How to change the default apps in Android

Android comes with apps for most common functions already pre-installed, many of them provided by Google itself. However, you are not stuck with using the default apps if you don’t want to. Almost every app can be changed to a different one—whether it is the web browser, the calendar or even your phone dialler—so long as there are third party alternatives available.

In this tutorial we’ll show you how you can change the default apps on an Android phone or tablet, as well as how to reset the defaults should you change your mind.

Install an alternative app

By default Android will come with only one app for each function, or if there are two—such as on many Samsung Galaxy phones—the default setting will already have been configured.

Therefore you will need to install an alternative app for a particular task. In this example we’re installing a second web browser.


Open a link to the app

You can use your second app happily without every setting it as the new default—default apps only work when you tap a link from inside another app.

Open a link to a URL in a Twitter app to try and launch it in a browser.

Complete action using

The Complete action using box now appears. Tapping Just once means you will be asked again next time, and is a good choice if you like to switch between using different apps. Tapping Always will set your chosen app as the new default app.


Clear default app settings

To reset you default app choices go to Settings > Apps > All and find the app set as your default. Tap on it, followed by Clear defaults, and it is done. Uninstalling or disabling a default app will also reset the option.


The one exception to how this works is with the keyboard, which you change using an option that appears in the notifications pane whenever your keyboard is open.

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