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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Change the Home Screen of Your Android for a New Appearance and Custom Features «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to Change the Home Screen of Your Android for a New Appearance and Custom Features «Android :: Gadget Hacks

One of the easiest ways to enhance your Android experience is to replace the Stock Launcher with a new one. The word "launcher" is Android lingo for "home screen app" and is often used because it's so easy to switch to a new one. So if you want to revise your home screen, this guide is for you.

The cool thing about using a custom launcher is that you have control over your experience, so you have many different ways to try it out and find your match. If you are looking for one that offers all the intricacies you could wish for, there is plenty to fill this gap without question. Of course, if you are looking for something better and simpler, you will.

Step 1
: Browse the Play Store

Before you can use a custom launcher, you'll need to search the In the Play Store, you'll find several different candidates that match your personal style or needs.

First do a Home Launcher search to see a list of popular Home Launcher apps. Nova Launcher, Action Launcher and CPL are three of our favorites when you need a starting point.

Since you are interested in improving your home screen experience, you will most likely want to download several different starters, but for the sake of simplicity we keep the number low for the time being. Download a handful of Home Launcher apps (maybe 2 or 3) and quit the Play Store for the next step. You can repeat the process at any time and do more testing later.

Step 2: Modifying the Default Home App

As with anything Android, there are several ways to do the same thing differently. The two methods below are very easy to do. It only depends on which method is best for you or what you want to achieve.

Note for Android 10 users: Third Party Starters can disable the new navigation gestures in full screen mode and reset your phone to the older navigation bar. However, this is a problem on all Android 10 devices except Pixel 4. Google will fix this problem soon.

Method 1: Tapping the Home Screen

If you have some startup programs installed, go to the Home screen as usual and you should be greeted with a new popup message. All currently installed home apps will be displayed. You can then choose one that you want to start by default. Select the app you want to use as the new launcher and tap "Once Only" or "Always" to confirm.

Alternatively, some startup programs may ask you to open them as the first time you open them Standard. For Android 10 gestures that do not work well with third-party startup programs, you may need to do this or simply manually set it in the following other method. That's all there is to it! Now you can dive into the offers of the launcher and see if it meets your needs.

You can also check the settings of the launcher you are using at any time. Most of them should have an option to set the default home app from there.

Method 2: About System Preferences

You can now browse system settings as well as all phones. This is extremely useful for finding a particular setting without having to poke around blindly. Tap the search box or icon at the top of the settings screen, type "Standard apps" or "Default," and then tap the entry that matches your search criteria.

If you are using a Pixel smartphone, the Search should be Setting "Default Home App" will display results for even faster access.

The "Default Apps" main page appears, where you can see for each action all the apps your phone uses by default. Tapping on the "Home App" option displays all Home Launcher apps currently installed on your device. Tap the app you want to use and it will become your new default launcher. Then it should immediately send you to the start screen of the new launcher.

If you ever want to switch back, just repeat these steps, but select the default launcher in the menu above. You can also uninstall any custom launcher to return to the default home screen.

This article was created during the annual Tweaks & Hacks Celebration Week by Gadget Hacks. Read all Tweaks & Hacks Festive Stories.

Do not miss: More Android 101 customization tutorials

Title image and screenshots of Stephen Perkins / Gadget Hacks

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