Changing EditText bottom line color with appcompat v7


I am using appcompat v7 to get the look consistent on Android 5 and less. It works rather well. However I cannot figure out how to change the bottom line color and the accent color for EditTexts. Is it possible?

I have tried to define a custom android:editTextStyle (cf. below) but I only succeeded to change the full background color or text color but not the bottom line nor the accent color. Is there a specific property value to use? do I have to use a custom drawable image through the android:background property? is it not possible to specify a color in hexa?

 <style name="Theme.App.Base" parent="Theme.AppCompat.Light.DarkActionBar">
     <item name="android:editTextStyle">@style/Widget.App.EditText</item>

 <style name="Widget.App.EditText" parent="Widget.AppCompat.EditText">

According to android API 21 sources, EditTexts with material design seem to use colorControlActivated and colorControlNormal. Therefore, I have tried to override these properties in the previous style definition but it has no effect. Probably appcompat does not use it. Unfortunately, I cannot find the sources for the last version of appcompat with material design.

6/4/2017 9:34:59 PM

Accepted Answer

Finally, I have found a solution. It simply consists of overriding the value for colorControlActivated, colorControlHighlight and colorControlNormal in your app theme definition and not your edittext style. Then, think to use this theme for whatever activity you desire. Below is an example:

<style name="Theme.App.Base" parent="Theme.AppCompat.Light.DarkActionBar">
    <item name="colorControlNormal">#c5c5c5</item>
    <item name="colorControlActivated">@color/accent</item>
    <item name="colorControlHighlight">@color/accent</item>
6/20/2015 8:02:42 AM

While Laurents solution is correct, it comes with some drawbacks as described in the comments since not only the bottom line of the EditText gets tinted but the Back Button of the Toolbar, CheckBoxes etc. as well.

Luckily v22.1 of appcompat-v7 introduced some new possibilities. Now it's possible to assign a specific theme only to one view. Straight from the Changelog:

Deprecated use of app:theme for styling Toolbar. You can now use android:theme for toolbars on all API level 7 and higher devices and android:theme support for all widgets on API level 11 and higher devices.

So instead of setting the desired color in a global theme, we create a new one and assign it only to the EditText.


<style name="MyEditTextTheme">
    <!-- Used for the bottom line when not selected / focused -->
    <item name="colorControlNormal">#9e9e9e</item>
    <!-- colorControlActivated & colorControlHighlight use the colorAccent color by default -->


This can be changed in XML by using:

For Reference API >= 21 compatibility use:


For backward API < 21 compatibility use:


Here is the solution for API < 21 and above

Drawable drawable = yourEditText.getBackground(); // get current EditText drawable 
drawable.setColorFilter(Color.GREEN, PorterDuff.Mode.SRC_ATOP); // change the drawable color

if(Build.VERSION.SDK_INT > 16) {
    yourEditText.setBackground(drawable); // set the new drawable to EditText
    yourEditText.setBackgroundDrawable(drawable); // use setBackgroundDrawable because setBackground required API 16

enter image description here

Hope it help


The accepted answer is a bit more per style basis thing, but the most efficient thing to do is to add the colorAccent attribute in your AppTheme style like this:

<style name="AppTheme.Base" parent="Theme.AppCompat.Light.NoActionBar">
        <item name="colorAccent">@color/colorAccent</item>
        <item name="android:editTextStyle">@style/EditTextStyle</item>

<style name="EditTextStyle" parent="Widget.AppCompat.EditText"/>

The colorAccent attribute is used for widget tinting throughout the app and thus should be used for consistency


If you are using appcompat-v7:22.1.0+ you can use the DrawableCompat to tint your widgets

    public static void tintWidget(View view, int color) {
        Drawable wrappedDrawable = DrawableCompat.wrap(view.getBackground());
        DrawableCompat.setTint(wrappedDrawable.mutate(), getResources().getColor(color));