, open the photo gallery and select the photo or photos you want to send.
  4. Select Share Option: With the photos selected, look for a share icon or option within the app. Tap on it to bring up the share menu.
  5. Choose Bluetooth: From the list of sharing options, select Bluetooth. The device will then search for available paired devices.
  6. Select the Paired Device: From the list of paired devices, select the one you want to share the photos with. The receiving device may prompt for acceptance of the incoming files.
  7. Accept the Transfer on the Receiving Device: On the receiving device, accept the transfer. The photos will begin transferring from one device to the other.
  8. Check the Photos on the Receiving Device: Once the transfer is complete, navigate to the photo gallery or the designated receiving folder on the receiving device to view the shared photos.

Troubleshooting Common Bluetooth Sharing Issues

If your devices are paired but transferring pictures proves unsuccessful, there could be a few issues at play. First, ensure both devices are within Bluetooth’s effective range, which is typically about 30 feet, without significant obstacles between them. If distance isn’t the issue, make sure that both the iPhone and the new Android have compatible software and are updated to their latest versions.

It’s not uncommon to hit a snag where, despite following all the steps, your iPhone just can’t seem to send data wirelessly to your Android phone. Should you encounter such a problem, a fresh start might be necessary. Restart both the iPhone and Android device and try the pairing and transferring process again.

If restarting doesn’t do the trick, check for any third-party apps that might have been recently installed on either device—as these could interfere with Bluetooth communications. You could also consider whether there are other ways to move data that might be more straightforward or reliable under the circumstances, such as using airdrop with a compatible macOS device as a go-between, or employing cloud storage options.

sharing of iPhone photos to Android via Bluetooth

Alternatives to Bluetooth for Sharing Photos

When Bluetooth is not an option, or if you’re looking for a more straightforward approach, then click on other sharing options might be the route to go. Some popular alternatives include cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox, which allow you to upload photos from your iPhone and then download them on your Android. You could also use messaging apps to send pictures, though this might not always be practical for a large number of files due to potential size restrictions.

Using Cloud Services:

ServiceStep 1Step 2Step 3
Google DriveOpen app/tap ‘+’Select ‘Upload’Choose photos/files
DropboxTap ‘+’ on appTap ‘Create or Upload’Select ‘Upload Photos’

Alternatively, email services provide a simple way to send photos, although you will now have to deal with attachment size limits. Tap ‘Save’ or ‘Download’ from the email on your Android device to save the images to your gallery.

For users who prefer to keep the sharing process within the realms of their mobile devices, third-party apps available on both the App Store and Google Play Store could be a lifesaver. Applications like SHAREit or Send Anywhere facilitate cross-platform sharing without the need for a physical connection or the use of Bluetooth. They work by creating a direct Wi-Fi connection between devices, which often results in faster transfer speeds compared to traditional Bluetooth transfers. You simply need to install the app on both your iPhone and Android devices, then follow the app’s instructions for transferring files.

Another less conventional but equally viable option is to use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) app to move photos between devices. FTP apps require a bit more technical knowledge and setup but could also offer a reliable way to transfer files. However, this method does require both devices to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network and might have further technical nuances that could be intimidating for less tech-savvy users.

Lastly, don’t forget about the power of physical transfer methods. USB OTG (On-The-Go) capabilities on Android phones allow them to read data directly from external storage devices like USB sticks or SD cards. You might have to move your iPhone photos to a computer first, then to the external storage device, and finally plug that into your Android device.

the process of transferring photos from iPhone to Android Bluetooth


Transferring photos from an iPhone to an Android device might not be as seamless as sharing within the same ecosystem, but with the proper knowledge, it’s definitely manageable. Bluetooth isn’t natively supported for file sharing between iOS and Android, but there are third-party apps that can fill that gap. If Bluetooth doesn’t fit your needs, cloud services, messaging apps, and even physical transfer methods can act as reliable alternatives. Always keep your devices within range, ensure they have compatible software, and when in doubt, restarting can often clear up connection issues. With these tips in mind, moving photos from your iPhone to your new Android should be a breeze.


Q1: Why can’t I transfer photos from my iPhone to Android using Bluetooth natively?

A1: Apple’s iOS operating system does not support Bluetooth file transfer to non-Apple devices as a matter of maintaining security and ecosystem integrity. This means that without using a third-party app, iPhone users cannot directly send photos to Android devices via Bluetooth.

Q2: What should I do if my devices are paired over Bluetooth but the photos won’t transfer?

A2: If you’re experiencing issues with transferring photos despite successful pairing, try the following:

  1. Verify that both devices are within the effective range of Bluetooth (close to 30 feet).
  2. Restart both the iPhone and Android devices to reset the Bluetooth connection.
  3. Make sure that the software on both devices is up to date.
  4. Check if any installed apps may be interfering with the Bluetooth transfer and disable them temporarily.

Q3: Are there alternative apps that allow for Bluetooth transfers between iPhones and Android devices?

A3: Yes, there are third-party apps designed to facilitate file transfers between iPhones and Android devices over Bluetooth. However, these often work by creating a Wi-Fi direct connection rather than using traditional Bluetooth protocols. Examples include SHAREit and Send Anywhere.

Q4: What are some quick alternatives to Bluetooth for transferring lots of photos?

A4: For transferring a large number of photos quickly, consider the following alternatives:

  1. Use cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to upload and download files.
  2. Take advantage of Wi-Fi direct sharing apps for a fast and direct transfer.
  3. Transfer files via email, though you may need to contend with attachment size restrictions.

Q5: Can USB OTG be used to transfer photos from an iPhone to an Android?

A5: While you cannot directly connect an iPhone to an Android phone via USB OTG, you can use OTG with an Android device to read and transfer files from an external storage medium. To transfer photos using USB OTG, you would first move the photos from the iPhone to a computer, then onto a USB flash drive or SD card, and finally, use a compatible Android phone’s OTG function to read and move the data to the device.