How do I set Google dialer as my default?

What is Google Dialer?

Google Dialer is Google’s own dialer app for making calls and sending texts on Android devices. It comes preloaded on Pixel phones and is also available for download on the Google Play Store for other Android devices [1]. The app provides a clean interface and useful features like spam call protection, caller ID, visual voicemail, and business lookup and call placing.

Google Dialer aims to provide a simple yet full-featured dialer experience. It integrates closely with your Google account and Contacts to surface relevant information about callers. The app also takes advantage of Google’s AI for features like screening robocalls and providing smart suggestions.

Why use Google Dialer?

The Google Dialer app comes with several useful features that make it worth switching to as your default phone app on Android.

One key feature is visual voicemail, which allows you to see a list of your voicemails and play them back easily without having to dial into your voicemail inbox. You can listen to voicemails in any order and delete them with just a tap (Source 1).

Spam call protection is another useful capability. Google Dialer will automatically detect suspected spam calls and warn you so you don’t have to answer them. It does this by cross-referencing incoming numbers against an aggregated database of numbers marked as spam by users (Source 1).

Additionally, you can easily lookup businesses right within the dialer by entering a name or number. This brings up business listings, reviews, hours of operation, and other useful information before you call (Source 2).

Check Your Current Default Dialer

To check which app is currently set as your default phone and dialer app on an Android device, follow these steps:

First, open your phone’s Settings app. On most Android devices, you can access Settings from the app drawer or home screen. You may also swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon to open Settings.

Next, tap “Apps & notifications” or “Apps.” On some devices, this may be labeled “Applications.”

Then, tap “Default apps,” “Advanced,” or “App info.” Look for an option along those lines.

Finally, tap “Phone app.” This will show you which app is currently set as the default dialer and phone app on your device. Common options include the built-in Phone app, Google Phone, Google Dialer, or apps from manufacturers like Samsung.

Now that you’ve checked your current default, you can proceed to changing it if needed. Knowing the existing default dialer is an important first step before setting a new default app.


Change default to Google Dialer

To set Google Dialer as your default phone app on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap on “Apps & notifications” or search for “Default apps” (location varies by device).
  3. Tap on “Default apps”.
  4. Under “Phone app”, tap on the current default selection.
  5. Select “Google Dialer” from the list.

This will set Google Dialer as the default handler for calls on your device. When you tap on a phone number, Google Dialer will now open automatically to dial the number. All calls will go through Google Dialer unless you specifically open a different calling app.

Setting Google Dialer as default allows you to access features like spam call protection, visual voicemail, and business lookup. It ensures calls route through Google’s systems for a seamless experience.

Grant Required Permissions

In order for Google Dialer to function properly as your default phone app, you need to grant it certain permissions. The main permissions to allow are:

  • Contacts – This allows Google Dialer access to your contacts so you can easily call or text people in your address book.
  • Phone – This permission gives Google Dialer the ability to directly make and receive calls using your phone’s hardware.
  • SMS – With this, Google Dialer can send and receive text messages.

You can manage app permissions in your phone’s settings. On Android, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > App permissions. Find Google Dialer and toggle the permissions on. Refer to this Google support article for detailed steps on changing app permissions.

Enabling these key permissions means Google Dialer can fully integrate with your phone’s calling and messaging functions. It needs access to these core device capabilities in order to serve as your default phone app.

Import contacts (optional)

One useful feature of Google Dialer is the ability to sync your existing phone contacts. This allows you to access all your contacts directly within the Google Dialer app for easy calling and messaging.

To import your contacts from your phone into Google Dialer, first make sure contacts syncing is enabled in your Google account. Open the Contacts app on your Android device, tap the More options icon (⋮ or ≡) and select Settings. Enable the option for “Accounts and Import” or “Accounts”. Next, tap on your Google account and make sure “Contacts” is set to sync.

You can also manually trigger a sync to transfer contacts over. Go to Settings > Accounts > Google, tap your account, then tap Account sync. Tap “Contacts” to sync now. (1)

Once your Google contacts are updated, open the Google Dialer app. In Dialer, tap the More option (⋮ or ≡) > Settings > Accounts. Make sure your Google account is enabled under “Display contacts from”. Now when you search for contacts in Dialer, it will show results from your synced Google contacts.

With your phone contacts available in Google Dialer, you can easily call or message anyone right from the app. It also enables useful features like caller ID, spam protection, and more.

Enable spam protection

The Google Phone app has a built-in spam filtering feature that can help reduce unwanted and robocalls. To enable it:

  1. Open the Google Phone app.
  2. Tap the three dot menu icon in the top right corner.
  3. Go to Settings > Spam and Call Screen.
  4. Toggle on “Filter spam calls” to enable the feature.

With spam filtering enabled, the Phone app will automatically detect likely spam calls and filter them out so your phone doesn’t ring. Suspected spam calls will go straight to voicemail instead. The app uses advanced machine learning models and regularly updated block lists to identify spam callers.

If a call gets incorrectly flagged as spam, you can tap on it in your call history and select “Not spam” to override the filtering. This will allow future calls from that number to ring through.

Spam detection works automatically in the background once enabled. Make sure to keep the Phone app and spam filtering updated for the best protection.

Use visual voicemail

One of the key features of Google Dialer is its visual voicemail capability. With visual voicemail, you can view transcribed voicemails right within the Google Dialer app. When someone leaves you a voicemail, Google Dialer will transcribe it to text so you can read it instead of having to listen to the audio.

To enable visual voicemail in Google Dialer:

  1. Open the Google Dialer app.
  2. Tap the three dot menu icon in the top right corner.
  3. Go to Settings > Voicemail.
  4. Turn on “Visual voicemail”.

Once enabled, anytime you receive a new voicemail, the Google Dialer app will display a transcription of the message. You can read the message like a text instead of having to dial into your voicemail inbox. The transcription won’t be 100% perfect, but it allows you to quickly scan voicemails to determine if they require immediate attention.

You can still play back the original audio of the voicemail if needed. Visual voicemail just gives you the option to view a text version for convenience.

Note that visual voicemail may not be supported by all carriers. Check with your mobile carrier to ensure they offer visual voicemail integration with Google Dialer. Certain Samsung devices may also face issues with enabling visual voicemail in Google Dialer according to this Reddit thread.

Lookup businesses

One useful feature of Google Dialer is the ability to easily find and call businesses right from the app. You can use the search bar at the top of the dialer screen to look up companies by name or category. When you search, you’ll see a list of matching businesses along with their phone numbers.

To call a business, simply tap the phone icon next to their listing. Google Dialer will automatically dial their number for you. This makes it quick and convenient to find and contact companies without having to look up their number separately.

According to an article on Google’s support site, Google Dialer’s caller ID and spam protection features can even display business names for incoming calls. So using the dialer helps you easily identify calls from companies.


Switching your default dialer to Google Dialer provides several benefits over your smartphone’s built-in dialer. Google Dialer offers spam protection to reduce unwanted calls, visual voicemail so you can easily manage your messages, and integration with your Google Contacts. The clean interface makes it fast and easy to find contacts and place calls.

To set Google Dialer as your default dialer, go into your smartphone settings, tap Apps or Application Manager, select Phone or Default Apps, then choose Google Dialer. You’ll need to grant the required permissions and access to your contacts. Once set up, Google Dialer will automatically launch for all calls and you can take advantage of all its great features.

With Google Dialer as your default dialer, you’ll enjoy a streamlined calling experience, visual voicemail, robust spam blocking, and seamless access to your contacts. Switching over is quick and easy – give it a try today!

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