How to Reset Default Browser on Android Marshmallow

Typically if a default browser has not been set, Android prompts you to select one on the Open With pop up window every time you open a link.

The chosen browser can be set to open the link(s) Just once or Always. Selecting the latter makes the browser the default one for all links i.e the default browser
open with prompt
Open With Prompt

Reverting back to get the Open with pop up however is not as straightforward as I've come to notice on my device running stock Android 6.0. One gets the option to only change the default Browser app but not to reset it back to No Default Browser (which is what's responsible for the Open with prompt).

The option I'm referring to is the one in:
Settings > Apps > Gear Icon > Advanced > Default Apps > Browser App




Clearing Defaults and Resetting App Preferences

Clearing the defaults for the current default browser likewise does not fully restore the Open with dialog.
clear app defaults
Clearing App's Defaults

Fully as I noticed in my case that normal browser links were still opening with it the exception being links associated with given apps such as YouTube for youtube links, Quora for quora links etc. In those scenarios it showed the prompt, but didn't include any other browsers in the choices.

A quick solution would be to reset app preferences for all the apps.
app preferences
Resetting App Preferences

This is guaranteed to work however at the cost of resetting the app preferences of all the other installed apps.



Reset by Installing or Uninstalling a Browser

Turns out if you install a new browser, the Android system is triggered into clearing the default browser on its own. It does this as it's likely that one may want to set the new browser as the default one.

To confirm this, the No Default Browser is restored after installing a new browser.
no default browser
No Default Browser Set

Likewise, uninstalling the browser with the current default should bring up the prompt up again. One can thereafter reinstall the app. However that could mean losing any valuable data (bookmarks, add-ons etc.) that one had on that app (not unless you had backed up its data and can restore it).

Alternatively, one can just change the default browser to a browser that is already installed, uninstall it and that should get the Open with prompt again.

I suppose this works in the same manner for other versions of Android but I can't guarantee it. Similarly, this should work with other default app settings, not just browsers.

Kelvin is a writer and registered nutritionist based in Nairobi. Passionate about writing and helping people solve problems, he's been actively blogging since 2014 on tech, nutrition and "pseudo poetry".



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