Android

Pro tip: Resetting Android default apps

Jack Wallen shows you an easy way to reset default apps on the LG G3 smartphone and how to reset the apps on other Android devices.

Android pro tip

There are times when you select an app to be used as the default, and you wind up wanting to either select a different third-party app or reset to the default. This could be as simple as your default web browser or even your home screen launcher. No matter what the app, you still have to know how to make the change — that is, if you want to gain the simplicity and ease-of-use that comes along with having the correct default app.

With Android, there are different ways of doing this. How you do it will depend on two variables:

  • If you're installing a new app to serve as the default
  • Which device you have

Since it's the easiest, let's first deal with the installation of a new app. When you install a new app, such as a browser, the first time you try to launch a URL, you'll be asked what browser you want to use as the default (Figure A). This happens any time you install an app where another app serves the same function on the device.

Figure A

Figure A

Setting the default browser on a Verizon-branded HTC M8.

Select the browser you want to use, tap Always, and the default is set. Easy.

But what happens when you're not installing a new app? How do you reset the default? That will depend on the device you have. Some devices, such as the LG G3, make it very easy to reset all defaults from a centralized location. For this device, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Locate and tap the App Manager
  3. Tap the menu button (three vertical dots in the upper right corner)
  4. Tap Reset default apps
  5. Go through the listing of the apps (Figure B), and tap clear for all the defaults to be reset

Figure B

Figure B

Resetting defaults on the LG G3.

That's it!

If your device doesn't offer a feature like the LG G3 Reset default apps system, you have to reset the default apps individually. Let's say you've installed Firefox and want to go back to using Chrome as the default. Here's how:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Locate and tap the App manager
  3. Locate and tap the Firefox app
  4. Scroll down and tap Clear defaults (Figure C)

Figure C

Figure C

Resetting your browser defaults in Android.

The next time you tap on a URL, you'll be asked which browser to use as the default.

Resetting the default apps on your Android device isn't terribly hard. There might even be some app types where you don't want to set a default. In that case, tap Just Once when prompted, and you can then select which app to use for that action... every time.

What is your Android default browser of choice? Do you prefer the built-in Chrome? Firefox? Opera? Another choice? Most importantly, why do you prefer that particular browser? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About Jack Wallen

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 jackwallen.com.

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