You Need to Use a Theme.AppCompat Theme (or Descendant) with This Activity

You Need to Use a Theme.AppCompat Theme (or Descendant) with This Activity

22 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When developing Android applications, you might encounter the error message: “You need to use a Theme.AppCompat theme (or descendant) with this activity”. This issue often arises when attempting to apply a dialog theme to an activity that extends ActionBarActivity or AppCompatActivity. Below, we’ll explore a detailed solution to this problem and provide guidance on the best practices to avoid it.

Understanding the Issue

The root of the problem lies in the inheritance of your activity. When an activity extends ActionBarActivity or AppCompatActivity, it mandates the use of an AppCompat theme. However, if you attempt to apply a non-AppCompat theme, such as Theme.Holo.Dialog, you will encounter the aforementioned error.


To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Change the Activity Inheritance: Modify your activity to extend Activity instead of ActionBarActivity or AppCompatActivity. This allows you to use non-AppCompat themes.
  2. Update Theme in Manifest: Ensure that the dialog theme is correctly specified in the manifest file.


Here is an example of changing the activity inheritance:

public class DialogUpdateActivity extends Activity {
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

And update the manifest to use the desired theme:

    android:label="@string/title_activity_dialog_update" />

Additional Tips

When switching from AppCompatActivity to Activity, ensure that you replace all support calls with their non-support equivalents. For example, replace getSupportFragmentManager with getFragmentManager.

Leveraging No-Code Test Automation with Repeato

While addressing issues like the one discussed above, it’s crucial to ensure that your application’s functionality remains intact. This is where automated testing becomes indispensable. Repeato, a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, offers a seamless way to create, run, and maintain automated tests for your mobile applications.

Repeato utilizes computer vision and AI to streamline the test automation process, allowing developers to focus on building great products. Moreover, Repeato’s intuitive interface enables non-technical colleagues or QA teams to handle test automation efficiently.

For more information on how Repeato can enhance your mobile development workflow, visit our documentation section or explore our blog for detailed articles and use cases.

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