How to Remove, Change, and Set Default Apps in Android

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How to Remove, Change, and Set Default Apps in Android

You probably want particular applications on your Android phone to do various tasks. This is where default applications come in: they let you pick which browser, SMS service, email client, and other apps are launched when you load associated information.

We’ll go over everything you need to know about Android default applications, such as how to alter your default apps, change how links open, uninstall default apps, and more.

What Are Default Apps?

If you are unaware, default applications enable you to choose which apps handle specific tasks on your smartphone. You could have many Android browsers installed, for example. When you press on a link that doesn’t have a default browser configured, your phone will ask you which browser you want to use, since you have numerous applications that can handle it.

Many categories function in this manner, and choosing default applications saves you from having to choose which app to use every time. Let’s look at what happens when you don’t have a default app set, and then we’ll look at how to change default applications.

How to Set New Default Apps on Android

When you attempt to start anything that doesn’t have a default app configured, or when you install a new app that can perform the task, you may be prompted to choose which app to use, as illustrated below.

If you wish to use the recommended app as your default for this activity in the future, tap Always to use that app and establish it as the default. Select Only once if you wish to use that app without making it the default.

Select another app from the list that displays below to use it. That one will be the first option the next time you do this action, and you may make it the default if you like.

How to Review and Change Default Apps on Android

The default applications option can be found in Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Default apps on stock Android 10. This may change significantly based on your device or Android version.

You can view your current default applications for a number of categories here:

  • Assist app: A smart assistant for voice control, screen analysis, and other comparable tasks. Google Assistant and Alexa are two examples.
  • Browser app: This app is used to open links that you tap. Chrome and Firefox are two examples.
  • Caller ID and spam app: Used to detect and stop spam calls. Truecaller and Google’s Phone app are two examples.
  • Home app: Your phone’s default launcher that enables you to access and organize applications. Pixel Launcher and Nova Launcher are two examples.
  • Phone app: Handles call making and receiving. Google’s Phone app and Simpler Dialer are two examples.
  • SMS app: This app lets you send and manage text messages. Google’s Messages app and Pulse SMS are two examples.
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Tap a category to see the applications you’ve installed in that category. If you have many apps installed, choose which one to make the default.

Any relevant information you access from now on will utilize that app. If you change your default phone app, for example, it will start when you press a phone number on the web.

Keep in mind that there are further categories. If you install a third-party camera app, for example, and you use a shortcut to activate the camera (such as hitting the power button twice on a Pixel phone), your phone will prompt you to choose which camera app to use.

How to Remove Default Android Apps

You may delete all default settings for an app if you don’t want it to be the default for anything. To do this, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > View all X applications and choose the program for which you want to delete defaults.

Expand the Advanced section and press Open by default once you’re on the app page. If the app is set to default for any action, a Clear defaults button will appear at the bottom of the page. Tap this to remove that option.

When you access material that this app used to manage, you may choose which app should run instead.

Choose Default Apps for Opening Links

The preceding section covers the fundamentals for Android default applications, but there is one more thing you should be aware of: app links.

When you press a website link and have the app for that service installed, your phone may go to compatible URLs in the app rather than your browser. When you touch a YouTube link, for example, you generally want to view the video via the YouTube app. In Android programming, this is referred to as “deep linking.”

While you can’t specify which applications open certain URLs, you can choose whether links open in your browser or the relevant app.

Change Link Opening Settings

Return to the Default applications page you viewed previously to alter how links open in Android. To examine these options, hit Opening links.

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You may toggle the Instant applications option at the top, which enables you to utilize various apps without having to install them.

For the time being, we’re interested in the field below, which has entries for the majority of the applications on your phone. When you choose one, two fields will appear on the Open by default page.

You may choose whether to open suitable URLs in the app by selecting Open supported links. To do so, choose Open in this app, or Don’t open in this app to always open in your browser. Asking every time allows you to make decisions as required.

If you want to view a list of URLs that the app can access, tap Supported links. YouTube, for example, opens URLs as well as and

Disabling In-App Browsers

There is one more parameter to think about for default link behavior. Many major applications, such as Gmail, Telegram, Twitter, and Slack, include in-app browsers. This implies that any URLs you open in these applications will open in their own browser window rather than the app’s or your regular browser.

Opening a page in an in-app browser when you aren’t signed in to any sites is typically inconvenient, therefore we suggest turning them off for the best results. The position varies each app, but it’s generally under a setting called something like Use in-app browser or Open external links.

In the Twitter app, for example, go to Settings and privacy > Display and sound > Use in-app browser.

Expand Default Apps With Third-Party Solutions

For most individuals, Android’s built-in default app choices are sufficient. A few programs might assist if you want to add extra features.

Better Open With

This software lets you choose your favorite applications, which you may change at any moment. When you launch it, you’ll notice a list of categories, such as Audio Files, Browser, Dialer, and Emails.

After you’ve chosen a category, touch the star next to your favorite app. Hide any applications you don’t wish to use by clicking the eye symbol. You can also use the dropdown box at the top of the Browser section to choose particular settings for sites like YouTube and Twitter.

Open a suitable link now. When prompted to pick an app, select Better Open With and Always. Better Open With will display a bottom panel with a countdown timer and a list of compatible applications. If you don’t choose one before the countdown runs out, your default app will launch.

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While this is convenient, Better Open With has certain flaws. It hasn’t been updated since June 2018, at the time of writing. When launched on Android 10, the app will display a warning that it is not suitable for recent versions of Android. As a result, there’s an unsightly black box at the bottom of the app.

Aside from version compatibility, it does not support all forms of actions—-SMS is a notable absence. Still, the app is completely free, so give it a go if you like the concept.

Download: Better Open With (Free)

Open Link With…

Do you want greater control over the default app for links? When Android does not open links automatically, Open Link With… enables you to do it. This comes in handy when a YouTube or Twitter link appears on your browser rather than the appropriate app.

Once installed, open Open Link With… and follow the on-screen instructions. Finally, for optimal performance, give the app use access. You won’t have to worry about it again unless you wish to open a link with another program.

When you’re done, go to your browser’s three-dot Menu button and choose Share. Select Open Link With… to show a list of applications that are compatible with that kind of link. Choose Just Once if you want to be asked again the following time, or Always if you want to permanently connect that sort of link with an app.

While this is comparable to the built-in feature, it’s worth a look if you have problems with links opening correctly or wish to access the same sorts of information in multiple applications on a frequent basis (for example, if you use two separate Twitter clients).

Download: Open Link With… (Free)

Master Default Apps on Android

You now understand how to take control of your Android’s default applications. Unless you discover a new favorite program, you should be able to set them and forget about them most of the time. If the essentials aren’t enough, you have alternatives for greater control.

When it comes to default applications, why not try changing some of the ones that came with your phone?

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