How To Set The Default Apps In Android

The default apps on your Android work in a really similar way to those on your PC. When you click on a link or try to open a file, your phone assumes you want to use a default app to complete the action. But what if you install a new app to use? The following article will explain how to set the default apps in Android.

There is a manual way to set the default apps in Android and an app in the Google Play Store to help you do the same thing. Below is a description of both methods.

Manually Setting the Default App

When a default app is set, such as your browser, you will first need to remove it before you can set a new app as the default. To clear the defaults, you will need to go to “Settings -> Application Manager”, then look for the app. In this case, Chrome is being used.


Clicking on the app in the Application Manger will show options to uninstall, clear data and a few others. What you are looking for is the “Clear Defaults” option. Once clicked, any link Chrome was used to open by default will now ask what app you’d like to use.


If you installed a new browser like Firefox, you can start adding this as the default app to open web links when prompted. You may be asked if you want to set the app as the default at that time and should say yes. On other phones, you might see a “Just Once” or  “Always” option. When you are testing a homescreen launcher, you may want to toggle back and forth between the new and old launcher. This is a case where you would want to say “Just Once” option so there is no app set to the default and you’ll be prompted each time.


Using an App

The app we’ll be talking about is Default App Manager Lite. Tthis app makes the process a little easier by giving you a list of different categories like Browser, Audio, Calendar, Email, and more. Having all of the categories right there will save you clicks.

Starting out, you will see a big list of everything your phone can open. The list is in category form so you will see categories like browser and audio with some file types like .xlsx and PDF on there as well. Next to the category type, you will either see the name of the default app or No Default App.


If there is an app set as the default and you’d like to change it, click on the category tab. Inside will be all the possible apps you can use.


You will need to clear the defaults first. Clicking on the “Clear Default” button will take you to the app page in the Application Manager section of the settings. From here, the process is the same. When the defaults are cleared, press the Back button.


After the defaults are cleared, you can click the “Set Default” button. You will be asked to select the app you’d like to be the default for this action. Click it then click either “Always” or “Set as Default”. Confirm if needed.


Once you have the default app set, you can move on to any other actions you’d like to change.


Final Words

While the process is almost the same either way, having an app to help you in setting the default apps will put everything in one place. This saves time clicking around to find the app used to open a link or file type.

Have you used a different app or method to set the default apps in Android? Leave a comment below letting us know.

Trevor Dobrygoski
Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.

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