intellij - r cannot be resolved to a variable android studio

“cannot resolve symbol R” in Android Studio (20)

  1. Check your xml files.
  2. Clean Project.

This is it.

For example I had an entry in my strings.xml:

<string name="A">Some text</string>

And in activity_main.xml I used this string entry


While'd been working with project, I deleted that

 <string name="A">Some text</string>

And consequently activity_main.xml became not valid. As the result: cannot resolve R.

So, check your *.xml files and clean project.

In every instance in all of my classes where I reference, the R is in red and it says "cannot resolve symbol R". Also every time there is R.layout.something it is underlined in red and says "cannot resolve method setContentView(?)". The project always builds fine. It is annoying to see this all the time. I have read many other questions on here about something similar but most involved importing projects from Eclipse. I am using what I believe to be the most recent version of Android Studio and the project was created with Android Studio and worked without any "cannot resolve R" problems. I would like to know what causes this if anyone knows.

Build > Clean Project

This worked for me. Had the same problem a few times, and this seems to set it right. Unless you have changed something or called a variable R. This issue usually happens out of nowhere, when it happens to me, so I imagine its just Android studios freaking out. haha

Have a good one, and good luck with your projects.

Do: Build > Clean Project

IMPORTANT: Make sure you don't have any Errors after Clean Project in Message Pane (Alt+0). If you find any red circles with exclamation mark, than you must remove those errors in your code.

Mostly these errors are related to @string/ or @array/. Clean Project again and done!

Dudes, I think there are a lot of shots in the dark here. In some cases Clean and Sync Project will help only after you fixed the problem.

Step1: So go and look at the top of each file where the package is specified as follows pakage="YourURL.YourProject"; and insure that the correct package (Your Own Project) is specified. You will find this in java files and AndroidManifest.xml and it is critical for the java files to reference the correct package, as that package contains the resources ("R") you are pointing to. Should they not match up the error cannot resolve Symbol R occurs.

Step2: Clean, Sync, whatever. Done

So why does this occur randomly or what did I do wrong??

If you copy and paste code, you should pay close attention to the "package=" as explained above. More importantly, when you paste code, it immediately runs through a sort of debugger (Excuse my bad tech term) to show you "presumed errors", which immediately takes in consideration the "Wrong Package", and you get all the errors. Therefore, even though you immediately corrected the notation after pasting, the debugger has already refreshed. Which is why "Clean, Sync, Whatever" works SOMETIMES

I faced this issue when I manually renamed the domain folder of my app. To fix this issue, I had to

  1. Set the proper package folder structure of <manifest> in AndroidManifest.xml.
  2. Set the new package location for android:name of <activity> in AndroidManifest.xml.
  3. Clear cache by

File Menu -> Invalidate Caches / Restart ...

The issue will be gone, once the Android studio restarts and builds the fresh index.

I had a hard time fixing this myself.

  • Make sure you have no errors in your layout.xml files.
  • Go to Build > Clean project

It worked for me, hope it works for you too.

I had the same problem, and it happens when I create a new project.

What I do is:

  • check for SDK updates
  • then android studio updates,
  • then reopen the project
  • open the andoridmanifest.xml
  • erase a space between a "_>" in the android:label and save.

That works for me.

I had this this issue too. A simple 'gradlew clean' and 'gradlew build' did the trick.

Click on Build->Clean Project and that will perform a gradle clean

I have a special case for this problem.

In my project, every thing goes well, it can compile and build successfully, but in my Android Studio IDE(and I also tried Intelligent IDEA, they are in the same situation) the file can not be resolved well and always be drop in red line.

Just like this:

This almost made me crazy, I can't bear the read color when I am programing.

At last I found this tricky problem is cause by my's file size. My project is very a huge one, it supports many multi-languages and multi screen sizes. There are so many resources that my's file size is about 2.5M.

The max size of a file in Android Studio is 2.5M in default settings, so files bigger than this limit can't not be resolved well. And you can change the default settings in "AndroidStudio-root/bin/".

change this line:


to :


Then restart Android studio, the red color dismissed, I can program happily again.

I have had this with

  1. An uppercase letter in my drawable resources.
  2. Import Android.R being added by Android Studio (or Eclipse)
  3. Error in xml file

I recently had this issue and the clean/build etc. didn't resolve it. I guessed I had an issue somewhere but wasn't sure where to look to find it (was it in the manifest, resource xml files etc?).

When something is wrong, you can find out what it is by doing a code analysis run.

From the menu at the top choose:

Analyze -> Inspect code, scan the whole project using the 'Default' profile.

Your inspection results will contain an element called 'Android'. In here you will get a list of anything that is causing issues in your resources and manifest file. The errors will open up the generated xml files from your build which will show any errors in red.

My exact issue was caused because I was using flavour based manifest files and I copied some permissions inside the <application> tag in the flavour by accident.

UPDATE: I did have an issue after where Android Studio still showed the error after the fix, even though I could now build and run perfectly fine while the error was still there. (I am running a canary build so putting it down to that for now)

I think if you put your Activities files to another folder than the default one. You need to import the com.example.yourproject.R (this is your project R file NOT Android.R file) to ALL activities using R. For example, in MainActivity file insert this line:

import com.example.yourproject.R;

In the latest versions of Android Studio, at least for me, the following works:

"Tools" -> "Android" -> "Sync Project with Gradle Files"

In latest Android Studio 3.1.3 (July 2018), "Sync Project with Gradle Files" is available in main menu bar.

Just clean your project and Sync Project with Gradle File.

And the problem will be resolved.

Same problem. Started when I added a few images in my drawable folder and tried to access them. Also the images added were having the extension with capital letters. That seems to have crashed the build, since even if I renamed them, the message was the same and R was inaccessible. What I did is, in the .iml file I looked for the excludeFolder and removed them (like bellow):

  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/apk" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/assets" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/bundles" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/classes" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/dependency-cache" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/incremental" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/libs" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/manifests" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/res" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/symbols" />
  <excludeFolder url="file://$MODULE_DIR$/build/tmp" />

After that I rebuilt the project and R magically re-appeared.

There are many causes for this error.

  1. Sometimes it occurs for replacing an image file keeping same name.
  2. Suppose you deleted an item from your layout .xml say a <Button/> but it is still declared in any Activity or Fragment .java.
  3. Many more.

Best way to track the error is Rebuild it rather clean or sync doing some intentional error.

If it doesn't solve your problem then there must have to be some flaw or runtime error or error occurred due to improper use of resources in may be both java or xml file in your code or design which is forcing gradle to stop because (R)esource file can't index your resources properly and you have to admit that.

If your project ran before you made the changes then comment out the changes you have made and try to rebuild the project.

It will surely work since there will be no changes.

To track down the exact error, check the changes by breaking the changes into smaller module.

For example - If you are making a list visible with a button click and inserting list values in the adapter, first check if you are able to make it visible or not then check for adapter errors.

This is a very old question, but it still happens a lot and there is no truly comprehensive answer here.

I have had this problem more times than I want to admit. It can be caused by a wide variety of issues that mostly all have to do with your project structure not matching what's expected. Here's a list of all the problems I've had:

Importing from Eclipse to Android Studio does not always work smoothly, especially with older versions of Android Studio. Make sure you're using the correct directory tree. It should look like this for a moderately mature app:

AppName/        // AppName is your app's name, obviously
    .gradle/    // This is a compiler created directory. You should normally leave it alone
    .idea/      // Ditto
    build/      // This too
    gradle/     // And this
            androidTest/   // Tests based on the Android instrumentation runner should go here
                    fully/           // Typically com
                        qualified/   // the domain name. Longer package 
                                     // names may have deeper folder trees
                            AppName/ // All your java files go here
                    drawable-*/      // One of these for each resolution you support
                    layout/          // All of your general layouts
                    menu/            // All of your menu layouts
                    values/          // All of your resource xml files
                    xml/             // PreferenceScreen layouts go here
            test/          // Pure jUnit tests should go here
        build.gradle   // This is the gradle file you should be making most changes to
    build.gradle       // This gradle file should mostly be left alone

It may not look like this in your IDE. There is a drop-down above the file tree that displays your files in different ways, and it defaults on my system to one called Android that breaks your files out into their different types. It's easier to fix this kind of problem from the one called Project, and even easier directly from your OS's file system, because Android Studio collapses folders that only contain another folder onto a single line.

Especially if you ever change the name of your app, you need to make sure that the source tree main/java/com/domain/AppName is updated. Also make sure that the package tag in your AndroidManifest.xml is correct.

If there are errors in either your Gradle files or your AndroidManifest.xml, this will prevent Android Studio from properly building your resource files. Gradle files can be broken by upgrading Android Studio sometimes, especially from the pre-1.0 versions. Sometimes this is because it stops supporting older versions of the Gradle plugin, so you need to update your version numbers. It can sometimes be hard to find what the current versions are. As of today, 7/17/15, my apps are compiling fine with This is in the dependencies block in the outermost gradle file,

If your AndroidManifest references a non-existent drawable or string resource or activity, it will break and cause this error. Sometimes if anything references a nonexistent drawable or string resource you will get this error.

If you have a file in your resources that is corrupted, or an invalid xml file, you will get this error.

In my experience, sometimes Android Studio just hiccups for no reason, and you need to restart it and/or your PC. I don't know why, but sometimes it works.

If you have two xml resources with the same name, in directories that do not override each other, you can have this problem. For instance, you can have the same name in drawable-mhdpi and drawable-xhdpi because they override each other depending on the target device, but if you have the same name in layout and in menu, it will cause a problem. Rename or delete one of the files.

If only some resources are having this problem, those resources are most likely in the wrong directory.

In one case I had to completely reinstall Android Studio. I don't know what was wrong, but it worked.

In one case I moved my entire project to a different directory and re-imported it as a new project. I don't know what was wrong, but it worked.

Xml files with reserved words for names can cause this problem. Rename or delete them.

There are a few ways your Gradle file can end up referencing a version of the build-tools that you do not have installed. Correct this by changing Gradle or downloading the appropriate build-tools.

Finally, after you've fixed whatever is wrong, you need to clean your Gradle project. You do this by going to the Build menu at the top and selecting Clean Project.

This notation seems to work fine.


Android Studio's design panel doesn't seem to work well.

Your code is just scrambled. The answer is fairly simple.

Just go to **Build** --> **Clean Project**.

That should do the trick.

I'm current using Android Studio 3.0.1.

`I had same problem and it solved by :

1) Sync Project with gradle files
2) Build -> Clean Project
3) Build -> Rebuild Project
4) File -> Invalidate caches

//imp step
5) Check your xml files properly.`