How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Don’t like the default text messaging app that came with your Android smartphone anymore? Not to worry, it’s super easy to change it.

Since its earliest of days Google has made it possible to change the default SMS app on your phone. So you can simply download an alternative like Textra or Pulse and set it as your default SMS app.

No matter what version of Android you have installed (it can be an older one) you can simply change it to another texting application of your choosing.

Doing so varies from phone model to phone below and below we’ll show you how to do it on two different phones. But first, you’ll need to have an app like Textra or Pulse installed on your Android handset.

How to Change the Default Messaging app on Android

Using an OnePlus 5T with Android 8.0 Oreo

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Access the Settings Menu by swiping down the notification shade or tapping on the Settings icon
  2. Scroll down until you find Personal>Apps
  3. Tap on Default (it’s the third option)

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Tap on SMS app and tap on your preferred texting app

Using a Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) with Android 7.0 Nougat

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Access the Setting Menu by swiping down the notification shade
  2. Scroll down until you find Apps
  3. Tap on the three-dot menu located in the top right of the screen
  4. Tap on Default apps

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Tap on Messaging app and choose your preferred texting app

Why would you want to switch to a third-party SMS app? Well, there are plenty of reasons. The most obvious one is that they allow users to customize their conversations in numerous ways from letting you to pick the color of the text bubbles to choosing the color of the LED notification light that announces you have a new text.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phoneDefault SMS app vs Textra

Secondly, some of these apps offer an encrypted way to communicate, so if you’re worried about privacy it would be a good idea to switch to a more secure way to communicate with friends and family.

> How-To > Android > Change the Default Messaging App on Android

Thanks to Android’s open ecosystem, if you’re not happy with the default SMS app, you can easily change it. There are many third-party messaging apps available via Google Play you can try them out. No matter what version of Android you had installed, Android 4.4 Kitkat, Android 5.0 Lollipop, Android 6.0 Marshmallow or the latest Android, you can change the default messaging app to some other text applications with ease like Hangouts, GoSMS pro or Textra.

Part 1: How to Change the Default Messaging App on Android

If you do, or wish to use a custom SMS app instead of the default Messaging one, here’s how to set it up for your device:

Phones with the latest Android (take OnePlus as an example):

Step 1 Swipe the phone screen and open “Settings“ app. Scroll down to find “App & notification“.

Step 2 Then, tap on “Default apps“ > “SMS app“ option.

Step 3 In this page you can see all available apps that can be set as default SMS app. Check your preferred texting app.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Phones with Android 8 (take OnePlus as an example):

Scroll to find Settings app again. Tap on “App“ option under “Personal“. Tap on “Default“ > “SMS app“ option. Choose another app you like.

Phones with Android 7 (take Samsung as an example):

Scroll down the notification shade to enter Settings app. Tap on “App“ option. Tap on the gear wheel icon in the top-right corner. Tap on “Default“ apps and change one desired app.

That’s it, now you will receive new SMS messages through this client. Also, then you can simply change it back whenever you want.

Part 2: How to backup Android Messages on custom SMS App on one-click

If you would like to backup messages on Android phone or tablet, Syncios Data Transfer could be your best choice. It backs up messages not only on Android built-in app, but also the third-party SMS app, such as Hangouts, GoSMS, Textra, etc. It takes only one click to backup and restore text messages and more.

The program is compatible with Windows and Mac PC. Click the download button provided below to get a Syncios Toolkit onto your computer. And then click into ‘Phone Transfer’ mode on the interface to initiate the Syncios Data Transfer. If you are on Mac computer, directly click the download button to get into it.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Step 1 Run Syncios Data Transfer, and connect your android phone or tablet to computer using USB cable.

Step 2 On the homepage, click “Backup”. You can clearly see the free space of the default backup path, if it has not enough storage space or you want customize a save path, click on the icon under “Backup to”. Then tick “Text Messages” option in the middle.

Step 3 Click “Next” button to start copy. After a while, all of your messages on default messaging app would be backed up on computer.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Tips: Syncios Data Transfer provides three different modes to you to restore backed up data, from local backup file, from iTunes backup file or from iCloud backup files, you’re allowed to restore messages on your Android or restore to iPhone whenever you want with only one click.

Part 3: How to backup Android Messages on custom SMS App Selectively

Sometimes, to backup or extract parts of the messages for keeping them permanently or printing out, what is the easiest way to backup them selectively? Syncios Mobile Manager is the best Android phone manager, which can flexibly manage messages, contacts, music, photos, videos and apps on Android.

Step 1 Download and install Syncios Toolkit on your computer and run it. And click into ‘Mobile Manager’ on Syncios Toolkit interface to intiate the Syncios Mobile Manager. If you are on Mac computer, directly click the download button to get into it.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Step 2 Connect your Android phone to the computer via USB cable which is quicker and more stable, then tap on ‘Information’ tab on the top menu. After completely loading, further press ‘Messages’ on the left panel, you can browse detailed contents of every message in the right-hand dialog box. Just tick off the box of what you need to transfer and click on “Backup” button to transfer the selected messages from Android to computer.

To recover the backed up messages one day, just connect target device to the computer: Go to Information >> Messages >> Recover.

Tips: If you would like to browse backed up massages on your computer, you can instruct to “Save” the Messages to “HTML” files and open them via web browser, Notepad or Microsoft Word.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Conclusion

Now you know how to change the default messaging app on an Android phone, and then how to backup all Android Messages on custom SMS app, like Hangouts, GoSMS, Textra in a click via Syncios Data Transfer or backup part of the messages selectively through free Syncios Android Manager. And both of the methods enable us to recover backed up messages to other mobile phones later.

Syncios Mobile Manager (Win and Mac):

Syncios Data Transfer (Win and Mac):

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phoneSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Even with apps like WhatsApp and Telegram becoming extremely popular in the messaging space, chances are you still rely on old-fashioned SMS texting to stay in touch with certain people. All Android phones come with a texting app out of the box, but a quick search on the Google Play Store will reveal a multitude of alternative texting apps that are worth checking out. Should you happen to download one of these and are eager to make it your new default texting app, here’s what you need to do.

Please note that the following steps and screenshots were done on a Google Pixel 4 XL running Android 10. The exact flow of everything might look a little different depending on what phone you have, but the core steps should remain the same.

How to set your default texting app on Android

Texting apps for Android are a dime-a-dozen, with options like Textra, Pulse, and others offering enhanced features and customization tools that most default ones don’t offer. Heck, you can even use the Facebook Messenger app for SMS texting!

After finding and downloading a new messaging app that you like enough to use every single day, here’s what you need to do in order to make it your default place for all things SMS.

  1. Open the Settings on your phone.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Tap Advanced.

Tap Default apps.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phoneHow to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phoneSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Tap OK.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phoneHow to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phoneSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

You can go back and change your default texting app at any time, so if you happen to grow tired of the one that you set, changing it back to your old app or another alternative is a piece of cake.

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How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

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How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

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How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

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Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

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How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Desktop short message service (SMS) is an application or program that allows users to send text messages directly from their computers. Businesses and consumers alike can benefit from using desktop SMS. The advtanges of using desktop SMS range from sending out bulk messages to using a full computer keyboard.

Desktop SMS can be important to businesses. It can be controlled from a computer, bulk messages can be sent, so it can be used for SMS marketing purposes. After the phone numbers of a target audience have been obtained, marketers can begin sending out text messages with promotional offers or business news. Text messages also can help strengthen a business’ brand. This can be done if marketers ensure that a business is identified as the sender of a text message.

Programs devoted solely to text messaging exist, but SMS messages also can be sent through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) programs. These programs are favored by users who want to conduct phone calls over the Internet, but some applications can be equipped to send and receive text messages as well. Both calling and text messaging services can be reasonably priced and, often, the costs are less than standard cell phone rates.

Those using SMS for marketing endeavors might find it helpful that VoIP services can assign an actual phone number to a user. Phone numbers that can be replied to can add credibility to communications between businesses and prospects. It can also help to facilitate correspondence.

Another way that individuals can send out a desktop SMS message is by accessing web-based SMS services. These services can be found online and typically do not require that a user download any software onto his or her computer. Some companies providing web-based SMS services can do so for free, but some try to recoup their costs by imposing advertisements on messages. Businesses that would like to try SMS marketing would do well to look into alternatives to free text messaging because a free provider’s advertisements might be confused with advertisements from the business.

Whichever desktop SMS service a user chooses, he or she likely will find text messaging easier through a desktop SMS program. Marketers who need to reach many cell phone users at once and individuals who simply want to correspond with friends will find that using desktop SMS applications can save them time. The use of a full computer keyboard while texting is often the selling point with these programs.

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Discussion Comments

I have an Android phone and a Windows 8 laptop and I love “Text Desk”. I don’t have to pickup my phone anymore to check messages because they pop up right on my PC and I can reply to them right on my PC too. Very cool! ALevine June 20, 2011

@BreeZee22 – Your son is right and it’s not very complicated either. It’s also known as email to SMS, so for example you could use your email program to send a short text message to someone’s cell phone. To find out the format/name of your cell carrier, send a text message from your phone to your email address. When you receive it in your inbox, the “To” field will show something like [email protected]@txt.att.net. BreeZee22 June 20, 2011

I have searching online for a similar solution. There are paid services that seem to be geared more toward a commercial or business solution. They look good but they are not cheap.

There is software that you can install on your computer. None are free that I have found and the prices I have found are around 50 USD, and I am not even certain how the software works.

I agree that I don’t want to risk sending free bulk SMS since I would not be able to control the ads. I have even been reading online about how to send SMS messages through e-mail and I am still confused.

My son said that if you know people’s cell phone carrier you can send an email to them with their phone number and then the @ sign and then the SMS gateway address of the cell phone carrier. Janismiller June 20, 2011

I did not know that you could send a SMS from a computer. I need to learn how to do this. This isn’t for commercial use.

I need to teach someone how to use it for a church group. Do I need SMS software? I am concerned about ads for free desktop SMS since this is a church group.

When it comes to texting, Google’s Messages app for Android is absolutely top-notch. The app gives you the ability to block those annoying spam text messages that have been plaguing us for so long, send messages from a computer, and can even provide RCS features if your carrier supports the Universal Profile.

But to get all of these features, you’ll need to set Messages as your default SMS app. The app is preinstalled on a lot of devices nowadays, but even still, many OEMs set their own SMS app as the default over Android Messages. Then there are folks who used another SMS app in the past and still have that set as the default. So if you want to give Android Messages a try, here’s where to start.

Step 1: Install or Update Android Messages

First, you’ll need to download the Android Messages app if you don’t already have it. If your phone came with the app preinstalled, now’s a good time to make sure the it’s up to date. So whether you’re installing or updating, head to the link below from your phone and opt to open it with the Play Store app if prompted.

  • Play Store Link: Android Messages (free)

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Step 2: Set Android Messages as the Default SMS App

There are two ways to make Android Messages handle all SMS (and potentially RCS) communications going forward. Depending on how long ago you installed Messages and if you’ve used the app before, you might need to use Method 2. But most people will be fine with the easier way, Method 1.

Method 1: Make Messages the Default on First-Run

If this is your first time using Android Messages or you’ve never opened it on your phone because you were using a different app, this one is as easy as it gets!

Simply open the app to be greeted by a message that lets you know it needs to be your default SMS app to send messages. You’ll want to tap “Next,” then in the new popup, tap “Yes” to confirm the selection to make it your default SMS app. Now that it’s set as your new system default, you can begin using it in your day to day life.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Method 2: Manually Make It the Default

If you’ve opened the app before and tapped “Skip” on that first prompt, or if you already set it as your system default the first time around but switched to another SMS app later, you’ll need to set it back to default manually.

Open your system settings and type into the search bar “default apps” to find the location where you can swap out default apps for your system. Tap the top search result.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Once you’re on the main screen for default apps, locate the area for changing your messaging app (typically labeled “Messaging app”) and tap that to bring up a new menu.

Depending on your phone manufacturer and version of Android, you might have multiple messaging apps called the same thing, but the Android Messages will be the one with the icon highlighted in the screenshot below, which matches the Play Store icon. Select this app, then confirm your choice on the prompt to set Android Messages as your default SMS app.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Changing Back to Your Old SMS App (Optional)

If you ever want to revert back to your old SMS app at any time or try a new one altogether, the procedure is the same as before. Most SMS apps now work like Android Messages in the sense that you can select the default options when you open the app for the first time. Many of the apps even display a message when they’re not your default app no matter what, which you’d simply have to tap.

As before, once you confirm the app to be your new default messaging app for your system, that’s all there is to it. You can carry on using the app you just selected for all of your messaging needs from here on out.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

If you’re going back to a previously used SMS app that doesn’t support the auto detection for the default app, you can go through the system settings like before and manually swap out the Android Messages app with the one you had earlier. Now you’re finished and can go back to using your old SMS app.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

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By Mitch Bartlett 23 Comments

If you wish to change or disable the text message ringtone on your Android device, you can do so with these steps.

Set Ringtone for All Text Messages

Note: Some Android devices may have different apps included by the carrier for text messaging. These instructions are for the default Android Messaging app.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the app slider, then open the “Messaging“ app.
  2. From the main list of message threads, tap “Menu” then choose “Settings“.
  3. Select “Notifications“.
  4. Select “Sound“, then choose the tone for text messages or choose “None“. You may also select “Vibrate” to turn vibration on or off.

Set Ringtone for Specific Contact

  1. Open the “Contacts” app.
  2. Tap “Menu” .
  3. Choose “Select ringtone“, then choose the tone for text messages or choose “None“. You may also select “Vibrate” to turn vibration on or off.

My Android doesn’t have these options. What can I do?

If you want to have more features, like the ability to set a sound to a specific contact, you will need to seek an app in the Google Play app store. I recommend Handcent. It’s loaded with tons of features and is easier to use than the default text messaging app. If you don’t like Handcent, another great app called ChompSMS allows the same functionality.

I want to set me own custom ringtones. How do I do that?

Use an app like Audacity to edit the custom sound and save it in a supported format like MP3 or WAV. You can then copy the sound file over to your device. Usually, there is a directory called “Ringtones” somewhere on the phone you can move the file to.

Most newer devices have an option to “Add Ringtone” at the bottom of the ringtone selections where you can browse to the location of the sound file.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

Don’t like the default text messaging app that came with your Android smartphone anymore? Not to worry, it’s super easy to change it.

Since its earliest of days Google has made it possible to change the default SMS app on your phone. So you can simply download an alternative like Textra or Pulse and set it as your default SMS app.

No matter what version of Android you have installed (it can be an older one) you can simply change it to another texting application of your choosing.

Doing so varies from phone model to phone below and below we’ll show you how to do it on two different phones. But first, you’ll need to have an app like Textra or Pulse installed on your Android handset.

How to Change the Default Messaging app on Android

Using an OnePlus 5T with Android 8.0 Oreo

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Access the Settings Menu by swiping down the notification shade or tapping on the Settings icon
  2. Scroll down until you find Personal>Apps
  3. Tap on Default (it’s the third option)

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Tap on SMS app and tap on your preferred texting app

Using a Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) with Android 7.0 Nougat

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Access the Setting Menu by swiping down the notification shade
  2. Scroll down until you find Apps
  3. Tap on the three-dot menu located in the top right of the screen
  4. Tap on Default apps

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phone

  1. Tap on Messaging app and choose your preferred texting app

Why would you want to switch to a third-party SMS app? Well, there are plenty of reasons. The most obvious one is that they allow users to customize their conversations in numerous ways from letting you to pick the color of the text bubbles to choosing the color of the LED notification light that announces you have a new text.

How to change the default text messaging app on an android phoneDefault SMS app vs Textra

Secondly, some of these apps offer an encrypted way to communicate, so if you’re worried about privacy it would be a good idea to switch to a more secure way to communicate with friends and family.

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Android provides a handy feature that lets you respond to unanswered phone calls with a text message—useful if you want to let someone know that you got their call but can’t pick up right now. Android provides a handful of canned “quick responses” that you can use as a reply with just a couple taps, but did you know that you can change these? It takes some digging, but it’s easy to do.

To start, open the Phone app. Next, tap the Menu button in the upper right corner of the screen—it’s denoted by three dots—then tap Settings. Tap General settings, then scroll down (if necessary) and tap Quick responses.

On the following screen, you’ll see a list of the quick responses Android provides to you. To change these, simply tap them, then enter a new quick response when prompted. If you like your new quick response, go ahead and tap OK.

You can easily change your phone’s quick responses.

Unfortunately, you’re limited to only four quick responses, but still, it’s better than nothing, and it might make you seem like less of a jerk when you can’t answer your friend’s calls during your weekly 11am meeting.

Nick is a freelance contributor and a former editor for TechHive and PCWorld. He likes puns and the color yellow.