Apps chrome

How to change your default apps on Android 12

A default application is one that you want your operating system to use to open certain files or links. Naturally, out of the box, Android defaults to Google apps. For example, the default web browser for Android is Chrome. But what if you prefer to use a more secure or customizable browser by default? Or maybe you have a Samsung phone and Bixby is set as the default digital assistant app. What are you doing to change this?

It’s quite simple.

With Android, you can configure the following default apps:

  • Browser (default is Chrome)
  • Caller ID and anti-spam app (default phone)
  • Digital assistant app (default is Google Assistant)
  • Home app (default will depend on your phone)
  • Phone app (default is phone)
  • SMS app (default is Messages)

Although this is not a problem for those who use the default apps provided, those who install non-Google apps (such as the Firefox web browser and the Signal message app), or those who have a Samsung phone and do not don’t have any. want to use Bixby because their digital assistant will most likely want to change the default app.

This also applies to anyone who may have installed a third-party homescreen launcher (such as Nova Launcher).

If that sounds like you, keep reading and find out how to set default apps on Android 12. Don’t worry; this process isn’t even remotely difficult, and if something goes wrong, it’s very easy to revert to the original default.

That said, let’s change some default apps.

Change default apps on Android 12

1. Access the settings window

Open your app drawer, locate the Settings app and tap the entry (Figure 1).

The Android app drawer opened to reveal the settings launcher.

Figure 1

The Settings app is in the Android app drawer.

Image: Jack Wallen

2. Open the Default apps section

In the Settings window, tap apps then press Default apps under General (Figure 2).

The Android 12 Apps window displays the Default Apps entry.

Figure 2

The Default apps entry is where you set your default apps in Android 12.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Set your new default app

Suppose you have installed Firefox web browser and want to set it as default. To do this, tap on the Browser App entry (picture 3).

The list of default applications of Android 12.

picture 3

The list of default apps you can change in Android 12.

Image: Jack Wallen

In the list of installed browsers (you probably won’t have as many as I do), tap Firefox to set it as default (Figure 4).

A list of web browsers installed on Android 12.

Figure 4

Set Firefox as default web browser in Android 12.

Image: Jack Wallen

Tap the back button (left-pointing arrow) or swipe left (if gesture-based navigation is enabled) to return to the list of default apps, where you can set defaults for other apps.

A word of warning

I have to add this simply because the world we live in is filled with malicious applications. Always be careful when installing apps. I limit the apps installed on my devices to only those that I absolutely trust and need.

Just because you can change the default doesn’t mean you should. Don’t get me wrong, changing the web browser’s default (to a well-known product like Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, or Brave) is perfectly safe. However, be sure to be careful with all other defaults.

And that’s all there is to changing the default apps in Android 12. Take advantage of this flexibility.