Set The Default Launcher, SMS App, And Browser In Android Lollipop

Android Lollipop brought some big new features to the Android platform and we’ve covered the exceptionally noteworthy ones such as pinning screens and user/guest accounts. But this latest version of Android isn’t all about big features, there are smaller more obscure ones that deserve just as much attention. Android Lollipop has made it ridiculously to set default apps. You can choose the default launcher, set the default SMS app, and even set or reset the default browser on your Android device. The options aren’t exactly well placed and easy to find but they’re all there in the Settings app and are simple to use.

Default Launcher

Open the Settings app and tap the Home option. You will see a list of all launchers installed on your device and you can choose which one you want to use. You can also delete a launcher from this same screen. A word of caution though; if you’ve never set the launcher and do so once, even if you set it to the Google Now Launcher that comes packaged with Android, you will not be able to make it so that no launcher is set.

Default SMS App

Go to Settings>More and you’ll see an option for setting the default SMS app. Tap it and a menu appears listing all installed apps that can handle the role of an SMS app. I only had the one default app on my device and you can see it’s selected in the screenshot below.


Default Browser

This method works for just about every app that handles a standard function, for example, you can use this same method to set a different default email app. Because the category such apps might fall in, can be very large. Android deals with them in a different way. Go to Settings>Apps and tap an app like a browser you might have installed. You’ll be taken to the App info screen for that app. Scroll down to the ‘Launch by default’ section. If the app is already the default, like Chrome set as the default browser, tap the ‘Clear Defaults’ button. Next time you tap a link, you will be asked which app you want to set as the default for opening them. Follow suit for any other app.


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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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