How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Android customizes the OS to suit user preferences. One key feature is the ability to change default apps. Wondering what the default apps on Android are? Well, they are applications that open file types or perform actions when you tap on a link or function.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Many default apps might lack features compared to third-party apps, so you may want to set them as the default apps on Android phones. This guide will help you choose the preferred method for actions on your phone. Note: We are using a device running stock Android to illustrate the steps. The options may vary depending on your Android OEM. If you have difficulty finding the option, search App to find the application settings page and continue with the steps.

1. Set App as Default When Asked

Android lets you set an app as default for specific actions if the system hasn’t already chosen one. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Tap the image, link, or file you want to open.

2. Select the app you want to use and choose “Always.”

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

If you are unsure, you can choose Just once and select the app later.

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2. Change Default App From Settings

Even if you accidentally set apps as default or want to change a system default app, follow these steps: Open the Settings app > tap Apps > choose Default Apps.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 2: Select the action from the list to change the default app.

Step 3: Select the default app, such as ‘Caller ID & spam app’.

Tip: You can also change the default web browser, assistant, phone app, home app, and SMS app.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

3. Change Default Apps to Open Links

To open links on your Android smartphone, follow these steps:

1. Go to Settings > Apps and Default apps.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 2: Choose Opening links.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 3: Toggle off ‘Open supported links.’

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

You can add links for the app by tapping Add links > enable the link and tap Add.

Enable Instant Apps to Open Links in Apps

Android’s Instant Apps feature enables users to experience smaller versions of full apps without downloading and fully installing them. This feature is available and enabled by default on Android devices running 5.0 or higher. Instant apps allow you to open web links in instant apps (if supported) instead of the web versions in the browser. You can potentially experience more features compared to the browser version. Here’s how you can enable or disable it: Step 1: Open Settings > Apps > Default apps.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 2: Open the links and toggle on Instant apps.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 3: On the same screen, tap ‘Instant Apps preferences’ below Instant apps.

Step 4: Toggle on ‘Upgrade web links’.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Although Android Instant Apps may be losing popularity among developers, enabling this feature for web links is still beneficial.

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4. Use Third-Party Apps to Change Default App Actions on Android

While there’s an option to change default apps on Android, you can use third-party apps for more controls. Here’s how to use the Better Open With app on Play Store:

Step 1: Open Play Store and search for Better Open With. Alternatively, access the app page from the link below.

Step 2: Install and open the app.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Choose function to set default app.

Select app for necessary function.

Tip: choose eye button next to app to hide.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 5: Open the file or media.

Step 6: Select ‘Better Open With’ and choose Just once or Always.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

The file or media will be opened in the designated app. Apart from that, many other apps offer similar options, but we found this the best.

How to Reset Default App Preferences on Android

Default preferences are assigned by the system to apps so they can open, expand links, or perform actions. If you want to clear these preferences, here’s how:

For Individual Apps

Step 1: Open Settings > choose Apps and tap ‘See all X apps.’

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 2: Choose the default app to reset its settings and select ‘Open by default.’

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 3: Select ‘Clear default preferences.’

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Reset All Actions to Default

If you think you made a mistake changing the default apps on Android, you can reset them to the default settings all at once.

Note: We are using a Xiaomi device running MIUI to test these steps. The steps will be similar for stock Android and other Android smartphones with custom skins, with some differences in option names and placement.

Step 1: Open Settings > Apps > Manage apps.

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How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 2: Tap on the three dots at the top right and choose ‘Reset app preferences.’

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

Step 3: Choose Reset apps to confirm.

How to Change Default Apps on Android Phones

FAQs to Set Default Apps on Android

If your Android device hasn’t been rooted, you can only disable, not uninstall, preinstalled apps. By disabling an app, it will stop running and be removed from your Apps list. To do this, access your Apps list and locate the gray gear-shaped Settings app.

While you cannot uninstall system apps, you can uninstall third-party apps. If you do, the system will revert to the default app or the next available option, or remain unassigned until you change the default apps on Android.

Enjoy the App of Your Choice

Changing default apps on Android allows you to use the app of your choice and enjoy your Android smartphone without any limits. If you have any suggestions or queries, let us know in the comments.

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