Ever browsed through your Twitter feed on your device, tapped on a link, and been directed to the page via your ‘non-preferred’ browser?
Have you ever wanted to snap a picture using the hardware camera button on your device, but it keeps opening your default camera app, rather than the brand new Google Camera app you downloaded, or perhaps another third-party camera app?
There are plenty of apps in the Play Store that can be used to “replace” functions already on your device. In order to use them properly and set them as the “default” app for the specific function they fulfill on your device, you’ll have to do some tinkering.
It isn’t tough, but some Android users have expressed frustration with the ease of setting up default apps and even completely resetting the functions. In order to help you out, I’ve set up this guide to show you how to both change default apps in Android as well as quickly wipe your previous settings.
You’ve seen that before, haven’t you? It’s quite frustrating to continually tap the “just once” button, but it’s maybe even more frustrating to tap the “always,” just before you find that “perfect app” to replace the functions of the one you’d be using as your default.
So how do you go back into your settings and reset your default app?
Head on over to your phone’s “Settings” app. If you don’t know where that is, you probably shouldn’t have an Android phone it’s in your app drawer. The icon looks different on different devices (depends on manufacturer, icon pack, ROM, etc.), but it shouldn’t be hard to find. With most devices, you can also swipe down from the right part of the notification area and tap on the gear icon.
Once you’re in the “Settings” app, select the “App manager” or “Apps” button. (Again, it may appear differently depending on your device.) In the picture from the last step, you’ll see the “App manager” at the bottom of the screen. This is on my HTC One (M8), so if you have an HTC phone, it should look familiar.
Once you get into the “App manager,” you’ll find that the default screen of apps is your “Downloaded” apps. If you swipe your finger to the left (again, on most devices) you’ll be able to see the apps “On SD Card,” “Running,” and “All.”
Move over to “All,” (some apps won’t appear in the other sections of the app manager, especially if they come pre-downloaded on your device) and select the app you want to clear the default settings for.
For the sake of this guide, let’s pretend that you want to remove Firefox as the default browser on your device and set Chrome as the new default.
Tap on Firefox (or whatever app you want to remove as the default), and you’ll get a screen that looks like this near the bottom (you’ll have to scroll down a bit):
Tap on “Clear defaults,” and now whenever you click on a link on your phone, you will no longer go directly to Firefox by default. Now, you’ll be prompted to select a preferred application, and if you want to set a new default, just click on Chrome (or whatever other app you want to use) and select “Always.”
Unfortunately, unlike Windows (and some other operating systems), Android doesn’t let its users look at all of the default applications at once on a list. However there are some apps that exist on the Play Store that will give you that functionality.
Both apps let you look at a category of functions, such as “Browser,” “Phone,” “Music,” “Calendar” or “Camera,” remove the default app for that function, and set a new one. You can look at a list of all of the preset apps (seen above) you have set on your device, and either reset them one by one or all at once. Both apps work very nicely and are a more efficient way to get the job done if you want to fully customize your device’s preset functions. See below for QR Codes and links to both apps in the Play Store.
Default App Manager Lite
I hope this guide helped you figure out how to reset the default app settings on your device! It’s a pesky process, but I trust you’ll be able to figure it all out. And remember, to do a more efficient job if you’re resetting a bunch of apps at once, consider a third-party app manager application such as Default App Manager Lite or Clear Defaults.