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Samsung Galaxy S4: How to Set and Clear Default Applications

Though Samsung Galaxy SIV has equipped with some basic apps as the stock apps, you're allowed to install another third-party app per your needs, either from other sources or from the official market of the Android phone: Google Play Store.

See also: How to Install Free Apps from Google Play Store in the Samsung Galaxy S4

In some cases, even there are some users who install an app that has the same function with one of stock app. As the example, Samsung Galaxy SIV has the stock Browser app, but for certain purpose you may need to install another third-party browser app (eg: Firefox browser app or Chrome browser app). Given these apps have the same function, you may will be asked to choose which browser app you wish to use as default when you open a URL link from another apps. When an app has chosen as default app, next time this app will be launched by default when you perform the same action or activity.

How to set an app as default?
To make it easier, we'll use Browser app as the example. Here are the steps to set one of installed browser app as default:
  1. Open a URL link from another app, for instance: open a URL link from email message.
  2. You will be presented with the Complete action using menu contains with all of Browser apps available in your phone.
  3. Tap the desired Browser app you wish to set as default(as the example: select the stock Internet browser app) and then tap Always button.
  4. Tap OK button to confirm.
  5. The selected app will be opened by default each time you open a URL link from another apps.

How to clear default in certain app?
There are 3 methods available that you can use to clear default app. Here they are:

Method #1: From Task manager
This is my favourite one because this method will allow me to clear default for some apps easier and faster:
  1. Long tap Home button.
  2. Tap Task manager icon.
  3. Tap Clear defaults tab. All default apps will be listed here.
  4. Tap Clear button next to the desired default app(in this case, tap Internet) you wish to clear.
  5. The default app will be cleared shortly.

Method #2: From Settings menu
It's the classic method usually used by the user to clear default app:
  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap More tab.
  3. Tap Application manager.
  4. Swipe the screen to the right until you see the All tab.
  5. Scroll down to find the desired default app(in this case, tap Internet) you wish to clear, then tap the row.
  6. In the App info screen, under Launch by default section, tap Clear defaults button.
  7. The default app will be cleared shortly.

Methods #3: From App drawer
This method is the same with the method #2, but performed through the apps menu.
  1. Go to Apps through Home screen.
  2. Find the default app(in this case, tap Internet) you wish to clear.
  3. Tap and hold the app and then drag it to the App info icon located at the top of the screen.
  4. In the App info screen, under Launch by default section, tap Clear defaults button.
  5. The default app will be cleared shortly.

FYI, all the steps mentioned above are applicable for another apps, for instance to set or clear default app for some Messaging apps or for some File manager apps, etc. Well, by knowing how to set default app, now you can choose an app as default app for particular action or activity. And, you can also clear the default app with ease when you accidentally set an incorrect app as the default and want to replace it with the correct one. Hope it helps :)


  1. Hi, I have my email set up on my S4 which has been working fine up to now. All of a sudden when I try and reply to an email I get asked for a password to a Key ID which I have never seen before. Not sure where this came from. Any suggestions.
    Thanks, Ian

    1. Hi Ian Hamilton,
      Thanks for coming.
      Did it also happen when you were replying other emails? If you don't mind you can send me a screenshot of that error message so I can easier to find a solution for the problem. You can send the screenshot
      Or, you can try to remove your email account and then re-setup it again and then see whether it helps :)

  2. What if I can't select always when prompted to set as my default? Do I need to allow this somewhere as I can't set any defaults for any apps.

    1. Hi Jordan Fischer,
      Thanks for coming.
      Can you please tell me what app do you want to set as default? Was the Always button grayed out? Theoretically, when you have more than one apps with the same function (e.g: Chrome app, Firefox app and Internet app), then when you opened a URL from other apps, you should be presented with the "complete action using" where you can set one of them as the default.

  3. I have the reverse problem... I always click on the set as default button when it pops up but then it NEVER saves it as my default. So I am asked every time. And now for some reason it has started doing it with my home screen button. It won't set touch whiz as my default!!! Even if I go into the app menu... The option is greyed out.

    1. Hi Sarah Van Nes,
      Thanks for coming.
      Can you please tell me, what option is greyed out?
      However, if you want to set the TouchWhiz as your default, you can try the following steps(I assume your phone is Galaxy S4 with Android 4.4.2 Kitkat):
      1. Go to Settings.
      2. Tap "More" tab.
      3. Tap "'Application manager".
      4. Under the Downloaded tab, tap the Menu key and then select "Reset app preferences".
      5. Now, press the Home key and you'll be asked to choose which launcher you want to use(in your case, you can choose TouchWiz Home) and then tap "Always" button to set it as the default.

    2. I have the same problem. On the Complete action using box I select my preferred app and then hit the Always button, but for ALL apps this comes up every single time. When you chose Always you get an additional pop up about how to clear defaults, but you don't get that if you select the Just Once button. So it actually takes longer to keep choosing the Always button over and over. Now I just use the Just Once button because it is faster. So frustrating!!

    3. Hi HeatherDelezen,
      Thanks for coming.
      Some users have reported that they also couldn't set an app as the default and some of them fixed this issue by uninstalling a third-party app on their phones. Some of them said that Kohl's app was the culprit of this issue. So, if you have Kohl's app in your phone, try uninstalling it. If you don't, try investigating other third-party apps on your phone, one of them may be the culprit of your issue.

  4. My problem doesn't seem to be addressed here. I want to set twitter as my default app to open when I click on a twitter link, say from Facebook or in a browser. But twitter doesn't come up as an app to set. Only my two browsers come up as a choice. Is there any way to set a default app, when it doesn't come up as one of the choices? Really tired of opening twitter links in my browser instead of the twitter app. :-( Thanks

    1. Hi Vicky aka VickStix,
      Thanks for coming and I'm so sorry for late answer.
      FYI, I'm not a twitter user. But, once I read your comment, I then installed Twitter app and made a new account on my phone. I noticed that when I opened a twitter link from the stock browser app(Internet app) or Facebook app, the native app didn't include as a choice, made me unable to set the native app as default. After some investigation, I then found an app called Open Link in App( from the Play Store. After I installed this app, when I opened a twitter link in the Internet app or Facebook app, the native app became a choice. I chose the Twitter app and then tapped Always to make it as default. As a note, it doesn't work on other browser apps. So, if you don't mind, try installing this app and then let me know if it works on you :)

    2. Thanks so much for doing all that to try it out. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. It still only had chrome and default browser to choose from. Twitter app still doesn't show up as a choice. Maybe I'll try writing the development of that app, see if he has any suggestions.

    3. Hi Vicky,
      Thanks for coming back here.
      It's so weird, in my GT-I9500, twitter becomes a choice once I installed that app.
      Anyway, seems that's a great idea to tell the developer so that they can do something with the app and make it works on yours :)

  5. Thanks so much again Rehan. Yea, I'm surprised it didn't work, too. Thought fir sure you solved my problem. Facebook links not coming up with anything but the two browsers as well. :-( I did write to the developer. Hoping they can figure something out. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy S4 Model SGH-1337

  6. Good news. After I posted my last comment, I went to look to see if the app was in the playstore. Because I installed from my browser from your link, when you first replied. Odd that it wasn't installed. I never uninstalled it, after it didn't work. And it showed as installed in the browser after I installed it. Anyway, installed from playstore, and now it opened Twitter. YAY Unfortunately, Facebook app still didn't show up. Wrote the developer again, to let him know. At least I have one of them working now. :-) Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Vicky,
      Thanks for continuing let me know about it. I really appreciate it :)
      Anyway, seems I had make mistake in my previous reply. I've just noticed that when I opened a twitter link from Facebook app, the choices appear were all installed Browser apps on my phone, while the native app didn't show up as a choice, exactly as you said on your comment. I have been trying to figure it out, but still can't find nothing. I'll let you know once I find a trick to open a twitter link from Facebook app directly to the native app.

  7. I deleted my messaging App, in an effort to use Hangouts for texting. I have since realized I don't like hangouts, & want to reinstall the deleted messaging app. But I can't figure out how to do so ?

    1. Hi Mike,
      Thanks for coming.
      CMIIW, the stock Messaging app can't be deleted/uninstalled. It only can be disabled. So, to bring it back, try using the following steps:
      1. In Home screen, tap the Menu key and then select "Settings".
      2. Tap "More" tab.
      3. Tap "Application manager".
      4. Swipe the screen from right to the left until you find "Disabled" tab.
      5. Tap "Messaging" app.
      6. Tap "Enable" button. It'll bring back this app to the apps menu.

      Once done, you can set the stock Messaging app as your default messaging app by using the following steps:
      1. In home screen, tap the Menu key and then select "Settings".
      2. Tap "Connections" tab.
      3. Tap "More networks".
      4. Tap "Default messaging app" and then select "Messaging".

  8. Hi. I cant seem to open links in my twitter or facebook apps. Tried 2 of my browsers but none are working using s4 btq

    1. Hi Gio Gene G.,
      Thanks for coming.
      Can you please tell me, what is the link you want to open from the Twitter or Facebook app?

    2. I mean all links from other websites (e.g. justjaredjr, tumblr, entertainment weekly etc) basically everything it doesnt redirect me to the website itself. Only shows a blank screen. Used the default internet app and chrome. Pls help. Thank you

    3. Hi Gio Gene G.,
      Thanks for coming back here.
      Can you open a link of a webpage in a new tab from the previous tab in the Internet app?
      Did you make any change before encountering this problem?
      Have you tried clear Internet app cache?

  9. Hey guys my problem is that even though I selected my default app as touch wiz again and again it is asking me for app preference. What should I do ?

    1. Hi Syed Aquib,
      Thanks for coming.
      I'm so sorry to say that I don't understand well with your question.
      So, do you have other launchers installed on your phone?
      What app have you selected as touch wiz?
      You said, "It is asking me for app preferences", I don't understand with this phrase. Does your phone give you a notification or message tell you to perform reset app preferences?
      If you don't mind, please provide me with detail information so that I can give you the right answer.

  10. I am using a s4 gt19500 is there a way to set email font to be the same as that of outlook?

    1. Hi Tebogo Mabuya,
      Thanks for coming and I'm really sorry for so late answer.
      By default, the Email app uses times new roman as the default font. We can't change the font style but we can trick it so that the font in outgoing email will be the same with those in outlook. Here they are:
      1. Send your email account in S4 an email from outlook (mine uses Calibri as the default font style).
      2. Open Email app in your phone and then copy the body of the email message from outlook and then paste it into the signature in your Email app (Settings/Account settings/select the required account/signature).
      3. Now, try composing a new email message.
      4. Write your message within the signature so that the font will be the same with the signature.
      5. Send the message and then see it in your outlook. The font should be the same with those in outlook(mine displays the email in calibri).

  11. I'm having this problem where my galaxy s4 never saves chrome or YouTube as my default. I've selected chrome at least 100 times and select always, yet it always ask me to complete action. I've done your method 1 at least 40 times, but nothing seems to happen. As far as method 2 and 3, the clear defaults is greyed out so I can't even select it. Please help.

    1. Hi Dario Raygoza,
      Thanks for coming.
      FYI, when the Clear default button is greyed out means the app has not been set as the default app for certain action.
      However, you can try performing reset app preferences from the app manager(if you don't know how to do so, see the complete steps in my reply for Sarah Van Nes' comment) and then repeat the method #1 to set Chrome as the default app.

    2. Hey Rehan,
      Thanks for getting back to me, but it did not work. I tried it step by step and nothing. I even tried all the other methods and nothing. As far as YouTube or Gallery, the clear defaults stays greyed out no matter what I do. Short of rooting, is there a way of turning off or removing the factory browser? Or is rooting/buying another type of phone the best option. Thanks in advance for the help.

    3. Hi Dario Raygoza,
      I'm sorry if my previous reply didn't work.
      Well, after some hours trying to duplicate your issue with any possibility on my phone but to no avail. I then searched in some Android forums and then found a thread that discussed the same issue as yours. If you have Kohl's app in your phone, then try uninstalling this app. Some of users have confirmed that the problem of unable to set app as default was occurred once they installed this app.

    4. H Rehan,
      I do not have the Kohl's app. The only apps I've installed are Chrome, Google Maps, YouTube (unsure if this already installed), Fruit Ninja ghost busters, what's the difference, Groupon, Redbox, Flixster, Audio Manager, and 4 Shared. The games and last 2 apps listed are new and the problem was there before I installed them. Would any of these other apps be the problem? It should be noted, when I first tried your steps chrome worked for a few hours. Then the next morning it stopped being my default. I couldn't get it to work again after.

    5. Hi Dario Raygoza,
      I'm sorry for so late answer.
      Well, back to your case, if you don't mind, you can try uninstalling all of third-party apps in your phone and then reinstalling them one by one while keep investigating to see whether one of them is the culprit of your problem.

  12. I have a Galaxy S4 and I use the messaging that is on the phone and also Gosms Pro. About 6 months ago Verizon did an update to my phone and ever since my phone makes me choose a default messaging app. Is there a way to deactivate this feature so I don't get that popup window asking me to choose which messaging I want to make my default?

    1. Hi Kaylood,
      Thanks for coming.
      When you're getting the "Complete action using" window, select the required app you like to set as the default and then select "Always" button.
      Or, you can change the default app for messaging by using the following steps:
      1. Go to settings.
      2. Tap "More" tab.
      3. Tap "Default applications".
      4. Tap "Messages" and then select the required messaging app you like to set as the default.


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Hi the insiders,
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