Setting a default app in Android is the easiest way to make sure your Android always takes you to the right destination. For example, if I set Firefox as my default browser, any link I click that needs an internet browser will open Firefox. If at any time I want Chrome to open automatically instead, all I need to do is clear the option for Firefox and then select Chrome.
Default apps aren’t just for web browsers, but they’re probably the most popular use of the feature besides different apps for your home screen. No matter what the app is, it’s easy enough to set it as your default if you have other apps that fit the same bill. It gets a little more complicated on older version of Android, but it still won’t take long.
Setting a Default App on Android Versions Before Marshmallow(6.0)
While it’s possible to set a default app in earlier versions of Android, it isn’t the most intuitive process. There’s a menu you need to access that has specific conditions, but thankfully you can trigger that condition easily.
Open Anything with the App
In Android versions before Marshmallow there’s no direct menu to set a default app, but you do see a menu to choose your default app when handling anything that’s usable by multiple apps on your Android.
If you have both Chrome and Firefox, and then open a link that directs to a web browser, you’re asked which app you want to be your default. Since I want Firefox to be my default, I’ll select that, and then my choice is set.
If you don’t see this menu, it means you already have a default app set, or don’t have more than one app to choose from. In the first case, you need to clear your first default app to make room for a new one.
Clear Your Old Default App
If you can’t set a default app because of an old one taking the slot, or just want to switch your default apps, you have to clear one first. Go into your Settings and look for your Apps menu.
Once you’ve found it, select it and open your list of apps. Now tap any apps that conflict with the default app you want, or an app that you want to change from default. After you select an app, scroll down until you see this:
Tap to Clear Defaults and now you’re free to select a new default app.
Setting a Default App on Android Marshmallow(6.0) or Above
If you’re on a later version of Android this process is easier, and faster than before. With Android 6.0 and above, setting and swapping default apps is treated more like a priority than an afterthought.
Open Your Settings
Thankfully on later version of Android it’s easy to set and remove default apps all from the same menu. Just like in the method above this one, open your Settings and find the Apps section.
Default App Categories
From here either select the Settings cog in the upper right, or go to the Default Apps section to continue to the configure apps menu.
Selecting an App Category and an App
On this new screen just select any category listed, and then an app that you want to be your default.
The next time you launch a task in that category, the app you chose will be the one you use automatically.
Removing a Default App
This process is the same no matter your version of Android. Tap any app in your app list, and then scroll down until you see this option:
Tap that option to clear your default app, otherwise it’s easy to replace your default app by just selecting another one, provided your device is running Marshmallow and above.
It’s a bit of a convoluted process to make an app default when you aren’t running Marshmallow or above, but it’s thankfully still possible. Once you’ve set a default app it’s easy to change, and once you know how the system works, it barely takes any time at all.
If you need any help changing your default apps, please leave any comments you have below!