How to Change the Galaxy S5 Text Message App

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has been available for over a year and was recently replaced by the new Galaxy S6, but that doesn’t mean owners can’t learn something new. We’re always receiving questions regarding users smartphones, and today we’ll be explaining how to change the default text app on the Galaxy S5.

Whether you’ve had the phone for months, or got it at a discount now that the Galaxy S6 has been released, you likely have questions. If you’re not a fan of the stock text message app on the Galaxy S5, there are tons of alternatives worth considering.

Read: 5 Best Android Text App Alternatives

Like most Android smartphones made by someone other than Google, the Galaxy S5 has its very own app for sending and receiving text messages. Rather than use Hangouts or Google’s stock Messenger app, every manufacturer makes its own. These days the stock text apps aren’t all that appealing (we’re looking at you Samsung) and they’re not very customizable either. Thankfully the power of Android means you can download any of the hundreds of text messaging replacement apps from the Play Store, set them as the default option.

AT&T Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop Review - 1

Even though the Galaxy S5 was recently updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop, the text message app remains rather plain and not very customizable. If you’d like options, we have a few for you. Instead of using Samsung’s text app download a 3rd party option that will let you change the notification icon, bubble colors, add quick compose features to the notification bar and much more. Lets get started.

When you replace your stock app with something from the Play Store you’ll probably be able to customize it with themes, change the look of the message bubbles, customize font, and more. It all varies on which you choose to download, and the link above details a few of our favorites, then the guide below will help you change it.


Starting with Android 4.4 KitKat in late 2013 Google made changing the stock text message app on Android devices easier than ever before. There’s a dedicated option in settings that turns one on and the other off, so you won’t get double notifications from both the stock app, and the new one you install. Samsung’s settings menu is a bit convoluted, but we’ll explain it so you’ll get things figured out in less than a minute.

First things first is you’ll want to navigate to the Google Play Store and download one of the many different third party text apps. Textra is our favorite, GoSMS is nice, and a few others made our list linked to above. Download it, and you’re set. Some even change the default app settings for you, or follow the steps outlined below.

Read: How to See Text Message Previews on Galaxy S5 Lockscreen

Head into settings by pulling down the notification bar and tapping the gear-shaped icon, or just find the settings app in the application tray. Not all Galaxy S5 settings menus are the same, they vary by carrier, not to mention you can change this in two different areas.  So just search for “Default Messaging App“ or scroll down as it’s near the bottom on the S5. Then just select this, and change the app to your app of choice.


You can also head into more networks > default messaging app, or even go to Device > Applications > Default applications > Messages and select it here. Any of these ways will change the text app from Samsung Messenger, to Textra or whatever you downloaded.

Once you’ve done this you’ll now see Samsung’s own Messages app, Google Hangouts, and whatever else you downloaded. Again, we use Textra, so that’s what is shown and what we’ve selected as the default texting application to send SMS and MMS messages. Now all you need to do is select the text app of choice, and you’re all done.


Now when you send and receive messages they’ll be done through this app, vs the one that came installed out of the box. Move the Textra icon to your main home screen, or the bottom bar with your most popularly used apps, and you’re all done. This won’t affect who can send or receive you messages, and everything will work as usual.

Textra and most 3rd party apps offer tons of customization, font size and color, themes, and bubble colors, so head into settings and customize it as you see fit. If you want to go back to the stock option, just go back to settings > default messaging app > and select the regular one. It’s that easy.

Enjoy a better text message experience on your Galaxy S5, one that’s customizable, and feel free to give other text replacement apps a try and find what’s best for you.