How to change or clear default app settings in Android

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One of the best selling points on Android is the flexibility to change default apps to open web links, send text messages, view your pictures, or pretty much anything else your phone is capable of doing. Don’t like Chrome? Grab a new browser from the Play Store. Wish you could customize your home screen? Download a launcher and knock yourself out. But, what if you want to make that new browser or launcher the default application as opposed to the stock option?

Find out how after the break.

With that being said, sometimes you play with a new default app for a few days and decide it just isn’t for you. Maybe you want to keep it around, but you’d rather go back to having Chrome open all of your web links.

If you want to make any changes to default apps, head to the settings menu on your device.

default apps settings 1

If you have a device running a new version of Android, you should see an entry in settings for Apps. That’s what we want.

After tapping Apps, you should see a list of everything installed on your device. Here you can find the specific app you need to clear. Using Chrome as an example you’d pick Chrome in the list, then select the “open by default” entry, then the “clear defaults” button.

default apps clear defaults

That’s the direct way to clear a specific app, but if you have a ton of apps you might want to see everything you have set as a default action. If we go back to the main app list and tap the gear icon in the top right, we’ll get a better overview.

default apps settings

This takes us to the configuration screen with your apps where you’ll see everything you have listed as default. If we wanted to change the default browser, tap the entry for “browser app” and you’ll get a list of everything that can open web links on your device. Pick the one you want to go with and you’re set!

default apps

If you want to quickly get back to this screen, you can use the search function in the main page of settings and simply search for “default.”

default apps search

That should save a few taps and help you adjust default apps in just a few seconds.

Quick and easy. Now go test out some new apps without worrying about getting stuck with something you don’t like.


About the Author: Jared Peters

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid and an unhealthy obsession with fixing things that aren't broken. This accidentally led to being the go-to guy for anything more complicated than a toaster, which he considers more of a curse than a blessing. Jared is enrolled in online classes at the University of Phoenix, and spends his spare time on video games and listening to music.


  • Salt6288

    Thank you so much for this guide on how to change or clear default app settings in Android.
    Before reading this article, I always pressed the “just once” button, so I wasn’t locked into a browser or app that wasn’t my first choice to use all the time.
    It really gets annoying having to press “just once” ever single time.
    So I really appreciate you taking the time to write this guide for people like me who didn’t know how to clear out or change the default app settings.

  • HTC 1 (M8) user novice

    The best help on android by far. Thanks.

  • GrossDad

    On my Galaxy 4S, running 4.4.2, in Settings, under “more”, there’s a list of all the default applications you’ve set, and from which you can change default applications.

  • carls22

    Knock off the snarky comments about who should have an Android or not. Ruins an otherwise reasonable basic-level article.

    • Steven Adams

      Lol really? That “ruined” the article for you? Grow up, man. Find something else to do with your time.

      • EatsBeats

        lol steve why are u such a massive f4ggot? every where I see you post it’s always nonsense, you should really kill yourself

  • appie

    there is one thing I miss, I don’t mind having to choose my app, it’s just a little bump for me (there is this avast app though, that also wants to be used for dialing calls which I can’t seem to uncheck in it’s properties); but everytime I pick the same app for a certain action I get this annoying message you can erase all standard apps by doing blablabla.. how can I get rid of that annoying message ??

  • Sheila Scanlon

    When I use “Clear Defaults,” it shows that Google Music is my default, but when I use Web PC Suite to view my music, only my ringtones show (they aren’t downloaded to Google Music). How do I get all of my mp3s, etc. to show up there?

  • Kay Hanbury

    You are wonderful! Have never dared use the ‘always’ and the first time I did I didn’t look properly and selected the wrong app. Not life threatening but i did panic. Not only have I undone that but I can happily select always for other things now and save load of time. Thank you!

  • Jacqueline

    Nice one, thanks!

  • inder

    thanks.. this is working nice

  • disa

    Thank you, very much help me as a new android user.

  • Betsy Jordan

    How do I clear my app settings ?

  • Prince malaya

    Thank you so much!
    Download Default app manager lite because it will help your problem.

  • Kirsten Ivins Anderson

    My Galaxy Note 3 is doing it when I click on the phone. Saying phone or lookout EVERY TIME! is there a way too stop this?

  • matthew ben

    worked!! Thank you..
    i use to re-install everytime but this helped me

  • Jintei #9

    Smooth… Thank you a lot!

  • thembi ncube

    Thank you so much. This has worked perfectly for me.

  • emmauel

    hi guys advice me my HTC does not have the blink feed can i install it?

  • Koala’s HowtoChannel

    Thank you very much………..THIS HELPED A BUNCH.

  • tiggersjaw

    This actually didn’t help, I’m on a droid turbo and I installed a mod for the camera. When I twist my wrist for quick capture, it still launches the stock camera even though my settings have the camera+ mod for default and quick capture is off for the stock camera

  • Akshay Shrivastava

    Thnqq So much… Its Really Works… :)

  • SJ

    What if the clear default is not lit up or allowing you to tap it?

    • MrSnowman

      If your phone works like mine it means the app isn’t set as a default app for anything, check to see if you’re actually checking the right app.

  • disqus_R9vSP1N05S

    Thanks a lot.

  • arwen l

    Thanks

  • muriel

    What a great help! Thanks!

  • Marcela Guadalupe Lara

    I tried this so I could open my email links about “linked in” on the “linked in” app instead of Chrome. But even though I cleared everything, the “Open with linked in” option doesn’t appear and it used to appear before. Any suggestions?

  • Ashlee Ayre

    Thank you so much!

  • g_fuck_u_est

    Very useful, but you can still go fuck yourself.

  • Dame Gj

    I saw this post and its realy helpfull, but i have a problem with my usb cable the first time i connected it to a computer it gave me options to use it as a charger or storage or both. I selected charging only and then a second time i wanted to use it as storage but i didnt give me the menu i rebooted my phone several times it has reset all options except that one. I have an alcatel pop c7 phone with Android 4.2.2 not kitkat could you please help me. Thaks

  • Paul Beran

    Problem: I don’t have an Android phone. Mine is a Windows Phone, and I can’t change my browser. My phone uses Cortana (similar but better than iPhone’s Siri,) and she’s the one that teases me with brief details of the PG stories. But when I click on a story of particular interest, it sends me to this error page that says my browser isn’t supported by PG . Why the hell not? Cortana uses Internet Explorer, only the world’s largest!

  • Krystalmsfiyared Bowie

    What if the clear default is not lit up to tap I been trying everything an I got a lot of apps that can move to sd but they ain’t lit up for me to tap help

  • Gitaga Jeremiah

    Great, I really wasted time rummaging over useless guides. I got this useful, finally…

  • Anthony Ciuma

    Zero help

  • http://www.wwwalker.com.au/ Dwight Walker

    This stopped settings cog on Android phone being set to a local council’s app (MBRC Request) instead of settings. Thanks.

  • Lady Mustang

    I bought a “used, like new” tablet for my granddaughter which uses Android. I’m an IPad person. I can’t get the clock to permanently recognize Eastern Standard Time, it keeps switching back to CST. Any way to fix this?

  • Bill

    Finally, speaking English. It works. Have a HTC One (M8). And thanks to your people who work their butts off to make this binary world we live in easier for ALL humanity.

  • Gershon Levine

    I have a new Samsung J7 Prime G610F with Android 6.0.1. I have a situation that I have not been able to rectify. Each time I receive a call the phone says “call from call from” and then continues to the sound I chose. Also on the messages app, when I receive a message the phone says “you have a new message from”. I have tried everything to no avail. Does anyone have any real practical solution?

  • Rahul Hawge

    thanks..