How to Reset Android’s RingtoneNotification Sound Picker

How to Reset Android’s Ringtone/Notification Sound Picker

Personalizing your Android phone with wallpapers and ringtones is fun. But when you realize that the customization party’s over, you might want to return to your phone’s original or defaults, including which app it uses to pick ringtones and notification sounds.

There are several ways to clear or reset the default app for notification and ringtone sound picker in Android 10 or later:

  1. Clear Media Storage defaults.
  2. Clear Android System defaults.
  3. Clear File Manager defaults.
  4. Reset app preferences.

We’ll walk you through these 4 ways of resetting your ringtone and notification picker defaults so you can get this done in about 20 seconds! Let’s get started!

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Duration20 seconds
Number of Methods4
Things You NeedPhone on Android 10 or newer

NOTE: We used a Samsung phone on Android 10 as an example, but the procedure for any other phone brand or newer OS version is pretty much similar. 

How to Pick Default Notification and Ringtone Picker

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps4 steps
Duration10 seconds

We can’t start the discussion on resetting defaults when we don’t know how the default came into place. It’s always best to know what caused an issue in order to arrive at the best way to fix it.

How to choose default notification and ringtone picker app:

Step 1: Open your Android phone’s Settings, scroll upwards, and tap on Sounds and vibration.
Step 2: Choose whether to change your phone’s ringtone or notification sound. In this example, we’ll proceed with changing the ringtone.

Step 3: In the case of this dual-SIM phone, tap on any SIM to change its assigned ringtone.

Step 4: A popup will appear; it will ask you to choose which app to use in picking the ringtone sound. Choose your desired app and tap Always to set it as default.

If you tap Just once in Step 4, your phone will ask again which app will be designated as default the next time you change ringtones. The same steps also apply to changing notification sounds.

How to Clear Media Storage Defaults

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps5 steps
Duration20 seconds

Media Storage is one of Android’s numerous System Apps. Your phone needs this app to open media files like images, audio, and videos.

If you have another app you want to set as the default one your system will use for picking ringtones (like a ringtone app you’ve downloaded through the Google Play Store), it’s time to clear your Media Storage defaults.

Here’s how to clear your Media Storage defaults:

  • Open the Settings app, scroll up, and tap on Apps.
  • Tap on the three dots ([︙] – we’ll call it the kebab menu) in the upper right corner of your screen and select Show system apps.
  • Once the system apps appear, tap the magnifying glass icon on top of the screen to search for Media Storage using the search bar; tap its corresponding entry to open its settings.
  • Inside Media Storage settings, scroll up and tap Set as default. If Media Storage is a default app for any process, it should also indicate that it’s “Set as default” (a bit redundant, but it is what it is).
  • Tap Clear defaults to reset your notification or ringtone picker’s default app.

That’s it. You’ve successfully reset your default notification or ringtone picker if your phone asks which app to use to Complete action (in this case, “picking”) when you’re over at its sounds and vibration settings.

How to Clear Android System Defaults

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps5 steps
Duration20 seconds

Clearing the defaults of Android System is another method for resetting your Android phone’s default app for its notification or ringtone picker. 

Android System is your phone’s app or process that handles low-level system functions — one of the most important parts of the whole Android operating system. Thus, it isn’t surprising to know that it’s always hidden from Settings’ standard app list.

This is how to clear Android System defaults:

  • From Settings, scroll up and tap on Apps.
  • Look for the kebab menu (︙) in the upper right corner of your screen, tap it, and choose Show system apps.
  • Tap the magnifying glass icon on top of the screen to search for Android System using the search bar, and tap its entry to open its settings.
  • On Android System’s settings, scroll up and tap Set as default
  • If the Android System is a default for any phone process, the Clear defaults button should be lit up. Tap it to reset defaults.

Clearing Android System’s defaults is eerily similar to resetting Media Storage. However, if clearing Media Storage defaults doesn’t work, then this is another method worth the try.

How to Clear File Manager Defaults

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps5 steps
Duration20 seconds

If your current default app for picking ringtones or notification sounds is your Android’s native file manager, then you need to reset the file manager defaults. 

Looking for your Android system’s actual file manager can be quite tricky (especially in non-stock Android OS that’s already skinned and loaded with bloatware by different phone brands), but remember that the real file manager is always a hidden system app.

Here’s how to clear File Manager defaults:

  • Open your phone’s Settings app. Scroll up a bit and tap on Apps.
  • Tap the kebab menu (︙) at the upper right corner and choose Show system apps.
  • Search for your Android system’s native file manager app by tapping the magnifying icon and using the search bar. In our example, this phone’s system file manager app is named Files. Tap to open its settings.
  •  Scroll a little bit upwards and tap Set as default
  •  Tap on Clear defaults if its button is lit up.

Having the file manager as the default notification or ringtone picker app isn’t a typical scenario, especially in newer Android phones. However, knowing what you should do is still a good practice if this is your case.

How to Reset App Preferences

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3 steps
Duration5-10 seconds

If all of our previously-mentioned fixes fail, then here’s the nuclear option (a.k.a. The most extreme procedure) you can do.

Resetting app preferences will clear the default apps you’ve set for every possible process on your phone.

This is how to reset app preferences:

Step 1: Open the Settings app, look for Apps, and tap it.

Step 2: Tap the upper right kebab menu (︙) and choose Reset app preferences.

Step 3: Choose reset when a confirmation popup appears on the screen.

Since Reset app preferences is a nuclear option, be prepared to have your set restrictions and disabled apps back to default settings as well.

Wrapping Up

We hope this guide will help you clear or reset your Android phone’s ringtone or notification picker’s default app. 

The process could be tricky since you’ll need to work with system apps you don’t see on the home screen or in the app drawer. Nonetheless, it’s still worth it if you aim to return to your default ringtones instead of using another app for new tones.

FAQs on Resetting Default Notification and Ringtone Picker

How do I reset my default notifications on Android?

If you’ve set any notification restrictions for your Android phone’s apps, you can reset these notifications to their defaults by resetting app preferences. Go to Settings > Apps > three-dot menu on the upper right screen > Reset app preferences.

How do I delete default ringtones on Android?

You need to have a rooted Android device first before you can delete default ringtones. Rooting enables users to access parts of the Android system that are usually off-limits, but it can “brick” or make your phone irreparably useless or void its warranty.

How do I set my ringtone back to default?

You can set your Android phone’s ringtone back to default by first clearing the default settings of the third-party ringtone app you used to set your current one. Then, in Sound and vibration in Settings, complete the action with Media Storage to pick default tones.

The quickest way is to tap and hold on the said third-party ringtone app’s icon from the home screen or app drawer, tap App info on the popup, tap Set as default, and choose Clear defaults.

How do I get rid of the default notification sound?

You can get rid of the default notification sound in Android by setting a new one using any third-party ringtone app. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app on your phone, you can pick and set any new notification sound right from the app.

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