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Reset app preferences on Android and how to use it

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iOS 14 introduced an option to change the default email client and browser. Android has done this for years, allowing for all pre-built system apps to be replaced with third-party solutions of your choice. Touché, Apple. Jokes aside, you can tweak many things and, while doing so, make some changes to permissions, links, or notifications for all installed apps.

But how to restore them to default values without losing any app data? The answer is to use the Reset app preferences option on Android. If you want to learn what it exactly does and how to use it, read below.

What do Reset app preferences mean?

Primarily, this option is there to reset all default apps. So, if you, for example, want to restore all system apps to be your default browser, phone, or gallery, this option allows that. Also, it will restore default link assignments for apps. This is probably the most critical and cumbersome procedure if you try and do it by hand for many apps.

But it goes much further by re-enabling all disabled apps and restoring default permission values to apps. The ones that were granted to them after the installation. This includes notification settings, as the procedure will restore default notifications for all apps.

Furthermore, resetting app preferences will also disable all background data usage limitations you have set. An important thing to remember is that the Reset app preferences option won’t delete any app data—no need to worry about that.

Now, you might ask, when is this action recommended? It can come in quite handy when you are experiencing issues with either system or third-party apps. Also, resetting app preferences is the way to go if you want to instantly restore default apps.

How to Reset app preferences on Android?

The procedure is relatively simple. Although it varies a bit on different devices from different OEMs, it shouldn’t be an issue finding it. You can usually find it under the 3-dot menu in the All Apps list. Once you tap on it, the dialog box will inform you about changes that will be made if you go through with it.

Here’s how to reset app preferences on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications (Apps).
  3. Tap All apps (App Manager or Manage apps).
  4. Now, tap on the 3-dot menu and select Reset app preferences.
  5. Confirm the selection.reset app preferences 1

You can restart your device after this procedure and check for improvements if you used this procedure to fix some app issues. As simple as that.

That’s it. Do you find this feature useful or it makes it too much of a hassle to restore individual permissions and notification settings afterward? Leave a comment below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in February 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.