Android – change custom title view at run time

The problem is that the only Window implementation (PhoneWindow) uses a LayoutInflater in its setFeatureInt method and instantiates the new layout with inflate and attachToRoot=true. Consequently, when you call setFeatureInt, the new layouts are not replaced but attached to the internal title container and thus drawn on top of each other.

You can workaround this by using the following helper method instead of setFeatureInt. The helper simply removes all views from the internal title container before the new custom title feature is set:

private void setCustomTitleFeatureInt(int value) {
    try {
        // retrieve value for
        int titleContainerId = (Integer) Class.forName(

        // remove all views from titleContainer
        ((ViewGroup) getWindow().findViewById(titleContainerId)).removeAllViews();

        // add new custom title view 
        getWindow().setFeatureInt(Window.FEATURE_CUSTOM_TITLE, value);

    } catch(Exception ex) {
        // whatever you want to do here..

I’m not sure whether the current setFeatureInt behaviour is intended, but it is certainly not documented one way or the other which is why I’ll take this to the android devs 😉


As pointed out in the comments, the aforementioned workaround is not ideal. Instead of relying on the constant you could simply hide the old custom title whenever you set a new one.

Let’s assume you have two custom title layouts:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout android:id="@+id/custom_title_1" ...


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout android:id="@+id/custom_title_2" ...

and you want to replace custom_title_1 with custom_title_2, you could hide former and use setFeatureInt to add the latter:

getWindow().setFeatureInt(Window.FEATURE_CUSTOM_TITLE, R.layout.custom_title_2);

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