How to Change Default Apps in Android

One of the most popular problems regular Android users face is when they accidentally set some app as default for a given action and later don’t know how to change it.

I was also struggling with that when I was a beginner user of Android. Now, as your mobile GURU, I will show you how to quickly deal with this problem.

Whenever some action can be completed with more than one app (e.g. browsing a website with two different browsers installed), Android will ask you to choose the app (and set it as default if you like).

If you accidentally choose the wrong app (and set it as default), it will always be used as the default app for a  given action (e.g. opening a specific type of file or URL).

Fortunately, you can easily set default applications on Android and change their setting according to your needs.

In this tutorial I will show you how to change default apps in Android so that you will never be forced to use the app you never intended to use. Let’s begin!

How to Remove an Android App from Defaults

Unfortunately, Android does not list all of the actions available together with apps set as default for them.

The only chance for you to  set the default app for a given action is to perform this action and choose either Always or Just Once when prompted by Android.

For example, here Android asks me what app I want to use to open PDF files (I am trying to open a PDF file attached to an e-mail message).

What do you do when you accidentally set the wrong app as default and want to remove it? All you need to do is clear defaults of this app. Here is how you do it:

  • Go to Settings (by either accessing it from the app grid or by swiping down the top of the screen) and choose Apps.
  • You can view the apps by either DOWNLOADED, ON SD CARD, RUNNING or ALL. Navigate to the app whose defaults you want to clear and click on it.

Swipe down until you see tab LAUNCH BY DEFAULT. If the app has already been set as default for some action, you will have the option of clearing defaults. To do it, simply click on CLEAR DEFAULTS.

Once the defaults have been cleared, this option will remain inactive.

The next time you perform the action that can be performed with this app, Android will ask you how you want to complete it. Make sure that you choose the correct app unless you want to repeat the whole process once again.

TIP: You have to clear defaults for every single app you want to remove from default apps.

How to View and Manage the List of Default Apps with Default App Manager

Fortunately, there is a great third-party app which gives you much more flexibility in setting default apps in Android.

I am talking about Default App Manager which provides you with the list of default apps according to their category, the list of all the apps together with their defaults and a quick uninstaller.

Here is how to change default apps in Android with the use of Default App Manager:

  • Download and install Default App Manager from Google Play.
  • Start viewing the apps according to their category. As you can see many of the categories don’t have default apps set.
  • If you want to remove a default app for a given category, simply click on it and then choose Clear Default. You will go to app settings where you have to swipe down and choose CLEAR DEFAULTS (like you did above in the first part of this tutorial).

Note that you will be able to Clear Default only if there is more than one app in a given category.

  • To set a default app for a given category, simply open the category and click on Set Default. Android will ask you to complete the action using one of the listed apps. Choose the preferred app and click ALWAYS. The app will be set as default.
  • Next, go to tab ALL DEFAULTS to browse the apps that have already been set as default. To clear any of these apps simply tap on CLEAR. You will automatically go to app settings where you have to swipe down until you see tab LAUNCH BY DEFAULT where you have to choose CLEAR DEFAULTS.
  • In the third tab UNINSTALLER you can easily and quickly uninstall any app you don’t want to use. Simply click on the dust bin and confirm your choice.

That’s about it. You now know you to change and set default apps in Android and you will never have to use the app you don’t want to use. If this tutorial helped you, please share it with your friends or post me your comments in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.


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