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How to transfer your iCloud Drive files to Google Drive

Google Drive Hero
Google Drive Hero (Image credit: Android Central)

If you're making the switch from iPhone to Android, then you'll likely want to take advantage of Google Drive and all the other Google Apps. That means you'll need to transfer your iCloud Drive files to Google Drive.

This can get a bit tricky, since Apple really doesn't want to see you go, but if you use the iCloud Drive and Google Drive desktop apps, it's easy.

You can do it without the desktop apps, but it's a bit of a pain.

How to transfer iCloud Drive files to Google Drive using the desktop apps

If you don't have the Google Drive app for Mac or PC, you'll need to download it before getting started. When you download it for Mac, a Finder shortcut will automatically be created under Favorites. When you download it for PC, you'll be asked if you want to create a shortcut in the File Explorer. Do it.

If you're on a Mac, you automatically have iCloud Drive. If you're on a PC, you'll need to download the iCloud Drive app (opens in new tab) before getting started.

  1. Open two Finder windows if you're on Mac or File Explorer windows if you're on PC.
  2. Click iCloud Drive in the left bar in one window.
  3. Click Google Drive in the left bar in the other window.
  4. Click the top file in the iCloud Drive folder.
  5. Hold the shift key and click the bottom file in the iCloud Drive folder.
  6. Click and drag all of your files over to the Google Drive folder.

That's it. Google Drive does the rest and syncs it all up for you.

How to transfer iCloud files to Google Drive on the web

If you don't want to download the iCloud Drive and Google Drive apps, you can (painstakingly) transfer files using the web apps. All you have to do is download each file from your iCloud Drive at icloud.com and re-upload everything to Google Drive.

The painstaking part comes in the fact that you have to download each individual file from your iCloud Drive. There is no way to batch-download or batch-transfer anything out of your iCloud Drive. I only recommend this method if you have just a few files to transfer.

Mick is a writer and duty editor for Android Central. When he's not on the job, he can usually be found vacuuming up pet hair or trying to convince his wife that he needs more guitars.
8 Comments
  • Good to know
  • I like Apple products have used several iPhones in the past though use a Nexus 5x now, but Apple's cloud implementation has been and still is a mess.
  • It's better than it uses to be. But yes as the article says Apple really doesn't want you to leave so they aren't going to make it easy.
  • >>Yes it's better but that standard was set low. 3 years ago iCloud was a disaster it certainly is better but the big issue I have with it is amazingly UI. It amazes me that Apple has such simple, clean and intuitive UI on their devices yet iCloud to me is nowhere near as such in those areas as Google is with its cloud services.
  • If only I had iCloud
  • Question....so I just tried this with one file first to see what happened. The file copied across but but as it was a pages file it arrived as a folder with a bunch of files in it. I am guessing that anything created with pages, numbers, etc will need to be converted first before this can be done?
    Thank you for your help.
  • Sorry for the late reply, but yeah, it's a good idea to export things as docs or plain text files first. I've gone back and forth with Pages and Word myself and something always goes screwy with the formatting.
  • What I need is a way to back up my entire phone and data into my G Drive account. The one thing Apple does best is when I switch phones or factory reset it it is restores my phone exactly the way it was, not me but my friends devices, think Google would of tackled this already.