"cannot resolve symbol R" in Android Studio


In every instance in all of my classes where I reference, the R is in red and it says "cannot resolve symbol R". Also every time there is R.layout.something it is underlined in red and says "cannot resolve method setContentView(?)". The project always builds fine. It is annoying to see this all the time. I have read many other questions on here about something similar but most involved importing projects from Eclipse. I am using what I believe to be the most recent version of Android Studio and the project was created with Android Studio and worked without any "cannot resolve R" problems. I would like to know what causes this if anyone knows.

11/7/2018 8:36:10 AM

In the latest versions of Android Studio, at least for me, the following works:

"Tools" -> "Android" -> "Sync Project with Gradle Files"

In latest Android Studio 3.1.3 (July 2018), "Sync Project with Gradle Files" is available in main menu bar.

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I was using gradle 3.3.0. It was the main culprit. Wasted 6.50 hours from my life. Gradle 3.2.1 removed the error.

classpath ''

Problem resolved after changing the gradle version. Details history can be found here.


I have a similar problem and here is what I did:

Clean Project and Sync Project with Gradle ,

enter image description here

check buildTools version in my sdk enter image description here

From build gradle (module ) change minSdkVersion from 8 to 9

defaultConfig {
        applicationId "PackageName"
        minSdkVersion 9
        targetSdkVersion 22
        versionCode 1
        versionName "1.0"

But all this didn't help.

Finally I found the answer (this worked in my case)

Change from build.gradle(module:app)

android {
    compileSdkVersion 21
    buildToolsVersion '21.0.1'


Select File | Project Structure change Build Tools Version to 21.1.1

enter image description here


  1. Check your xml files.
  2. Clean Project.

This is it.

For example I had an entry in my strings.xml:

<string name="A">Some text</string>

And in activity_main.xml I used this string entry


While'd been working with project, I deleted that

 <string name="A">Some text</string>

And consequently activity_main.xml became not valid. As the result: cannot resolve R.

So, check your *.xml files and clean project.


If you see this error after moving java files or directories to other locations, then you can guarantee that Android Studio has gotten confused. And guess what? undo-ing those actions doesn't fix the problem.

So you try a clean, but that doesn't work.

And restarting doesn't work either.

But try File -> Invalidate Caches / Restart... -> Invalidate and Restart

Android Studio maintains information about which files are dependent on which other files. And since moving files around is not implemented correctly, moving files causes errors. And that's not all: caches of these dependencies are used in an attempt to speed up the build.

This means you not only have to restart, but you need to invalidate those caches to restore (or more accurately, rebuild) sanity.