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Android Studio unit testing: read data (input) file

Posted by: admin March 11, 2020 Leave a comment


In a unit test, how can I read data from a json file on my (desktop) file system, without hardcoding the path?

I would like to read test input (for my parsing methods) from a file instead of creating static Strings.

The file is in the same location as my unit testing code, but I can also place it somewhere else in the project if needed. I am using Android Studio.

How to&Answers:

Depending on android-gradle-plugin version:

1. version 1.5 and higher:

Just put json file to src/test/resources/test.json and reference it as


No gradle modification is needed.

2. version below 1.5: (or if for some reason above solution doesn’t work)

  1. Ensure you’re using at least Android Gradle Plugin version 1.1. Follow the link to set up Android Studio correctly.

  2. Create test directory. Put unit test classes in java directory and put your resources file in res directory. Android Studio should mark them like follow:

    enter image description here

  3. Create gradle task to copy resources into classes directory to make them visible for classloader:

    task copyResDirectoryToClasses(type: Copy){
        from "${projectDir}/src/test/res"
        into "${buildDir}/intermediates/classes/test/debug/res"
  4. Now you can use this method to get File reference for the file resource:

    private static File getFileFromPath(Object obj, String fileName) {
        ClassLoader classLoader = obj.getClass().getClassLoader();
        URL resource = classLoader.getResource(fileName);
        return new File(resource.getPath());
    public void fileObjectShouldNotBeNull() throws Exception {
        File file = getFileFromPath(this, "res/test.json");
        assertThat(file, notNullValue());
  5. Run unit test by Ctrl+Shift+F10 on whole class or specyfic test method.


For local unit tests (vs. instrumentation tests), you can put files under src/test/resources and read them using classLoader. For example, following code opens myFile.txt file in the resources directory.

InputStream in = this.getClass().getClassLoader().getResourceAsStream("myFile.txt");

It worked with

  • Android Studio 1.5.1
  • gradle plugin 1.3.1


In my case, the solution was to add to the gradle file

sourceSets {
    test.resources.srcDirs += 'src/unitTests/resources'

After it everything was found by AS 2.3.1



I’ve had plenty of problems with test resources in Android Studio so I set up a few tests for clarity. In my
mobile (Android Application) project I added the following files:


The test class (all tests passes):

assertTrue(getClass().getResource("test.txt") == null);

In the same root project I have a Java (not Android) project called data. If I add the same files to the data project:


Then all the tests above will fail if I execute them from Android Studio, but they pass on the command line with ./gradlew data:test.
To get around it I use this hack (in Groovy)

def resource(String path) {
    getClass().getResource(path) ?:
            // Hack to load test resources when executing tests from Android Studio
            new File(getClass().getClassLoader().getResource('.').path
                    .replace('/build/classes/test/', "/build/resources/test$path"))

Usage: resource('/test.txt')

Android Studio 2.3, Gradle 3.3


If you go to Run -> Edit configurations -> JUnit and then select the run configuration for your unit tests, there is a ‘Working directory’ setting. That should point to wherever your json file is. Keep in mind this might break other tests.


I though I should add my findings here. I know this is a little old but for the newer versions of Gradle, where there is NO src/test/resources directory, but only one single resources directory for the whole project, you have to add this line to your Gradle file.

android {
   testOptions {
      unitTests {
         includeAndroidResources = true

By doing this you can access your resource with:


I’ve been searching for this and could not find an answer, so I decided to help others here.