requestFeature() must be called before adding content


I am trying to implement a custom titlebar:

Here is my Helper class:

import android.view.Window;

public class UIHelper {
    public static void setupTitleBar(Activity c) {
        final boolean customTitleSupported = c.requestWindowFeature(Window.FEATURE_CUSTOM_TITLE);


        if (customTitleSupported) {
            c.getWindow().setFeatureInt(Window.FEATURE_CUSTOM_TITLE, R.layout.titlebar);

Here is where I call it in onCreate():

public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

private void setupUI(){

But I get the error:

requestFeature() must be called before adding content
1/28/2014 10:03:09 AM

Accepted Answer

Well, just do what the error message tells you.

Don't call setContentView() before requestFeature().


As said in comments, for both ActionBarSherlock and AppCompat library, it's necessary to call requestFeature() before super.onCreate()

4/30/2015 8:49:14 AM

I know it's over a year old, but calling requestFeature() never solved my problem. In fact I don't call it at all.

It was an issue with inflating the view I suppose. Despite all my searching, I never found a suitable solution until I played around with the different methods of inflating a view.

AlertDialog.Builder is the easy solution but requires a lot of work if you use the onPrepareDialog() to update that view.

Another alternative is to leverage AsyncTask for dialogs.

A final solution that I used is below:

public class CustomDialog extends AlertDialog {

   private View content;

   public CustomDialog(Context context) {

       LayoutInflater li = LayoutInflater.from(context);
       content = li.inflate(R.layout.custom_view, null);

       setUpAdditionalStuff(); // do more view cleanup

   private void setUpAdditionalStuff() {
       // ...

   // Call ((CustomDialog) dialog).prepare() in the onPrepareDialog() method  
   public void prepare() {
       setIcon( getIcon() );
       // ...

* Some Additional notes:

  1. Don't rely on hiding the title. There is often an empty space despite the title not being set.
  2. Don't try to build your own View with header footer and middle view. The header, as stated above, may not be entirely hidden despite requesting FEATURE_NO_TITLE.
  3. Don't heavily style your content view with color attributes or text size. Let the dialog handle that, other wise you risk putting black text on a dark blue dialog because the vendor inverted the colors.

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