Home » Android » android:visibility attribute in preferences xml not working? (Android 2.3)

android:visibility attribute in preferences xml not working? (Android 2.3)

Posted by: admin June 15, 2020 Leave a comment


Take for example this small preference.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<PreferenceScreen android:title="@string/sig_title" xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
<ListPreference android:entries="@array/text_display_entries" android:title="@string/sig_style" android:key="text_style" android:entryValues="@array/text_display_values" />
<CheckBoxPreference android:title="@string/custom_font" android:key="tweaks_text" />
<CheckBoxPreference android:title="@string/col_random" android:key="random_color_pref" />
<CheckBoxPreference android:visibility="invisible" android:enabled="false" android:title="@string/sig_show" android:key="show_sig" />

The attribute android:visibility=”invisible” for the last checkbox doesn’t work; this attribute (or gone for that matter) doesn’t work for preferences?

I don’t have anything in the code to mess with its visibility, just curious why this doesn’t work.

How to&Answers:

android:visibility is used to show and hide Views but it’s not valid for a Preference. The documentation for Preference lists the available XML attributes, but none of them are what you want.

It is, however, possible to add and remove preferences from a PreferenceScreen programatically.


You have to use setVisible method to change the visibility.

First, initialize the checkbox preference.

CheckBoxPreference showSigPreference = (CheckBoxPreference) findPreference("show_sig");


// Show the check box preference

// Hide the check box preference


I realize that this is an older question that didn’t previously have an acceptable answer to do this in xml.

Now with the addition of the AppCompat Library is IS possible do this directly in xml. See the complete example at https://stackoverflow.com/a/54154665/114549


For AndroidX users, add this directly to your preference XML