Fixing The ‘Android Resource Linking Failed’ Error

The ‘Android resource linking failed‘ error is a common problem among Android developers. This error can be quite frustrating, especially when it appears in code that was previously working without any issues. Fortunately, there are practical ways to identify the root cause of this error and subsequently fix it. In this guide, we will walk you through several strategies to resolve this error and ensure smooth Android development.

Understanding The ‘Android Resource Linking Failed’ Error

Before delving into the solutions, it’s essential to understand what triggers the ‘Android resource linking failed’ error. Typically, this issue arises when the Android Studio Gradle encounters errors in your XML files, which could be due to syntax errors or typos.

For instance, if you have an XML layout file causing this error, it might look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  
<shape xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" android:shape="rectangle" >  
<gradient  
android:angle="90"  
android:centerColor="@color/colorPrimaryDark"  
android:endColor="@color/colorPrimaryDark"  
android:startColor="@color/colorPrimaryDark"  
android:endCollor="@color/colorPrimaryDark"  
android:type="linear" />  
<corners  
android:radius="10dp"/>  
</shape>  

In the above code, note the attribute android:endCollor. This attribute is misspelled and will trigger the ‘Android resource linking failed’ error.

Also Read: Android Intent Filter with Code

Common Causes of ‘Android Resource Linking Failed’ Error

Several factors can contribute to the ‘Android resource linking failed’ error. Here are some of the most common causes:

XML File Errors

Errors in your XML files are a major reason why Android might fail to link a resource when you want to build your application. An example of this error is when you use the XML declaration twice in a single XML file. Unlike web browsers that are lenient and will let this slide, a development environment like Android Studio will not allow it.

For example, the XML code:

<?xml version="1.0″ encoding="UTF-8″?>
<?xml version="1.0″ encoding="UTF-8″?>

will cause the ‘Android resource linking failed XML’ error. Erroneous XML files can also cause the ‘Android resource linking failed Kotlin’ error, and a missing XML declaration will cause the ‘Android resource linking failed ic_launcher’ error.

Use of AndroidXCore Version of the Android Support Library

Using the AndroidXCore version of the Android Support Library can cause this error. This version contains features that your application may not support because it’s the latest version. As a result, if the configuration in your “build.gradle” files instructs your application to use it, you’ll encounter an error.

For example, the following will instruct your application to use the AndroidXCore version of the Android Support Library:

com.android.support:support-v4:+

The plus (“+”) sign is another way of saying “get the latest version of the Support Library”.

Compatibility of Android Support Library and Compiled SDK

By default, the Android Support Library (ASL) and the compiled Software Development Kit (SDK) should have the same version. If they don’t, resources will not link in your application. If you use an ASL that’s higher than the SDK, it will not find the resources it needs in the SDK.

Outdated Gradle Version

When your Gradle version does not support AndroidX, that’s when you’ll get the ‘Android resource linking failed Unity’ error. Newer elements added in AndroidX, such as “”, may not be recognized by an older version of Gradle.

Breaking Version of React Native Netinfo

A breaking version of the React Native Netinfo library that uses the alpha transitive version of androidXCore can cause the ‘Android resource linking failed react-native’ error. This error arises when your application is not prepared to use the features of androidXCore.

Missing Project Dependencies

When you convert your Android application to a “lib” module without copying the source code, you’ll run into the ‘android resource linking failed aar’ error. This happens because the resulting “jar” or “aar” application will not contain the dependencies it needs.

Solutions for ‘Android Resource Linking Failed’ Error

Here are practical strategies to resolve the ‘Android resource linking failed‘ error:

Fixing XML File Errors

Fixing errors in your XML files will solve the ‘Android resource linking failed ionic’ error. Here is a step-by-step guide to resolving this error:

  1. Check your XML files for duplicate XML declarations and delete one.
  2. Inspect your XML files for a missing XML declaration.
  3. Resolve highlighted errors in your XML files, then rebuild your project.
  4. If the error occurred while you’re coding, undo any recent changes.
  5. Run a stack trace in the Android Studio terminal using “gradlew build -stacktrace”.

Updating Android Support Library

An update to the Android Support Library will allow Android to link a resource in your application. Follow these steps to carry out this update:

  1. Locate the “build.gradle” files in “platforms/android/app/build.gradle” and “platforms/android/build.gradle”.
  2. Open these files and add the following line:
configurations.all {
    resolutionStrategy {
        force 'com.android.support:support-v4:27.1.0'
    }
}

Ensuring Android Support Library and Compiled SDK Version Equality

Equal version numbers of the Android Support Library and the compiled SDK will allow Android Studio to link your application file resources. Follow these steps to ensure version equality:

  1. Open your project in Android Studio.
  2. Click on “File” in the menu bar and select “Project Structure”.
  3. Select your application under “Modules”.
  4. Change the “Compile SDK” version number under the “Properties” tab.
  5. Go back to the menu bar and click on “Tools”.
  6. Navigate to Android > SDK Manager > Extras > Android Support Library.
  7. Ensure the version number is the same as the “Compile SDK”.

Updating Editor Settings in Unity

Updating the editor settings in Unity 2019 will solve the ‘Android resource linking error’. Follow these steps to update the editor settings:

  1. Open your Unity editor.
  2. Open the “Publishing Settings” under the path “Project” > “Settings” > “Player”.
  3. Select the checkbox that says “Custom Gradle Properties Template”.
  4. Navigate to the path that shows after the checkbox.
  5. Add the following at the end of the file: “android.useAndroidX=true android.enableJetifier=true”
  6. Put these on different lines.

Updating React Native Netinfo

An update to “React Native Netinfo” will stop the error about linking file resources in your React Native project. Follow these steps to update React Native:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. If npm is your package manager, use the following command:
npm update @react-native-community/netinfo

If “yarn” is your package manager, use the following command:

yarn add @react-native-community/netinfo

Updating Android Gradle Plugin

Updating the Android Gradle plugin will solve the ‘failed linking file resources’ error in Flutter. Follow these steps to update Android Gradle Plugin:

  1. Open the “android” folder and delete the “.gradle” folder.
  2. Open the “build.gradle” file in your project and update the “classpath” property to use the latest version number of Gradle.
  3. Open the “gradle-wrapper.properties” and update the distribution URL. The following is for “Gradle 7” as documented in the official Gradle documentation:
distributionUrl=https\://services.gradle.org/distributions/gradle-7.6-bin.zip
  1. Restart Android Studio.

Adding Dependencies to Your Project

When you convert your Android application to a “lib” module, add dependencies of the application to projects that will use this “lib” module. For example, if the application uses the “design” dependency, you can add the following to the project that will use the “lib” module:

implementation 'com.android.support:design:version_number_here'

Replace “version_number_here” with the version number of the dependency as it is in the Android application.

Conclusion

Understanding the causes and solutions of the ‘Android resource linking failed‘ error will help you become a more effective Android developer. By following this guide, you can troubleshoot and resolve this error, ensuring smooth Android development. Happy coding!