Resolving OutOfMemoryError When Loading Bitmaps in Android

Resolving OutOfMemoryError When Loading Bitmaps in Android

22 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

One common issue developers face when working with images in Android applications is the OutOfMemoryError. This error typically occurs when loading large images into memory, causing the application to exceed its allocated memory limit. In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies to handle this issue and ensure smooth functionality in your Android apps.

Understanding the Problem

When you load a large image into memory, especially in high-resolution formats, it can consume a significant amount of memory. If the memory consumption exceeds the allocated limit for the application, the system throws an OutOfMemoryError. This is a common problem when working with bitmaps in list views or image-heavy applications.

Solution: Efficient Bitmap Loading

To tackle this problem, you can use the BitmapFactory.Options class to efficiently load and scale down images before displaying them. Below is a complete method to handle bitmap loading and scaling:

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. First, decode the image size without loading the content into memory.
  2. Calculate the appropriate inSampleSize value, which is a power of 2, to scale down the image.
  3. Finally, decode the image with the calculated inSampleSize to reduce memory consumption.

Example Code

Here’s a practical example to decode and scale down images:

// Decodes image and scales it to reduce memory consumption
private Bitmap decodeFile(File f) {
    try {
        // Decode image size
        BitmapFactory.Options o = new BitmapFactory.Options();
        o.inJustDecodeBounds = true;
        BitmapFactory.decodeStream(new FileInputStream(f), null, o);

        // The new size we want to scale to
        final int REQUIRED_SIZE = 70;

        // Find the correct scale value. It should be the power of 2.
        int scale = 1;
        while (o.outWidth / scale / 2 >= REQUIRED_SIZE && 
               o.outHeight / scale / 2 >= REQUIRED_SIZE) {
            scale *= 2;

        // Decode with inSampleSize
        BitmapFactory.Options o2 = new BitmapFactory.Options();
        o2.inSampleSize = scale;
        return BitmapFactory.decodeStream(new FileInputStream(f), null, o2);
    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {}
    return null;


Additional Tips

  • Avoid loading full-sized images into memory unless necessary.
  • Use image caching mechanisms to store and reuse already loaded images.
  • Consider using libraries like Picasso or Glide for efficient image loading and caching.

Implementing Efficient Image Handling in Your App

By following the above method, you can reduce the memory footprint of your application and prevent OutOfMemoryError when handling images. However, managing image loading and scaling manually can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Using Repeato for Automated Testing

Our product, Repeato, can assist in ensuring that your image handling code works efficiently across different devices and scenarios. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that helps you create, run, and maintain automated tests for your apps. It uses computer vision and AI to facilitate fast editing and running of tests, allowing developers to focus on building great products rather than spending excessive time on testing.

With Repeato, you can:

  • Automate the testing of image loading and scaling to catch memory issues early.
  • Forward the task of test automation to non-technical colleagues or QAs.
  • Ensure your app performs well on various devices without manual testing overhead.

For more information on how to get started with Repeato, visit our documentation page.

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