How to Reset Default Browser on Android Marshmallow

reset default browser

Yesterday while browsing through Reddit using Diode (reddit client app), I got to a point where I started opening many links outside the app. Typically, I prefer getting the Open With (Just Once/Always) prompt every time since I'd rather have some browsers open certain websites/links. However, at this point in time I decided why not just set the browser (Lightning Browser) I intended to use at that time to Always, rather than have to keep using the prompt every time; after all, in my mind I knew I could easily reset the default browser from the settings.
open with prompt
Open With Prompt
Well, it turned out later that my assumption was wrong. In my device running stock Android 6.0, I get 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 talking about is the one in:

Settings > Apps > Gear Icon > Advanced > Default Apps > Browser App
Changing Default Browser

Now I was quite stumped by all this, but I still had one thing I could try: clear the defaults for that Browser. So I went to its app settings and tapped on the CLEAR DEFAULTS button and with that I thought my troubles were done.
clear app defaults
Clearing App's Defaults

Unfortunately, that didn't work either, at least not as I had hoped - 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.

Left with no choice I contemplated resetting app preferences for all the apps. I was sure this would work but the fact that I would reset the app preferences for all the other apps I had installed was quite a bummer. The prospect of going app by app to restore my previous preferences was rather unsettling.
app preferences
Resetting App Preferences

Then an idea chanced upon me: perhaps if I installed another browser app that would trigger the Android system into clearing the default browser on its own seeing there was a new app worthy of that honour. So I did exactly that. I installed another browser app and fortunately enough that did the trick. The No Default Browser setting had been restored.
no default browser
No Default Browser Set

Later on I also discovered that doing the opposite had similar results. That is, uninstalling the browser with the current default should bring up the prompt up again. You can then reinstall the app should you need to use it. But then again that would mean losing any valuable data (bookmarks, add-ons etc.) that you had on that app (not unless you had backed up its data and can restore it). Alternatively, you can just change the default browser to a browser that you've already installed, uninstall it and you should get the Open with prompt again.

So basically that's it. I suppose this may work for other versions of Android but I can't guarantee that. Also I take it this should work with other default app settings, not just browsers. Cheers!

Related Posts

Loading comments...