Android

How to reset Android defaults using the Task Manager

Have you ever wanted to quickly unset a default application in Android? Jack Wallen has found a shortcut that will save you some time.

Android defaults

There are times when you install an app you know you're going to love and you immediately set it as the default app. After a while, you grow to dislike the app and decide to set the original (or something even newer) as the default. So, you go to Settings | Applications, locate and tap the app, and tap Clear Defaults. It's a circuitous route to a very simple task.

Thankfully, there's an easier way to do this. With the help of the built-in Android Task Manager, you can quickly unset the default for a particular app. Let's walk through this process.

If you're using a device like the Samsung Galaxy S4, you can long-press the home button, tap Task Manager, and you'll be greeted by the right tool for the job. From here (Figure A), tap the Clear defaults tab, and then tap the Clear button associated with the defaults that you want to clear.

Figure A

Figure A

Task Manager running on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4.

Once you've tapped Clear, the next time the action of that app is required, you'll be asked if you want to set the defaults. Quick and painless.

Now, if you're using a device like the Motorola Moto X, you'll notice a long-press of the home button doesn't give you the option of opening the Task Manager. With this device (and other devices by Motorola), you have to go through the longer process. For those who like to try out new home launchers, the Moto X does have one very handy feature. If you open up Settings | Home, you can easily select which home launcher you want to use as the default (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

The Verizon-branded Motorola Moto X home launcher selector.

If you only have the default home launcher installed, the Home section in Settings will not appear. Once you install a second home launcher (like Atom Launcher), the Home section will appear in Settings.

Honestly, changing and setting defaults on the Android platform couldn't be easier.

Have you found a handy shortcut in Android you wish to share? Or have you found the platform lacking in certain types of shortcuts? Let us know in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

Editor's Picks