How to make links in a TextView clickable – Dev

The best answers to the question “How to make links in a TextView clickable” in the category Dev.


I have the following TextView defined:

    android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:text="@string/txtCredits"
    android:autoLink="web" android:id="@+id/infoTxtCredits"

where @string/txtCredits is a string resource that contains <a href="some site">Link text</a>.

Android is highlighting the links in the TextView, but they do not respond to clicks. What am I doing wrong? Do I have to set an onClickListener for the TextView in my activity for something as simple as this?

It looks like it has to do with the way I define my string resource.

This does not work:

<string name="txtCredits"><a href="">Google</a></string>

But this does:

<string name="txtCredits"></string>

Which is a bummer because I would much rather show a text link than show the full URL.


I’m using only android:autoLink="web" and it works fine. A click on the link opens the browser and shows the correct page.

One thing I could guess is that some other view is above the link. Something that is transparent fills the whole parent but don’t displays anything above the link. In this case the click goes to this view instead of the link.


Buried in the API demos, I found the solution to my problem:


    // text2 has links specified by putting <a> tags in the string
    // resource.  By default these links will appear but not
    // respond to user input.  To make them active, you need to
    // call setMovementMethod() on the TextView object.

    TextView t2 = (TextView) findViewById(;

I removed most of the attributes on my TextView to match what was in the demo.


That solved it. It is pretty difficult to uncover and fix.

Important: Don’t forget to remove autoLink="web" if you are calling setMovementMethod().


The above solutions didn’t work for me, but the following did (and it seems a bit cleaner).
First, in the string resource, define your tag opening chevrons using the HTML entity encoding, i.e.:

&lt;a href="">Google&lt;/a>

And not:

<a href="">Google</a>

In general, encode all the chevrons in the string like that. BTW, the link must start with http://

Then (as suggested here) set this option on your TextView:


Finally, in code, do:

((TextView) findViewById(;
((TextView) findViewById(;

That’s it. No regular expressiones or other manual hacks are required.


After spending some time with this, I have found that:

  • android:autoLink="web" works if you have full links in your HTML. The following will be highlighted in blue and clickable:
  • Some text <a href=""></a>
  • Some text
  • view.setMovementMethod(LinkMovementMethod.getInstance()); will work with the following (will be highlighted and clickable):
  • Some text <a href=""></a>
  • Some text
  • Some text <a href="">Go to Google</a>

Note that the third option has a hyperlink, but the description of the link (the part between the tags) itself is not a link. android:autoLink="web" does NOT work with such links.

  • android:autoLink="web" if set in XML will override view.setMovementMethod(LinkMovementMethod.getInstance()); (i.e.; links of the third kind will be highlighted, but not clickable).

The moral of the story is use view.setMovementMethod(LinkMovementMethod.getInstance()); in your code and make sure you don’t have android:autoLink="web" in your XML layout if you want all links to be clickable.