How to change your default browser and phone apps in Android Marshmallow

Android M makes it simpler to change your default browser, phone, and SMS apps.

android m default apps

The ability to set a different default app for various functions—such as browsing the Web or checking email—isn’t new in Android Marshmallow. But prior to Marshmallow, you had to dig through Settings > Apps, clear your default app setting, then go back to the homescreen and re-select a new default. Marshmallow adds a new one-stop shop that makes it easier than ever to change your default app of choice at any time. Here’s where to find it, and what it can do.

Go to the Settings app, then tap Apps. Next, tap the Gear icon in the upper right corner, then tap Default Apps. Here you can set a new default phone app, Web browser, messaging (SMS) app, and assistant (Assist & voice input) app. For all but Assist & voice input, tap the function for which you want a new default app, then select the app you’d like to use from the list.

choose default app android m

Choosing a new SMS app.

For Assist & voice input, you’ll be taken to a separate screen that provides some additional options for this feature. To change this app, tap Assist & voice input, then tap Assist app on the subsequent screen and select a default app as before.

It’d be great to see Google take the default apps feature up a notch in a future release of Android. Right now, the Default Apps pane is somewhat hidden in the Settings app, and it can only change the default assistant, phone, browser, and messaging apps. If you want to set a new default email app, for instance, you’re more or less out of luck. [CK: Is this really the case??] Still, it’s better than nothing, and it gives Google something to build off of in the future.

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