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How To Change the Default SMS/Texting App on the Galaxy S7

Posted by William Sattelberg on May 19, 2017

As longtime Android users know, one of the greatest features of Google’s mobile OS is the ability to customize and change nearly everything about your phone. Though two Galaxy S7s might feature identical hardware, software choices and appearances between two individual phones might look entirely different, depending on the user. But this doesn’t end at icon and wallpaper customization: Android allows the user to change their default applications, which means you aren’t tied down to any part of the phone if you don’t like it. From small changes, like the ability to change phone’s keyboard or browser application, to changing the app that actually saves and opens your home screen with third-party launchers, Android as a platform is yours for the taking.

One of those apps you may want to reassign: your SMS app, which handles texting and picture messages on your phone. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Samsung’s default messaging application, but there are plenty of choices on the Play Store that may catch your eye, with additional features or completely different styles. Luckily, Android makes it easy to set a specific SMS app as default, so that your messages and notifications are routed through the app you want to use.

Changing the default SMS app isn’t too complicated, as most applications will ask upon installation to change your set-default app to their own. But there are a few settings you might want to change on your phone to ensure notifications aren’t doubled or missed at all. So let’s take a look at how to change the default SMS app on your Galaxy S7.

Step One: Disable Notifications on Samsung’s Messaging App

Before we enable a new texting app, we’re going to head into Samsung’s default messenger app (called “Messages”) and turn notifications off. Though changing the default SMS app should ensure that notifications between the two applications aren’t duplicated, it’s always best to make sure.

From the main display inside Messages, tap the triple-dotted menu button in the top-right corner, and select Settings from the drop-down menu. This will take you to the settings display for Messages.

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Second from the top is the option for notifications. Instead of customizing the way notifications work on your phone, simply slide the switch next to “Notifications” to the left, disabling any notifications in the standard messaging app on your Galaxy S7. After this, you can close the Messages app and head back to the home screen.

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Step Two: Enable a New SMS App as Default

Once you’ve downloaded your new SMS app through the Play Store—with our recommendations including Google Messages and Textra—you’re ready to enable your new texting app. There are two methods to doing this, and it really depends on what app you’ve installed on your Galaxy S7. Some applications will allow you to change your default SMS options upon launching the app for the first time; other applications may require you to enable their SMS abilities within the Android settings menu.

Method One: Through Your New Messaging App

The app I’m using here to test this method is Textra, though I can confirm that the majority of modern Android SMS apps will typically have a similar feature. If you open your new SMS app, you’ll either receive a pop-up notification or some form of alert that the app has not been set as your default SMS app. In the case of Textra, there is a banner running along the bottom of the screen that reads “Make Default,” which, upon selection, will trigger the Android system dialogue to make your new messaging app of choice the default selection on your Galaxy S7.

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And that’s it! The app will now function as your standard SMS app, complete with notifications and any other features your new SMS app offers. However, for some users and apps, you may not receive the option in-app to change your defaults. Luckily, you can dive into your settings menu and change it the old fashioned way.

Method Two: Through the Android Settings Menu

Open your settings app, either by using the shortcut in your notification tray or by opening settings through the app drawer shortcut. Once you’re there, you’ll want to find the Apps setting. If you’re viewing your settings in standard mode, it’s near the bottom of the “Phone” category; in simplified mode, it’s listed below “Device Management.” You can also search “Apps” in the built-in settings search function if you can’t find it in your typical settings.

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Once you’ve open your app settings, you want to find the “Default Apps” option and select it. Opening this menu will bring you to a list of changeable default apps, including your browser, your phone app, and your messaging app. Tap on “Messaging app,” which should be third from the top. Here, you’ll find a collection of every app on your S7 capable of sending or receiving SMS messages. You can choose any of the apps you’d like to use, and whichever you choose will be selected by default until you change it again.

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You won’t receive any pop-up notifications or dialogues to make sure you want to change your SMS app. Instead, you’ll be returned back to the “Default Apps” menu, and from here, you can exit settings. Your new app is now set as default!

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Changing your default apps is really easy once you know how to do it, and it makes testing new variants of apps both easy and a lot of fun. There are tons of texting apps out there for you to try, complete with additional features and customization options not found in the standard messaging app included on your Galaxy S7. So what are you waiting for? Download some new apps and try them out! You never know what you might find.

One thought on “How To Change the Default SMS/Texting App on the Galaxy S7”

Mike says:
Good stuff, thanks. I changed my SMS (from ‘Messages’ to ‘Textra’). But ‘Messages’did not have a Disable option in the Applications menu (only ‘Force Stop’) , and its icon still appears in the Applications tray. How can I get rid of it, or at least hide it, please?
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