Most OSs show a nice summary about which application will be used to open a certain file type. Android does not seem to have such a function.

How can I track and manage the default applications?

  • 1
    How many players do you have installed so that writing a question here and waiting for an anwser will be quicker than checking them all?
    – Mihic
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 6:16
  • 4
    @Mihic, this doesn't matter; the question is about file-type-centric solution. There are many ways how player name can be unknown.
    – Dims
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 13:10
  • 2
    What does players have to do with anything?
    – user5506
    Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 7:32

5 Answers 5


As you maybe already know, for each application that currently is a default application for something, say a PDF viewer, you can reset this default in the application settings (Settings -> Applications -> Manage applications -> Your app -> Clear defaults). After this, the next time you perform the action (e.g. open a PDF), a popup will appear, letting you choose a new default.

As far as I know, this is all you can do with stock Android.

There are however, 3rd party apps, that give you an overview of the currently set default applications for common things, e.g. Default App Manager.

  • Is there any way to do this if you don't know what app a particular file is associated to? My friend has a problem that he have chose the wrong app and hit set as default, and he don't know which app it was!
    – Calmarius
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 19:47

You can use Default App Manager:


It allows you to set default app for picture, music, web pages, video, etc...


If there are a lot of them, it might be easier to just clear all default applications. You can do this without installing an app or having to look through a list. Go to Settings, then Apps (in the Devices section). From the overflow menu pick Reset app preferences.

The next time you have more than one app for something, you'll get the app chooser. Any apps that you really did want as default you can set again in the same way you did before.

  • Ha! This is exactly what I wanted. I never thought to look in the overflow menu.
    – Bryan Denny
    Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 15:09
  • But this will also reactivate all deactivated apps. Which was a lot of work
    – rubo77
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 0:30

Default App Manager will show you all applications that have "Clear Defaults" available in the application settings screen.


After many trial and errors File Expert solved the problem. I couldn't open e-book files ("cannot open file") and programs people advised didn't fix it. Not Astro Manager nor Default App Manager. The last one only lists file types that apps REGISTERED, but if the handler would be registered correctly, I wouldn't search web for help.

File Expert gives you the option to open selected file with selected app. That what solved the problem but no other file manager does that (or at least this one the first I found does that after several app I've tried)

  • Thanks for your answer, please also provide an link to the app you recommend.
    – Flow
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 10:14
  • Well, the only thing you need to find it on Google Play is name, but ok, I'll provide developer's name and google it for you: File Expert from GeekSoft.
    – PaulBunkey
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 20:13
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    It's good practice to include the links of the mentioned software right into the post. It saves some work for the users who try to follow you recommendation.
    – Flow
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 22:54
  • Can you explain in more detail how to do this? I have downloaded "File Expert with Clouds" and happily it can see all the files in my Dropbox, but when I tap on a file nothing happens. If I long-click it says "1 selected" at the top of the screen and there are some icons, but I'm not finding where it will let me choose what app to open the file with?
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 17:57
  • More specifically, long-tapping brings up what looks like a trash can icon, a copy icon, a cut icon, a weird icon that appears to select all, and a menu with options for "Details", "Rename" and "Cancel". Nothing about opening the file anywhere.
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 18:04

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