How To: Turn off HTC Sense

turn_off_senseThinking about buying the Sprint Hero by HTC, or already own it, but not digging the Sense UI? It’s okay, it isn’t for everyone. Thankfully there is a way to turn off Sense and use the standard Android Home instead.  Here’s a quick step-by-step guide how to do so!

  1. Press MENU button.
  2. Press Settings.
  3. Press Applications.
  4. Press Manage Applications.
  5. Wait for the OS to compute application usage.
  6. Scroll down the list until you see HTC Sense and select it to go to the Application Info page.
  7. Press the Clear Defaults button.
  8. Press the HOME button. You will be prompted to select which app to compete the action with. Select Home and chose to make this the default action.

Now that you are back at the standard Anroid Home screen, what are the ramifications? There are now four fewer home panels on which to add widgets and shortcuts. The HTC widgets are no longer available, but the HTC customized apps like People and Messages are still available. The Facebook integration into the contacts is still there, also. The only real change is the home screen and HTC widgets. Interestingly, the original Android wallpapers are now available for use on your new Home! These wallpapers are hidden when selecting a wallpaper for the Sense home.

What if you want to go back to Sense? Follow the steps outlined above until Step 6 where you will select Home and then clear it’s defaults. The rest is the same.

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Founded on November 5, 2007, we've enjoyed bringing you the latest in Android news and rumors. Updated daily, we strive to deliver reviews, opinions, and updates on all things related to Android.

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1,479 Comments

  1. @brandon
    October 22, 14:17 Reply

    Nice guide – thanks. It's important to note that this turns off Sense's home screen (and widgets), but doesn't remove all of the other Sense integration. Also, a few users have noted that this doesn't help battery or performance that much.

    • Sam
      May 22, 00:24 Reply

      is there a known way to turn off htc sense with the new sprint android 2.2 update because this does not seem to work for me.

    • imarion
      October 11, 09:11 Reply

      Is there a known way to turn off htc sense with the new sprint android 2.2 update because this does not seem to work for me.When I press and hold the home button, I get a popup for recently used apps.

  2. leland
    October 22, 15:11 Reply

    Quicker way to do it is simply press and HOLD the home button. You will then get the popup to select the default action/application.

  3. JeremiahBostick
    October 22, 16:14 Reply

    This doesn't work for me. When I press and hold the home button, I get a popup for recently used apps.

    • Ram
      October 28, 01:19 Reply

      Same issue for me too. when I press and hold the home button, I see a popup for recently used apps and if i pres it again htc sense starts again.

      Htc desire 2.1

  4. @the_real_newman
    October 22, 19:28 Reply

    once you follow the instructions and get Vanilla as your home, when u hit menu you can switch between the Vanilla homescreen and Sense.

  5. Lars
    October 22, 19:41 Reply

    I was excited to see the topic of this tutorial, since I've wondered myself how to best turn off the Sense UI. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on my unlocked HTC Hero – simple because HTC Sense (or just "Sense" is not in the list of applications. Anyone else have this problem?

    • ohnoitsaspider
      April 21, 22:52 Reply

      It might be called Rosie- but never, ever "TouchFlo". TouchFlo is old school winmo.

  6. JeremiahBostick
    October 22, 20:49 Reply

    I don't have the GSM Hero but I believe you should look for "TouchFlo" in the list of apps and turn off the defaults for it. Hope this helps.

  7. JeremiahBostick
    October 22, 21:14 Reply

    Pressing and holding the HOME button or pressing the NENU button both result in the default actions…and neither one allow for discriminate changing between Home and Sense. If, after you switch to Home from Sense, you hold the HOME button you will see Sense in the recently used apps popup but that will only be in that list for a short time until you use some more apps….If you don't select either as default as outlined in Step 8, you will be prompted which home to use every time you press your HOME button.

  8. <NR>
    October 23, 03:37 Reply

    Thanks! I really appreciate your posting this. Something I was curious about.

  9. Huffman
    October 25, 19:25 Reply

    Does this mean that Hero users will have to use 1.5 “Cupcake”? Or would they be able to go to system updates or do the manual update online? As you know, the current version of Sense is overlayed on 1.5. Also, I wonder if you were able to update to 1.6, would it be a problem to go back to using the Sense UI?

    • JeremiahBostick
      October 28, 00:29 Reply

      Sense UI is still on the phone. What you are doing here is just choosing to use the standard Android Home instead of the Sense Home. There are other elements of Sense UI that are built into Android and still perform as expected even after one changes the "home" default. The HTC People app is one example of this. People integrates Facebook and Flickr updates into the address book. There is also HTC's Twitter App called Peep. Peep and People continue to work after Sense Home is turned off. There is also HTC's phone manager and customized web browser. Everything works. Going back to the Sense home is easy and painless.

      It's basically like choosing to use one app over another. In this case it's the homescreen app. As far as updates are concerned. The Hero is based on HTC's Customized Android kernel. The only official way to get an update is when HTC and/or Sprint releases one. When that happens it will work on the Hero regardless of whether or not you have turned Sense home off.

  10. Frosty-Et1
    November 15, 15:00 Reply

    Is it possible to use the standard android contacts application rather than the people application included in HTC Sense? My contacts are way too cluttered due to much more facebook friends than I care to have.

    Maybe it’s possible to only show the contacts which are on my phone. And not the whole facebook integration bit. I would actually prefer it if facebook etc would just be kept sepparate to my actual contacts.

    • JeremiahBostick
      November 25, 03:33 Reply

      It is not possible to use the standard Android contacts app without some serious hacking.

      You can remove the Facebook link for your contacts though. Unfortunately this can only be done one contact at a time. Select a contact in the People app. When viewing that contact's details press the "update" icon at the bottom. Then press menu and select "Remove Facebook link".

    • Stuart
      August 05, 17:26 Reply

      No – you shouldn’t have bought a HTC handset if you don’t like the integration. You can however select to just view google contacts etc. You could also simply remove your facebook account from the handset, that way they won’t show up in your contacts.

  11. Frosty-Et1
    November 28, 10:55 Reply

    I also have a few random people on facebook. Will they all suddenly appear in my contacts. This will be downright irritating.

    Is there a fix for this?

  12. amanda
    January 21, 02:52 Reply

    help! every time i hit the home button on my htc hero by sprint it comes up saying " complete action using home or htc sense , the i can check it and it says use default for this action but it always comes back. How do i get rid of it?

    • Carolyn
      February 19, 03:27 Reply

      Hit use default first, which put a green check in the box and then choose the app you want to use as the default.

  13. Dan
    May 16, 17:02 Reply

    I'm just having fun switching between Home and Sense xD

  14. Pat
    June 12, 05:23 Reply

    I went and turned off the Sense UI, set as default action, all is great. Except when I try to turn it back on and click the Home button, it takes me to my home page; no questions asked. I'm unable to clear defaults again so it seems as if I'm stuck with stock Android. Help is appreciated.

    • @12Vdk
      June 16, 13:35 Reply

      I ran into the same problem, but i found a solution.

      Instead of going to the HTC Sense application, to clear the default action, find the application named "Start", i hope it's called the same on an english android phone, i'm having a danish one. The icon is a white house with a red roof.
      Anyway, go to that start application and "clear defaults", press the home button and you can set HTC Sense as default.

      • Richard
        June 16, 15:27 Reply

        Yes I have the same problem can't clear defaults again and I'm stuck with the Android version. I don't have the 'start' application that you're referring too and I even downloaded start from the Market. I think the start from the Market is different.

        This sucks, I hope I don't have to do a reset and lose everything!!!

  15. mole51
    June 21, 11:40 Reply

    I have an HTC desire 2.1 locked on Orange (so it comes with loads of orange crapware) and when I remove defaults for HTC sense and press the home button, I have two options: HTC Sense or Orange Homescreen. I do not have the option for Home. Any ideas? Thanks

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  17. Torrent
    July 23, 08:16 Reply

    Every time i hit the home button on my htc hero by sprint it comes up saying " complete action using home or htc sense , the i can check it and it says use default for this action but it always comes back. How do i get rid of it?

  18. Salt
    August 17, 04:18 Reply

    I’m unable to clear defaults again so it seems as if I’m stuck with stock Android. Help is appreciated.

    • Blarp
      August 17, 05:26 Reply

      You can try downloading Home Switcher from market to solve the problem.

  19. Dave S
    September 09, 23:57 Reply

    THANK YOU!!!!
    Noah, our 1 1/2 year old somehow got a hold of the Mommie’s cell phone (while it was in Toddler Lock) and turned off the “HTC Sense” user interface. This was 6 weeks ago. We finally restored it today by following your instructions. The Mommie couldn’t even follow the instructions from the website.
    I better get back to my childproofing chores.
    Noah’s Daddy.

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  21. blue balls
    October 11, 20:27 Reply

    0k i found a souluteion its not start in english it is Home then clear defaults and it’ll ask u the same thing as htc sense clicking clear defaults and do the green check and do htc sense again when it asks u to pick sense or home yw every1

  22. robertsteve
    October 12, 06:00 Reply

    The Guidelines are neatly explained.. I recently purchased one Sprint Hero.. but i was unable to dig the UI… Thanks for providing these guidelines..,I have followed through the steps which you have provided.

    Also the Texas driver safety course is what i have found to be a safe option to remove my traffic tickets.

  23. Giochi
    November 08, 13:51 Reply

    Every time i hit the home button on my htc hero by sprint it comes up saying ” complete action using home or htc sense , the i can check it and it says use default for this action but it always comes back

  24. fake
    December 03, 10:36 Reply

    this tutorial just removes your current settings with new UI settings. Do not follow this tutorial, I repeat, it is bullsh*t.

  25. Dsass600
    December 08, 19:11 Reply

    will clearing the defaults delete your arrangement of your icons and widgets and such that you had before, in the case that you would want to switch back.

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  27. sproketz
    March 31, 17:40 Reply

    Hmm doesn’t work on HTC Incredible oddly. It never gives the option to launch anything else. It just automatically relaunches Sense.

  28. iGoWeb
    April 06, 12:26 Reply

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial

  29. Cibeles -
    May 25, 23:20 Reply

    hi, nice tip!
    but is there any chance to completely get rid of sense ui? I mean, uninstall it?
    another annoying thing for me is that I’m running gingerbread on an unrooted HTC Desire HD and I’d like to have the new fancy black pop up menus (those that appear when pressing on menu key) that come along with gingerbread, but I still have the same grey old ones… is there a way to have them? right now I’m using ADW.Launcher EX and Go Launcher EX but I think it is somehow related to Sense UI.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Amaya

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  33. Raiden7800
    August 17, 17:34 Reply

    Doesn’t prompt me for which program to continue with in the Home or HTC Sense, it looks like it reboots Android and says “Loading” for about 2 minutes, and comes back with all the junk HTC Sense first starts with.

  34. Anonymous
    August 21, 09:57 Reply

    Hi, i have a htc desire but facebook for htc sense is uninstalled, can anyone tell me how to reinstall it please

  35. Filip Cvejic
    September 19, 13:35 Reply

    i was looking to disable it completely  not just change the launcher!!!

    • Jclee1992
      February 21, 22:03 Reply

      I’m looking for disable completely too because i’m using HTC evo 3D and i have root + MikMik Rom but there have sense 3.5 which i want to disable it because i was using FullScreen Caller ID pro but it just delay because it goes to the Sense Lockscreen when someone call me.. i need to open Sense Lock then press answer… So the SENSE UI is blocking my way to get faster answer…

  36. Zafar Rafaz
    December 13, 03:49 Reply

    this  changes the Launcher, doesnt turn off Sense at all. 

  37. Jl20461234
    January 01, 07:08 Reply

    Not working with HTC Desire HD & Sense 3.0. 
    What can i do instead?

  38. anders salvesen
    April 26, 22:19 Reply

    when i look on htc sense on my htc one x, the “clear defaults” option is grayed out and cannt press it. what choise do i then have? will it be safe to force stop it?

  39. kabhijeet
    November 22, 14:38 Reply

    What the hell?? You r not turning off sense. u r only removing the cache/settings u created when u started using the phone. tHE ONLY THING U CAN CHANGE IS HOME SCREENS. & the icons/folders/wallpapers on the handset. so, removing cache just takes u2 the original settings of home screens as it was intended by HTC. For ur kind info, U can stop htc sense by going into manage applications in settings. But if u have not installed a third party launcher like Go launcher or 7Launcher etc., sense would restart as soon as u press home button.

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