How to stop EditText from gaining focus at Activity startup in Android – Dev

The best answers to the question “How to stop EditText from gaining focus at Activity startup in Android” in the category Dev.

QUESTION:

I have an Activity in Android, with two elements:

  1. EditText
  2. ListView

When my Activity starts, the EditText immediately has input focus (flashing cursor). I don’t want any control to have input focus at startup. I tried:

EditText.setSelected(false);
EditText.setFocusable(false);

No luck. How can I convince the EditText to not select itself when the Activity starts?

ANSWER:

Is the actual problem that you just don’t want it to have focus at all? Or you don’t want it to show the virtual keyboard as a result of focusing on the EditText? I don’t really see an issue with the EditText having a focus on the start, but it’s definitely a problem to have the softInput window open when the user did not explicitly request to focus on the EditText (and open the keyboard as a result).

If it’s the problem of the virtual keyboard, see the AndroidManifest.xml <activity> element documentation.

android:windowSoftInputMode="stateHidden" – always hide it when entering the activity.

or android:windowSoftInputMode="stateUnchanged" – don’t change it (e.g. don’t show it if it isn’t already shown, but if it was open when entering the activity, leave it open).

ANSWER:

Excellent answers from Luc and Mark. However, a good code sample is missing. Adding the tags android:focusableInTouchMode="true" and android:focusable="true" to the parent layout (e.g. LinearLayout or ConstraintLayout) like in the following example, will fix the problem.

<!-- Dummy item to prevent AutoCompleteTextView from receiving focus -->
<LinearLayout
    android:focusable="true" 
    android:focusableInTouchMode="true"
    android:layout_width="0px" 
    android:layout_height="0px"/>

<!-- :nextFocusUp and :nextFocusLeft have been set to the id of this component
to prevent the dummy from receiving focus again -->
<AutoCompleteTextView android:id="@+id/autotext"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent" 
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:nextFocusUp="@id/autotext" 
    android:nextFocusLeft="@id/autotext"/>

ANSWER:

The only solution I’ve found is:

  • Create a LinearLayout (I don’t know if other kinds of Layout’s will work)
  • Set the attributes android:focusable="true" and android:focusableInTouchMode="true"

And the EditText won’t get the focus after starting the activity

ANSWER:

A simpler solution exists. Set these attributes in your parent layout:

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:id="@+id/mainLayout"
    android:descendantFocusability="beforeDescendants"
    android:focusableInTouchMode="true" >

And now, when the activity starts this main layout will get focus by default.

Also, we can remove focus from child views at runtime (e.g., after finishing child editing) by giving the focus to the main layout again, like this:

findViewById(R.id.mainLayout).requestFocus();

Good comment from Guillaume Perrot:

android:descendantFocusability="beforeDescendants" seems to be the
default (integer value is 0). It works just by adding
android:focusableInTouchMode="true".

Really, we can see that the beforeDescendants set as default in the ViewGroup.initViewGroup() method (Android 2.2.2). But not equal to 0. ViewGroup.FOCUS_BEFORE_DESCENDANTS = 0x20000;

Thanks to Guillaume.