4 Ways to Change Default Messaging App on Android

Android Change Default Messaging App

On Android, you aren’t restricted to a single messaging app. If you don’t like the pre-installed messaging app, you can download a third-party SMS app and make it your default app. But how how do you change the default messaging app on Android? You can do it in one of four ways. Before we jump into the methods, let’s examine the impact of changing the default SMS app.

What Happens When You Change the Default Messaging App

For starters, changing the default SMS app will not delete your messages. All your existing messages will show up in the new default messaging app when you switch to it. However, you won’t be able to use other messaging apps when a different app is set as default. The new SMS will arrive in the currently set default app. In case you switch to the old default app in the future, the new messages that arrived on the new default app will show up in the old app as well. Apart from that, you will have to use the settings and features offered by the new default messaging app.

Let’s check the methods to change the default messaging app in Android.

1. Install New App

Typically, when you install and open a new SMS app on your Android phone, you will be asked to choose the default messaging app. Tap on the one you want to set as default and hit the “Always” or “Set as default” button.

Android Set New Default Messaging App

2. Default Apps Setting

If you have already set a default messaging app and want to change it, Android offers an easy way to do that using Default apps settings. You can change the default apps for the browser, launcher, phone, and messaging.

1. Open Settings on your Android phone and tap on Apps/Apps & notifications.

2. Tap on Default apps, if available. If you don’t see it, tap on “Advanced -> Default apps.” If it’s not there, tap on the three-dot icon at the top and select Default apps. Alternatively, simply type Default apps in the settings search bar.

Android Default Apps

3. Tap on the SMS app, and the available messaging apps will show up. Tap on the one you want to make your default.

Android Default Sms App

Repeat the steps to change the messaging app again in the future.

3. Clearing Defaults

Another way to clear defaults for any app is to open its app info settings and hit the “Clear defaults” button.

1. Open Settings and go to Apps.

2. Under Installed or All apps, tap on the app you want to remove as the default app – for example, the Messages app.

3. You will reach the App info screen. Tap on “Open by default” or “Set as default,” depending on the option available. If you don’t see any such option, tap on Advanced first. Hit the “Clear defaults” button on the next screen.

Android Clear Default Messaging App

Once you clear the default app, you will be asked to select the new default messaging app for your Android phone when you open an SMS app.

4. Reset App Preferences

If for some reason you are unable to change the default messaging app, simply reset app preferences (reset settings) on your phone. That will also clear the default messaging app, so you will have to set it again using method 1 or 2, as shown above.

Do note that resetting app preferences will not delete your phone’s data or personal files – it will only reset settings such as default apps, permissions, etc.

To reset app preferences, go to “Settings -> System (General Management) -> Reset.” Tap on “Reset app preferences” or “Reset all settings,” depending on the option available.

Android Reset App Preferences

Bonus: Use Third-Party App to Select Default Apps

The above methods restrict you to a particular app. What if you want to use one app for a particular action and another app for something else without changing the default app? That’s possible with the help of the Better Open With app. Sadly, this app doesn’t support SMS apps, but you can use it for other apps such as audio, video, ebook, images, etc.

It only weighs around 500KB and offers a pop-up similar to the existing one. The difference lies in the fact that either you can choose a different app from the menu or the default app will automatically open after five seconds. You can change the default time for each file type in the app settings.

Android Better Open With App

SMS functionality has come a long way. Whether it’s the pre-installed app or a third-party messaging app, you can now perform various actions related to messages. For instance, you can send messages using Google Assistant, schedule SMS, and even text from a PC.  

Mehvish Mushtaq Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a technology enthusiast from Kashmir, India. A computer engineer by degree, she's always been keen to help when someone finds technology challenging. Her favorite verticals include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

Leave a Comment