I recently got completely fed up with the built in Messages (SMS) application and switched it out for Chomp (also looking at Handcent, haven't decided on one yet). I want to use the "Messages" icon though, as well as treat the new app as the default SMS program. I know about "Manage Applications" and clicking the "Clear Defaults" button for the app. But the "Clear Defaults" is disabled for the Messages app and it says that no defaults are set. I read on someone else's post that their AT&T provider had somehow hardcoded this as the default app and they couldn't change it. So...

Can they really do that? Is that why my HTC Hero doesn't let me clear the default? Is there a way around that?

7 Answers 7


One word. Root. I would suggest rooting as a solution to your problem. Here is documentation for how to root your CDMA Hero: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=581577

  • 2
    For information on what "root is and why you should do it, refer here: addictivetips.com/mobile/…
    – Parker
    Oct 29, 2010 at 21:22
  • How did I know that would be the "only answer". I would love to root my phone. However, I bought the protection plan from Sprint and if I root the phone and something breaks i'm basically screwed. Thanks for the link though. I do plan to root after I get a new phone next year and keep this one as a Dev phone. Also, the article says the Android 2.1 update from Sprint might close the security bug exploited, any idea if it actually did?
    – Chaulky
    Oct 29, 2010 at 21:57
  • Don't forget, you can always unroot your phone if you need to return it. Rooting does not void the warranty on most phones, although it is probably frowned upon by tech reps at the carrier store.
    – Parker
    Nov 1, 2010 at 1:30

At least one partial solution for those who can't root and want to use another messaging app.

Go to the Settings of the stock messaging app and turn off notifications, now only the messaging app will notify you when a new text message arrives.

Without rooting (and most likely removing the messaging app) there's no way to replace the stock one if it's protected, but at least with this solution, it will stop bugging you!

  • 1
    Thanks Ivo. Fortunately I've done that already, or it would have been so annoying I might have given up on it all.
    – Chaulky
    Oct 30, 2010 at 17:34

The default applications that you can clear in the "Manage Applications" view are for URIs (URLs, file extensions, ...) only. You can not set the default SMS Application by this. There is no way to set something like the default SMS application on Android explicitly.

There are three approaches to switch away from the stock SMS app to another one:

  1. Install the alternative SMS app and disable notifications in the stock app. Little Drawback: The SMS messages will still appear in the stock app.

  2. At least Handcent and GoSMS provide a feature that blocks "duplicate messages", which prevents the SMS from show up as "duplicate" in the stock app inbox. Drawback: Other Apps, that are also listing for incoming SMS messages, e.g. because they trigger some action when magic word appears in the SMS, won't work either.

  3. Root your phone, uninstall the stock SMS app and install another one.

I suggest you go with the first option.

Technical Background: As I sad before, you can not set the default SMS application on Android. That is because incoming SMS are propagated by the system with an so called intent broadcast. Every app can register for this SMS intent. So if you install a second SMS app, both apps, including the stock app, will receive the SMS (via the intent) and put it in their inbox. Apps can also abort the intent broadcast, which is exactly what the "block duplicate messages" option in GoSMS and Handcent does. But then no other app that wants these intents is able to receive them.


I came across an application that eases this pain and does the required superbly. The app is called Default App Manager. You can clear you previous defaults as well as set new ones. Probably this could be useful.


I just went into settings in Handcent app and found a setting in thier that made it the default app.

  • 1
    Please explain your answer a little bit.
    – Sid
    Dec 23, 2012 at 11:30

You can simply set it in Handcent and it disables the other one all together. In handcent just click: menu -> settings -> application settings -> default messaging application, and set it for both sms and mms. There you go. I think android does not let you unset it because then nothing would be set. It is up to a new application like handcent to set itself as that.


Just simply go settings, applications, manage applications. You then need to scroll down to viber and press clear defaults.

I'm not sure about others phone sets but for htc, its works .

  • You're sending him to the same screen he says he's already visited, and referring to an application that he doesn't mention in his question at all. Care to edit?
    – Saiboogu
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:54

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