Android robot and phone.

When you have multiple apps that do the same thing, Android asks you which one you want to be the “default.” This is one of Android’s best features and you should take advantage of it. We’ll show you how.

There are a number of different default app categories. You can set a default web browser, search engine, phone app, messaging app, home screen launcher, and more. When something happens that requires one of these apps, the one you chose as the “default” will be used.

RELATED: How to Change Browsers on Android

The good news is this process is essentially the same on every Android device. First, swipe down once or twice from the top of the screen—depending on your phone—to open the notification shade and tap the gear icon.

Next, go to “Apps.”

Go to "Apps."

Select “Default Apps” or “Choose Default Apps.”

Select "Default Apps."

Here are all the different categories of default apps. Tap one to see the options.

Choose a category.

You’ll see a list of all the apps you have installed that can be set as the default. Simply select the one you want to use.

Select an app.

That’s all there is to it! You can go through and do this for all the different categories.

Whenever you install a new app that can be set as a default–like a home screen launcher or web browser—this will effectively reset your default preference for that category, allowing you to set the newly-installed app as default without having to go through much hassle. If you want to change it back, just follow these instructions again.

RELATED: How to Reset Default Apps on Android

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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Profile Photo for Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is ex-Editor-in-Chief of Review Geek and served as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He covered technology for a decade and wrote over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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