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android – Disable soft-keyboard from EditText but still allow copy/paste?

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


Hi I’m making custom dialer so I create my own input pad.

The problem is how do I disable the EditText but still allow cut/copy/paste? The stock dialer can do this.

I have tried android:focusable="false" but it disables cut/copy (can still paste though).

I also tried to disable the inputType programatically which disables all three commands:

myEditText.setInputType(InputType.TYPE_NULL); //Can't cut/copy/paste

Disabling it from manifest also doesn’t work:

android:configChanges="orientation|keyboardHidden" //Keyboard still popped up

Any solution? Thanks

How to&Answers:

After hours and hours of research, I finally found a solution that works for all API versions. Hope this saves someone’s time.

If you are developing for API >= 11, the solution is simple, either:

1) Add the two properties below in the xml file of EditText



2) Programatically do the below


And you’re done.

If you want to cater for API < 11 as well, I found that there is no way to disable to keyboard from popping out if you wanted to select the text for copy paste purpose. Setting focusable to false will disable the keyboard but it doesn’t help because it disables your ability to select text too. Any other solutions I found in stackoverflow all either doesn’t work or disables text selection at the same time too.

One ugly way to solve this is as such..

First, add this property in the xml file of EditText


Yes this is deprecated, but necessary for making the EditText not editable in API version < 11.

Next, we will need to hide the keyboard as soon as it shows up, so that we can continue selecting text without the keyboard blocking the way.

Use this code below to detect keyboard showing up (solution obtained from https://stackoverflow.com/a/9108219/1241783), and hide it immediately.

if (android.os.Build.VERSION.SDK_INT < android.os.Build.VERSION_CODES.HONEYCOMB)
    final View activityRootView = findViewById(R.id.activityRoot);
    activityRootView.getViewTreeObserver().addOnGlobalLayoutListener(new OnGlobalLayoutListener() {
        public void onGlobalLayout() {
            Rect r = new Rect();
            //r will be populated with the coordinates of your view that area still visible.

            int heightDiff = activityRootView.getRootView().getHeight() - (r.bottom - r.top);
            if (heightDiff > 100) { // if more than 100 pixels, its probably a keyboard...

            //Hide the keyboard instantly!
            if (getCurrentFocus() != null) 
                InputMethodManager imm = (InputMethodManager) getSystemService(Context.INPUT_METHOD_SERVICE);
                imm.hideSoftInputFromWindow(getCurrentFocus().getWindowToken(), 0);

It works for my case. Though you can see the keyboard showing up in a split second (which is the ugly part) but I can’t think of any other way to get this to work at the time of writing. If you have a better solution, please leave a comment!

Let me know too if this saves someone’s time 🙂


To disable the soft keyboard showing, keeping the copy/paste and cursor functionality, just add this line in your activity:



Since the current top answer uses a deprecated method and didn’t have the paste method for me, here’s another way that doesn’t use old methods. But, it does try to use a hidden method via reflection with a fallback. =)

I’ve subclassed EditText into a new widget called KeyboardlessEditText that still retains all the cool editing features without the keyboard showing. Just drop the file in and go.

The full code is a little long for this post, but as long as GitHub doesn’t go down, then this will work: https://github.com/danialgoodwin/android-widget-keyboardless-edittext/blob/master/KeyboardlessEditText2.java


try this

 EditText et = ... // your EditText

et.setKeyListener(null) //makes the EditText non-editable so, it acts like a TextView.

No need to subclass. The main difference between this and making your EditText non-focusable, is that the EditText still has its own cursor – you can select text, etc. All it does is suppress the IME from popping up its own soft keyboard.


To disable system keyboard automatic pop up for EditText or TextView do the following:

} else {
    //N.B. Accepting the case when non editable text will be selectable


Had a similar need due to my custom inline “fake” input which was still visible as the os soft keypad was appearing after focus moved to an edit text.
Solution was to make the edit text hide soft input until the previous custom input widget had finished its edit lifecycle.

Used @Bruce’s answer for inspiration, also saw a few related posts which I’ll attach at end.
Solution I found worked was:

fun setInputType(inputType: Int) {
        if (inputType == InputType.TYPE_NULL) {
            getEditText().isCursorVisible = true

had to use setRawInputType() instead as multiline text input was not respected when setting from InputType.TYPE_NULL back to InputType.TYPE_TEXT_FLAG_MULTI_LINE.

Seems there are users reporting issues relating to calling setInputType(InputType.TYPE_NULL). see:

other useful related posts:

How to make EditText not editable through XML in Android?

EditText non editable


I had the same problem but I also wanted later allow typing after doulbe tap.. after hours and hours I found working solution (at least for me). Use this in your onCreate method:

getWindow().setSoftInputMode(WindowManager.LayoutParams.SOFT_INPUT_STATE_HIDDEN);  // This just hide keyboard when activity starts

These lines should definitely do the trick.. and if you want to revert that use this:


To show keyboard again use:

private void showSoftKeyboard(View view) {
    InputMethodManager inputMethodManager = (InputMethodManager) getSystemService(INPUT_METHOD_SERVICE);
    inputMethodManager.showSoftInput(view, 0);

To allow copy/paste next time just use these three lines:


For further keyboard hide use:

private void hideSoftKeyboard() {
    if(getCurrentFocus() != null) {
        InputMethodManager inputMethodManager = (InputMethodManager) getSystemService(INPUT_METHOD_SERVICE);
        inputMethodManager.hideSoftInputFromWindow(getCurrentFocus().getWindowToken(), 0);

This code is working on API >= 21. Hope it helps to someone