How to Change Default Apps in Android Marshmallow

One of the freedoms Android users enjoy is being able to switch up the default options used for core apps like the browser, phone or messaging.

In previous versions of Android, you had the opportunity to make this choice when you opened one of the relevant apps for the first time, but switching to a new default app later on was a convoluted process. With Android Marshmallow, changing these choices at any time is just a few clicks away.

MORE: Android Marshmallow: The Best New Features

With Marshmallow finding its way on to more phones — more flagships are now shipping with Google's latest OS, and the update is now reaching recent models like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 — it's time to familiarize yourself with the new process for changing your default apps.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap Apps.

3. Tap the cog icon in the upper-right corner.

4. Tap Default Apps.

5. Select the Default App you would like to replace.

6. Select the app that you wish to use as the new Default App.

From then on, the app you just selected will now be launched as the default option. If you'd like to go back to a different app as your default, just repeat the above steps.

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  • Sarah_24
    Is there a way to keep it from setting the default the first time I use an app? Sometimes when I open a Word doc I want it to open in Word but other times to go straight to the printer. I don't see any way to change that, which is going to be incredibly frustrating.
  • Brian_105
    @ Sarah_24, I am having the same problem. It didn't do this until I upgraded to marshmallow, but now I can't set it to "ask me every time" mode. It just opens with the last selection I chose.
  • billkater
    Same here. Marshmallow took away the feature to give you a choice to ask me every time about a default app. Now u have to jump through hoops to xhange a default app.
  • tnshapo
    Marshmallow took away the feature to give you a choice to ask me every time about a default app.
  • Kkj1170
    I do not have the COG option and would like to be able to choose every time as well.
  • jondan7
    I have exactly this problem albeit almost 144 days later than the reddit posting -
    - and cannot find a fix yet, other than the workaround suggestion to download another browser from Play and hope it’s one that will clear the hierarchy browser default back to “No default browser”. Keep in mind that not every and all choices will do it, so my suggestion is to download the lightest weight browser one at a time [like 1.75 - 2.25 MB] so if you don’t see it clear the default you can uninstall quickly and go on to the next one. One way you can tell immediately is if you tap on a link and get a pop-up menu, it will be a choice between the default browser and the newly downloaded browser, but not show your other browsers yet or go to your Configure apps page and check for ‘No default browser’
    I should think that in Settings>Apps>Advanced>Defaults>Browser, the menu should include 'Android System', or ‘No Default Browser’ or some choice to clear this hierarchy setting to bring back the pop up choices' menu when tapping on a new link. Default settings in the individual browser apps mean… well what are they for, exactly? I’m not allowed to use them the same as I’m not allowed to clear the default on the hierarchy ‘Configure apps’ page.

    What’s even more disturbing for me is that now I’m not allowed to receive incoming calls on my magicJack app because the hierarchy default setting for Phone, is Phone, meaning cell phone and no other choices even appear at all. Therefore, when somebody calls my magicJack number, the UI for magicJack lights up my screen as it rings 1 time, then goes dark and my cell phone UI lights up my screen as it is ringing a 2nd time. When I answer, I’m burning expensive cell time minutes instead of magicJack over WiFi. To date, I have to tell people I’ll have to call you right back as outgoing calls stay magicJack. I haven’t found a workaround for this yet except to get back to KitKat so that it is my phone again.
  • duplicate
    I checked and Opera is (of course) my default browser. Nonetheless when I do a search on my phone and then click on a link the web page opens in Google. Not Chrome google. The evidence being, well 1 it isn't Opera, and 2 if I cascade the windows then this one has the multicoloured big G on the top left. There is a menu option to Open in Opera, but fercrissake, if a web page doesn't open in the default browser then it's a fault.

    Feels like Google being Evil to me