[Android] How to Set Default Application Settings in 2024

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world. As of 2024, over 85% of smartphones run on Android. With so many Android users, setting default apps is an important task.

Android - Setting Default App

This comprehensive guide will teach you how to change default application settings on your Android device in 2024. We’ll cover everything from setting default apps for web browsing and SMS to changing keyboard defaults.

Introduction to Setting Default Apps on Android

Android is an open source operating system developed by Google. It gives you the freedom to choose from thousands of apps on the Play Store. From web browsers to camera apps, you can select the ones you prefer over the pre-installed defaults.

The ability to set custom default apps is one of the best features of Android. For example, if you install the Chrome browser, you can set it as the default instead of using the pre-loaded browser on your phone.

Here are some of the main reasons for changing default app settings on Android:

  • Enhanced experience: Third-party apps often provide better functionality and UI than pre-installed apps. Setting them as default improves your overall user experience.
  • Personal preference: You might prefer using certain apps over the defaults based on your requirements. Customizing default apps allows you to personalize your phone.
  • New app features: When you install a new app, it may include innovative features that the default lacks. Setting it as default lets you make the most of the new capabilities.
  • Enhanced productivity: Apps like custom launchers, keyboards and calendars can boost your efficiency. Making them the default supercharges your productivity.
  • Better security: Some pre-loaded apps have security flaws or privacy concerns. Third-party alternatives may offer better safety.

Now that you know why setting default apps is important, let’s look at how to change defaults on Android in 2024.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Devices

The process of changing default app settings may vary slightly across different Android skins and versions. But the general method remains the same. Follow these steps to change default apps on your Android smartphone or tablet:

1. Open Settings App

  • Tap on the Settings app icon on your home screen or app drawer.
  • Alternatively, pull down the notification shade and tap the cog icon to open Settings.

2. Navigate to Default Apps Section

  • Scroll down and tap on Apps.
  • Some devices may have a separate section called Default Apps or Advanced Features.
  • If you don’t see any relevant section, tap the search icon and type “default”.

3. Tap on Default Apps Option

  • Tap on the option that says Default Apps, App Info, App Management etc.
  • It allows changing defaults for app categories like browser, phone, texts etc.

4. Select App Category

  • You will see various app types like Browser app, Phone app, Messaging app, etc.
  • Tap on any category you want to change the default app for.

5. Choose New Default App

  • You will see the current default app for that category.
  • Tap on the app you want to make the new default.
  • Select “Always” or “Just once” when prompted.

That’s it! The app you selected will now become the default for that specific function on your Android device.

Let’s look at some examples of changing default apps for popular categories.

Setting Default Web Browser App

The pre-installed browser on Android devices may vary across brands. Samsung phones have the Samsung Internet app while other brands include Chrome or their own browser.

If you want to make Chrome or any other browser the default, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings and tap Apps.
  2. Tap Default apps > Browser app.
  3. Select the app you want to make the default browser.
  4. Tap Always or Just once when prompted.

Chrome will now open web page links by default instead of the previous browser. You can follow similar steps to change the default browser app back at any time.

Changing Default Messaging App

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have become immensely popular. If you want to set any third-party messaging app as the default for texts instead of Android Messages, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps > Default apps.
  2. Tap SMS app or Messaging app.
  3. Choose your preferred texting app.
  4. Select Always or Just once.

When you tap on a text message notification or click a text link, it will open in the app you set instead of Android Messages.

Setting Default Phone Dialer App

The phone dialer app allows you to make and receive calls. The default dialer on your Android device depends on the manufacturer. You can install and set a third-party phone app like Google Voice as the default dialer by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps > Default apps.
  2. Tap on Phone app.
  3. Select your preferred phone dialer app.
  4. Choose Always or Just once.

Now when you tap a phone number, the new phone dialer app will open instead of the previous default.

Changing Default Digital Assistant App

Digital assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri allow you to interact with your smartphone using voice commands. Here’s how you can set a third-party assistant app as the default:

  1. Open Settings and tap Apps > Default apps.
  2. Tap Digital assistant app.
  3. Choose your preferred assistant app.
  4. Select Always or Just once when prompted.

The new assistant will now handle voice commands and interactions instead of the previous one.

Setting Default Keyboard App

Gboard, SwiftKey and other third-party keyboards provide better typing experiences compared to the stock keyboard app on Android. You can easily make any keyboard the default by:

  1. Going into Settings > Apps > Default apps.
  2. Tapping on Keyboard app.
  3. Selecting the keyboard app you want to make the default.
  4. Choosing Always or Just once when prompted.

The keyboard you selected will replace the previous default across all apps on your Android device.

Making a Custom Launcher the Default

The launcher app controls your Android’s home screen, app drawer and desktop interface. Popular third-party launchers like Nova Launcher offer extensive customization options. Here are the steps to set a custom launcher as the default:

  1. Install and set up the launcher app from the Play Store.
  2. Open Settings and tap Apps > Default apps.
  3. Tap Home app.
  4. Select the launcher app you want as the default.
  5. Choose Always.

Your selected launcher will now replace the stock launcher on your Android device. Changing launchers lets you fully customize the look, feel and functionality of your home screen.

How to Reset Default Apps on Android

Changed your mind and want the stock apps to be default again? Resetting app defaults is easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps > Default apps.
  2. Tap on the app category you want to reset.
  3. Tap on the three dot menu button in the top right corner.
  4. Choose Reset app preferences from the drop down menu.
  5. Tap Reset apps.
  6. Tap Reset on the pop up prompt.

This will reset defaults for that app type to the original out-of-the-box settings. Repeat the process for other app categories as per your preference.

And that’s it! With these simple steps, you can customize default apps on your Android device in 2024. Setting preferred apps as default improves productivity, security and overall user experience on your smartphone or tablet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Default Apps on Android

Here are some common queries about changing default app settings on Android:

Can I set a default camera app?

Yes, you can set third party camera apps like Google Camera or Open Camera as the default instead of the stock camera. The steps are the same: Go to Default apps in Settings, choose Camera app and select your preferred app.

How do I set default music player?

Navigate to Default apps > Music player and select the app you want to use to play audio files by default e.g. Spotify, Apple Music etc. This will make it the default for music playback.

Does changing the default SMS app affect Android Messages?

No, setting a different default messaging app doesn’t delete or remove Android Messages. It will still be available on your app drawer. Only the default handling of text messages is changed.

What happens if I delete the original default apps?

Even if you delete the stock browser, phone dialer, messenger etc. from your device, their defaults are retained at the system level. You can still change and reset options under Default apps.

Can I undo a default app change?

Yes, you can revert any default app change by going back to Default apps in the Settings, selecting the specific app type, and tapping on the original default app name once again to restore it.


Customizing default applications provides immense flexibility and personalization to Android users. With this guide, you can easily change default app settings for browser, SMS, phone, assistant, keyboard, launcher and other categories on your Android smartphone or tablet.

The ability to select third-party apps over stock defaults gives you an enhanced overall experience. Apps with innovative features and superior design can be made the new normal with just a few taps. Default apps also impact security and productivity on Android.

So feel free to mix it up, experiment with new defaults and reset to stock when required. Just dive into the Default Apps section in Settings. Make sure to choose “Always” when setting new defaults to stick with your personalized selections.

Play around with different app combinations to find your optimal default app configuration for everyday use. Switching default apps on Android is one of the best ways to tailor your device to suit your exact needs in 2024 and beyond!

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