Set the default launcher, SMS app, and browser in Android Lollipop

Android Lollipop has brought some great new features to the Android platform, and we’ve covered some of the most significant features like screen capture and user / guest accounts. But this latest version of Android isn’t just about big features, it’s about smaller, dimmer ones that deserve just as much attention. Android Lollipop has mocked the definition of default apps. You can select the default launcher, set the default text messaging app, and even set or reset the default browser on your Android device. The options aren’t quite well located and easy to find, but they are all in Settings and easy to use.

Default starter

Open the Settings app and tap Home. You will see a list of all the launchers installed on your device and you can choose what you want to use. You can also remove the launcher from the same screen. A word of warning, however; If you’ve never installed a launcher and only do it once, even if you’ve installed it in the Google Now launcher that comes with Android, you can’t make sure no launcher is configured.

Default messaging application

Go to Settings> Add and you will see the option to set the default SMS application. Tap it and a menu will appear listing all the installed applications that can control the role of the SMS application. I only had one default app on my device and you can see that it is selected in the screenshot below.


Default browser

This method works for almost any application that handles standard functionality, for example, you can use this same method to set another default e-mail application. Because the category to which these applications can belong can be very large. Android treats them differently. Go to Settings> Apps and tap an app, such as a browser you may have installed. You will be directed to the application information screen for that application. Scroll down to Start by default. If the app is already the default app, like Chrome as your default browser, press the Clear Defaults button. The next time you tap the link, you will be asked which application you want to set as the default to open them. Do the same for other applications.


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