How to change launchers on your Huawei or Honor device


With the Nexus 6PHuawei P9, and Honor 5X handsets boosting Huawei’s global profile in recent months, we thought it would be worth taking a look at how you would go about installing a third-party launcher on your Honor or Huawei device. After all, the stock EMUI overlay has an effect similar to Marmite, you either like it or hate it. 

Changing launchers on your handset usually means that you download and install your preferred launcher from the Play Store, press the Home button and then you get to choose which launcher you want to use. On Huawei and Honor handsets, though, it isn’t quite so simple, because when once you’ve installed a third-party launcher and press home, you’re taken back to the stock EMUI home screen. And while you can open the third-party launcher directly from the Play Store, the next time you press the Home button, you’ll be taken straight back to Huawei’s Emotion UI once more. There is a way, though, as shown in the video below.

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  • Go to the Play Store to download and install your favorite third-party launcher on to your device
  • Press Home, and then go to Settings and select Apps
  • Click on the Advanced tab at the bottom of the page and choose Default App Settings (or just Default Apps if you are running EMUI 8)
  • Click on Launcher, and then select which launcher you want to become your default
  • Choose to change the launcher when the choice tab appears asking if you are sure you want to change to a third-party app
  • Press Home and you will land on the chosen launcher’s home screen

If you get tired of your favorite third-party launcher, just follow those steps again to choose a different launcher, or even return to EMUI. Let us know how you got on with changing launchers on your Huawei or Honor handset in the comments below.

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About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

  • nebulaoperator


  • D.M. Brooks

    I’ve had the honor 5x since it first came out and it’s been a decent phone especially with the torture I put it through. However when the update to Android 6.0.1 was pushed through….I was suddenly living in a iOS hybrid hell. Their overlay and launcher hid half the settings and it was simply a pain in the butt to use. I downloaded the Nova launcher, followed your steps as Huawei won’t otherwise let you switch and I now have a nice usable Android phone once more with all the settings and configurations that Huawei had made very difficult to find, now just a tap away. Thank you

  • Colin Mason

    Mein Gott!
    So simple now you have explained it.
    Thank you

  • Mau Ri Cio

    i have instaled google now launcher, and is just not showing in the list of possible launchers.
    what should i do?

  • Karin

    Thank you! :-)

  • John B

    not working on honor 7i

    • That;s unusual. I’ve tried this on the Honor5X, Honor 8, Huawei P9, and the Nova Plus, and it works 100%, everytime. which launcher are you trying to install? P.S. Sorry for the late response.

      • John B

        Google. Thanks

  • JapanYoshi

    Not working on Huawei P9 Lite. The app just shows an error message telling me to change the settings, but the option doesn’t even show. I’m trying Google Now Launcher, by the way.

    • Tusenka

      Have you changed the launcher?
      I’m going to buy Huawei and it’s one of crucial factors for choosing.

      • JapanYoshi

        I managed to change it to the Nova Launcher. I felt that the EMUI launcher was pretty good in its own right, though. The only reason I switched was for custom icons.

    • Warren F

      Once you have installed Google Launcher, reboot your phone and go back to the default settings under apps. Select launcher, you should now see Google Launcher with Huawei Homepage.

  • lostintallaght

    Works fine on my Huawei p9 with Action Launcher.

  • Isyraq Abu Bakar


  • Mark “Chaba Thai” Dowle

    Not working in my Huawei honor 7″ phone. Used to work fine but despite uninstalling and reinstalling Google Launcher and rebooting it only shows the Huawei launcher as available so nothing to change to

  • Warren F

    Hi all. I’ve had the same problem. After install, just wouldn’t work. Then I rebooted my phone – voila. It’s there :) Hope this simple solution helps. Please let me know if it does.

  • Mark DeNuzzio

    I’m using an Honor 6X. I have no issue in getting it to change to SmartLauncher. The problem is getting it to stay! It will function fine for awhile then randomly switch back to Huawei Home as the default. Any tips?

  • Peter Law

    I just got a P9. No trouble putting any new launcher on but I have the same problem. It changes back to default from time to time for no apparent reason. Any help appreciated

  • gaby ionut

    Thanks man, i got huawei y55,and succed to change my favorite launcher. Got to settings, manage apps, implicit settings, launcher then select the one i want. Thanks

    • Peter Holden

      Awesome, glad we could help out:)

  • Munchkin

    Thanks for this guide, changed my default launcher on my Mate 10 with Lawnchair and now it stays that way.

    • Peter Holden

      Glad to help out:)

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