5 Ways to Change Default Messaging App on Android

Android Change Default Messaging App

On Android, you aren’t restricted to a single messaging app. If you don’t like the pre-installed SMS app, you can download a third-party SMS app and make it your default app. But how do you change the default messaging app on Android? You can do it in one of four ways. Before we jump into the methods, let’s examine the impact of changing the default SMS app.

What Happens When You Change the Default Messaging App

For starters, changing the default SMS app will not delete your messages. All your existing messages will show up in the new default messaging app when you switch to it. However, you won’t be able to use other messaging apps when a different app is set as default. The new SMS will arrive in the currently set default app. In case you switch to the old default app in the future, the new messages that arrived on the new default app will show up in the old app as well. Apart from that, you will have to use the settings and features offered by the new default messaging app.

Let’s check the methods to change the default messaging app in Android.

1. Install New App

Typically, when you install and open a new SMS app on your Android phone, you will be asked to choose the default texting app. Tap on the one you want to set as default and hit the “Always” or “Set as default” button.

Android Set New Default Messaging App

2. Default Apps Setting

If you have already set a default messaging app and want to change it, Android offers an easy way to do that by using Default apps settings. You can also change the default apps for the browser, launcher, phone, and messaging.

  1. Open Settings on your Android phone and tap on Apps/Apps & notifications.
Default Messaging Apps
  1. Tap on Default apps, if available. If you don’t see it, tap on “Advanced -> Default apps.” If it’s not there, tap on the three-dot icon at the top and select Default apps. Alternatively, simply type Default apps in the settings search bar.
Android Default Apps
  1. Tap on the SMS app, and the available messaging apps will show up. Tap on the one you want to make your default.
Android Default Sms App

Similar steps can be used to change the default SMS app on Samsung Galaxy phones. Go to “Settings → Apps → Choose default apps → SMS app.” Select the new default messaging app. Repeat these steps to change the default app again in the future.

Default Messaging Apps Samsung

3. Use the “SMS App” Option

Next, you can use the SMS app option on the App info screen to switch to a new messaging app.

  1. Open Settings followed by Apps.
  2. Look for the messaging app that you want to set as the default from the list of installed apps. Let’s say, Messenger.
Default Messaging Apps Messenger
  1. On the App info screen that appears, scroll down and tap on SMS app or Messaging app. Then, select the desired messaging app to set as default.
Default Messaging Apps Messenger Change

4. Clearing Defaults

Another way to clear defaults for any app is to open its app info settings and hit the “Clear defaults” button.

  1. Open Settings and go to Apps.
  2. Under Installed or All apps, tap on the app you want to remove as the default app – for example, the Messages app.
Default Messaging Apps Change
  1. You will reach the App info screen. Tap on “Open by default” or “Set as default,” depending on the option available. If you don’t see any such option, tap on “Advanced” first. Hit the “Clear defaults” or “Clear default preferences” button on the next screen.
Android Clear Default Messaging App

Once you clear the default app, you will be asked to select the new default messaging app for your Android phone when you open an SMS app.

5. Reset App Preferences

If for some reason you are unable to change the default messaging app, simply reset app preferences (reset settings) on your phone. That will also reset the default messaging app, so you will have to set it again using method 1 or 2, as shown above.

Do note that resetting app preferences will not delete your phone’s data or personal files – it will only reset settings such as default apps, permissions, etc.

To reset app preferences, go to “Settings -> System (General Management) -> Reset options.” Tap on “Reset app preferences” or “Reset all settings,” depending on the option available.

Default Messaging Reset

Bonus: Use Third-Party App to Select Default Apps

The above methods restrict you to a particular default app. What if you want to use one app for a particular action and another app for something else without changing the default app? That’s possible with the help of the Better Open With app. Sadly, this app doesn’t support SMS apps, but you can use it for other apps such as audio, video, ebook, images, etc.

It only weighs around 500KB and offers a pop-up similar to the existing one. The difference lies in the fact that either you can choose a different app from the menu or the default app will automatically open after five seconds. You can change the default time for each file type in the app settings.

Android Better Open With App

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I make WhatsApp my default messaging app?

You cannot make WhatsApp your default texting app since it doesn’t support SMS.

2. How to change the text sound on Android?

Go to “Settings → Sound & vibration → Notification sound” and choose the desired tone. If you aren’t happy with any of the default options, use a custom notification tone.

3. Can I use iMessage on Android?

It’s possible to use iMessage on Android with a workaround. You might also want to try Rich communication services (RCS). RCS is an upgraded version of SMS that works on the Internet. It’s considered the iMessage equivalent for Android users. Use RCS to send images, stickers, videos, location, etc.

Mehvish Mushtaq
Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she's always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She's been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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