Mastering requestFeature(): How to Properly Call it Before Adding Content - Ultimate Guide

In this guide, you'll learn everything about requestFeature() in Android, and how to properly call it before adding content to your application. We'll also explore the common pitfalls developers face when working with this method and provide step-by-step solutions to overcome them.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding requestFeature()
  2. Properly Calling requestFeature()
  3. Step-by-Step Guide
  4. Common Pitfalls
  5. FAQ
  6. Related Resources

Understanding requestFeature()

requestFeature() is a method available in the Android Window class. This method is used to enable extended window features, such as custom title bars, progress bars, or action bars. You can find the official documentation for requestFeature() here.

Before diving into the proper way of calling requestFeature(), it's essential to understand that it must be called before setContentView(). If you try to call requestFeature() after adding content, an AndroidRuntimeException will be thrown.

Properly Calling requestFeature()

To properly call requestFeature(), you must:

  1. Call it before adding content to your application.
  2. Call it after initializing the Window object.

Here's an example of how to properly call requestFeature():

protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

    // Request custom feature before adding content

    // Add content to the application

    // Set the custom title bar
    getWindow().setFeatureInt(Window.FEATURE_CUSTOM_TITLE, R.layout.custom_title_bar);

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to properly call requestFeature() in your Android application:

  1. Open your activity's Java file (e.g.,
  2. Locate the onCreate() method, which is called when the activity is created.
  3. Before calling setContentView(), call getWindow().requestFeature() with the desired feature constant (e.g., Window.FEATURE_CUSTOM_TITLE).
  4. Add content to your application with setContentView().
  5. If necessary, configure the requested feature using methods provided by the Window class.

Common Pitfalls

  1. Calling requestFeature() after setContentView(): Make sure to call requestFeature() before adding content to your application. Otherwise, an exception will be thrown.
  2. Forgetting to call requestFeature(): If you're using a custom feature, make sure to call requestFeature() before adding content. Otherwise, the feature will not be applied to your application.


Q1: Can I call requestFeature() multiple times in my activity?

Yes, you can call requestFeature() multiple times, but you must do so before adding content to your application.


Q2: Can I use requestFeature() in a Fragment?

requestFeature() is a method of the Window class, which is not directly available in a Fragment. However, you can access the parent activity's window and call requestFeature() on it:


Q3: Can I remove a feature after calling requestFeature()?

No, once you've called requestFeature(), the feature cannot be removed. You can only modify the feature's appearance or behavior.

Q4: What are some common features I can request using requestFeature()?

Here are some common features you can request using requestFeature():

  • Window.FEATURE_CUSTOM_TITLE: Custom title bar
  • Window.FEATURE_ACTION_BAR: Action bar
  • Window.FEATURE_INDETERMINATE_PROGRESS: Indeterminate progress bar

Q5: Can I use requestFeature() with AppCompatActivity?

AppCompatActivity uses AppCompatDelegate to handle the window features, so you should use supportRequestWindowFeature() instead of requestFeature():


Now you have mastered how to properly call requestFeature() before adding content to your Android application. Use this knowledge to create engaging and functional user interfaces with extended window features. Happy coding!

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