How to set a default texting app on Android

Posted By: Vishnu Sasidharan

Google came up with the option of changing your default texting app in 2014, they also enforced this rule on other phone makers as well, convenience and security were chief among the reasons for this decision but the option of having a texting app that was different from the one on your phone was the important point.

How to set a default texting app on Android

It is a common misconception that all Android devices are made the same and that it is just a matter of choosing the cheapest possible one, for instance, the version of Android that can be found on Samsung devices is a variant of the traditional Android device with patches applied over it.

The traditional Google version can be found in Nexus and Pixel phones and the Samsung version which can be found on the Galaxy phones. The step by step guide describing how to change your default texting app in each one can be found below.

1) Changing the texting app on Google’s version of Android

The below walkthrough can be used to change the default texting app on a Nexus or a Pixel.

Though this is based on the process to follow for Android 8.1, this can be applied to previous and future versions as well.

a) The first step is to download a texting app, for example, Textra.

b) Swipe down on the notification shade.

c) Access the settings menu

d) Click on Apps & Notifications.

e) Click on Advanced to expand this section

f) Select Default apps

g) Choose the SMS app

h) Select New default SMS/texting app.

2) Changing the texting app on Samsung’s version of Android

The default texting app on a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S8 can be changed in a completely different part of the settings. The version of Android that can be found on Samsung devices have patches applied to them.

a) Download a texting app like Textra or one of the many others available.

b) Swipe down on the notification shade.

c) Access the settings menu

d) Select Apps

e) Tap on the three-dot menu on the top right of the screen

f) Select Default apps.

g) Choose Messaging apps.

h) Choose the messaging app you wish to switch to,

i) Confirm your choice by selecting OK.

Most SMS apps will hit you with a prompt asking you whether you wish to make the app your default messaging app on opening it for the first time. But there are exceptions to the case, for example, Facebook Messenger, certain apps do not provide you with a prompt once you have initially dismissed it.

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The steps to follow in order to change the default messaging app for other phone manufacturers are usually variations of the same instructions that have been provided above. Different manufacturers will adopt different methods to change the default texting app on their phones.

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