From iPad Only to Windows + iPhone?


Original poster
Feb 27, 2020
I've been living happily on iOS only for personal computing and phone needs for over half a year now. An iPhone XR 128GB and iPad Air 3 256GB. They're doing the job. iPad portability and sitting back to relax is unrivalled and the iPhone is so convenient and reliable too. iPad plugged into an external monitor and it's a makeshift desktop. Truth be told, it's doing a great job and there's not much it can't do.

But lately I've been itching for something that's more of a toy to mess with. A full PC once more. I love the Mac but they're expensive and when the break I refuse to pay Apple's repair costs and am unable to fix it myself (though I'd love to be able to like back in the day with the unibody MBP). I'm considering buying something portable but without performance compromise and also, for the first time, interested in Windows 10's tablet capabilities since my love for the iPad as a tablet is a delightful experience. The Fujitsu P727 is similar to a PC I use at work, just smaller. I think it'll be near bulletproof, utilitatian in looks but hopefully reliable, fast and since it's got touch / 360 hinge should fill the void of the iPad.

I'm going to stick with the iPhone but sadly that means needing to maintain an Apple account and some services. Though I'll probably move from iCloud due to it's poor integration on Windows to OneDrive / Office and the Windows synced apps which all seem to be on the iPhone (like Outlook / Reminders etc.). My photos can also sync smoothly to OneDrive with iOS I think. Any tips on working between iOS and Windows? I know nothing will integrate as smoothly or completely as Apple to Apple.

I'd likely sell the iPad + accessories to buy the Fujitsu. Saves mee needing to take money out of my savings etc for something technically unnecessary.

The reason for this was I was learning to use Shapr3D - a fantastic full featured SketchUp alternative on iOS. And that was fine, but I had a sore neck / back from the position I was sitting in leaning over the iPad and I think in the long run the ergonomics of a laptop might be better?

12.5" Antiglare FHD Touch 360 display
8GB Replaceable RAM
512GB SSD Replaceable
£725 on Amazon



macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
If you go PC based, you could install iCloud for windows, this could sync your photos and files to the PC, then use chrome or Firefox on the PC and use iCloud to keep the bookmarks in sync.

its all do able but for me with an iPad I wanted my bookmark toolbar at the top of the browser and as far as I could tell Safari was the only browser to offer this.
Not a problem I guess if you only use iPhone.


macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
A couple of months ago, I was almost in your same situation, except I was not a happy Apple user. Very satisfied with my iPhone, mixed feelings for my iPad (i loved the additions to iPad OS, but I believe the file management and iCloud bugs are unacceptable. I also grew tired of the App Store restrictions & censorship), disgusted with Mac hardware & the latest Catalina. So I have decided to give Windows 10 a try, as I was intrigued by the Surface Pro line.

However, before selling my iPad/Mac and buying a Surface, I took some intermediate steps. I believe that, because of these, I am now a happy Surface Pro 7 + Windows user (while still having an iPhone), which I believe is also your hope.

Do not sell you iPad just yet. Apple makes migrating from its ecosystem quite hard. Some parts are easy to switch from (notes can be exported quite easily to OneNote, files can easily be moved to OneDrive, etc). A Mac would make the process muuuch easier.

1) Install OneDrive on your iPad, upload all your photos & documents there, make sure everything is in place.

2) Install OneNote, export your notes there (needs to be one by one, unfortunately. Also pictures in notes may give you some problems or disappear).

On windows:

3) using iCloud for windows you can, in theory, import contacts, but this did not work for me (the whole package is junk, in my opinion). Alternatively, create a Microsoft/outlook account and, using Outlook, access your iCloud account & move your contacts to your Microsoft account.
However you migrate your contacts, set your Microsoft account on your iPhone as the default for contacts, so that, when you add a contact on your phone, it will be synced with your PC & viceversa (at this point you can disable iCloud for contacts). Note: in order to access your iCloud account from windows software (Outlook, Mail, People, etc) you may need to generate device-specific passowords from the Apple id website. Your normal Apple id password may just fail, giving you a "wrong password" output.

4) Using iCloud for windows you can import Safari's bookmarks. After this, I suggest removing iCloud for windows so that it doesn't mess up your windows installation...

5) If you use iCloud email, you won't be able to receive real time email updates (at best, you check for new messages every 15 minutes).
Also, I wanted to stop paying for iCloud and I had 7 GB of email messages in my account. So i decided to migrate. Outlook for windows enables you to download all your messages locally and then upload them, with a simple drag and drop, to another account such as a Microsoft/Outlook account (15 gb of space are given for free, 50 if you also use OneDrive), or Gmail. Then, from the iCloud website, you can set mail forwarding to your new email account, so that you do not need to give a new address to all your friends & colleagues. This way, you can simply continue to use your iCloud email address without using iCloud mail, which is pretty cool. ;)

6) You cannot export keychain/safari passwords in any (safe) way. Instead, install Microsoft Edge on your iPad & iPhone. By using it there, you can access your Safari passwords, and let Edge learn them, and sync them back to Edge for Windows. When you work on Edge for windows, you can look for your Safari passwords on your iPhone (Settings, passwords & accounts, Website & App Passwords) and type them manually in Edge. Of course, as you type them, Edge will learn them. Alternatively, on your iPhone, copy and paste them to OneNote (I have a note file which I use to cut and paste things from iOS to Windows.

7) I suggest updating Edge for Windows to the new Chromium version (download from the Edge website)

8) Edge for iOS has a feature which allows sending websites to your windows computer. Very convenient. In the future, it will support shared history and open tabs, but that's at least 6 months away).

9) If you buy books from the iBooks store, you are out of luck & will only be able to read them using your iPhone.

10) No iMessage (not a problem, as I always refused to use it anyway), but literally every other messaging platform works and will be synced automatically with your iPhone.

As you can see, the process is a bit involved. In the first weeks I became a little frustrated on multiple occasions, not because of Windows, but because of how closed and buggy iCloud was when dealing with Windows. I don't know if this due to a lack of effort or if it is by design...
Anyway, you will probably benefit from having a large screen Apple device, as you migrate and test Windows. It will make your migration & windows learning process easier and less stressful (when things go bad or when you are having some problems on Windows or Windows tablet, you can go back to your iPad). I warmly suggest against selling your iPad until your migration is over.
Last edited:


macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2017
Perth, Western Australia
If you like to transfer files back and forth from your iPhone to Windows PC, I made a shared folder on my desktop, then added it as a smb server in the Files app. Fills my need wishing Windows had AirDrop.

Similar threads

  • xraydoc
  • MacSafe
  • ryankul
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.