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Manage default SMS app on Android 4.4 KitKat

Not a fan of Hangouts as your primary texting app? You have a couple options to change the default app.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

For those Android users lucky enough to have already received Android 4.4 KitKat on their preferred device, changing the default SMS app is possible, but very hidden.

After installing another SMS app you might be prompted by the app to set it as the default SMS provider. Doing so will allow the app to alert you to new messages, and handle any outgoing messages you compose via another app.

There are times when you either dismiss the prompt on accident, or you're not prompted at all, and thankfully Android 4.4 KitKat includes a system setting to change the default SMS app. Here's where to find it:

Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Launch the Settings app on your device, and then tap on "More..." under the Wireless & Networks.
Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • The second option will then be "Default SMS App." Selecting it will present you with a list of all installed apps that are capable of being set as your default app.
Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Select the app you want and go back to messaging away.

On one hand it makes sense why the SMS setting is under Wireless & Networks, since SMS is handled by the network. But on the other hand, I don't really understand it's placement. If anything it should have it's own listing under the Device section in the Settings app.