Android: annoying exception Unable to add window – is your activity running?

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After publishing one of our apps on Google Play market I started receiving strange exception on Play Console:

android.view.WindowManager$BadTokenException: Unable to add window -- token android.os.BinderProxy@40b47bd8 is not valid; is your activity running?
at android.view.ViewRoot.setView(
at android.view.WindowManagerImpl.addView(
at android.view.WindowManagerImpl.addView(
at android.view.WindowManagerImpl$CompatModeWrapper.addView(
at android.view.Window$LocalWindowManager.addView(

This exception occurred while app was trying to notify user from the background thread by opening a Dialog.

I could not reproduce it myself: I tried every device I had and every type of emulator I could think of, but no luck, the app worked just fine. However, according to Google Play console, exception occurred very often and seemed very consistent.

After doing some research I found out that it is possible for my app to try notifying the user while being in the background (device screen is locked, app is sent to background with home button).

So I looked at Android docs on Activity and discovered a very useful method – isFinishing() which is called by Android when Activity enters finishing stage: be it explicit finish() call or activity clean up made by Android.

Using that flag it is very easy to avoid opening dialog from background thread when Activity is finishing:

runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {
   public void run() {
		showDialog (
			        new AlertDialog.Builder(MainActivity.this)
				new OnClickListener() {
					public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int which) {
                                          // whatever...						


As you can see – the fix is very simple and straightforward: just check if your Activity is going to finish before opening dialog.

11 Responses to “Android: annoying exception Unable to add window – is your activity running?”

  1. Henry Fonda says:


  2. Trevor says:

    Thanks for the info, I had this same issue and all search results where just talking about the context, not this.

  3. saber says:

    I know there are a lot of similar questions, but I’m not able to transfer the answers to my problem (or I didn’t find THE answer I need…)
    I open a popupWindow for inserting data. TextView works fine, but if I click on the Spinner, there will be a mentioned exception:
    I use your advice as below in my code, but it does not solve my problem.

    switch (item.getItemId()) {
    private void fInitiatePopUp(){
    LayoutInflater inflater = (LayoutInflater) SalerFragActivity.this.getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
    this.popup_ly = inflater.inflate(R.layout.frag_salerdetail_pop_win, (ViewGroup) findViewById(;

    fListener(); = new PopupWindow(this.popup_ly, fGetSize().getWidth() – 100 , fGetSize().getHeight() – 50 , true);
    //, Gravity.CENTER, 0, 0);

    runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {
    public void run() {
    if (!isFinishing()){
    pw.showAtLocation(popup_ly, Gravity.CENTER, 0, 0);
    // findViewById( Runnable() {
    // @Override
    // public void run() {
    // pw.showAtLocation(popup_ly, Gravity.CENTER, 0, 0);
    // }
    // });

  4. […] There are two scenarios when this exception could occur. One is mentioned by kordzik. Other scenario is mentioned here:… […]

  5. daemontus says:

    Somebody give this man a cookie! Saved me hours of googling.

  6. Nestor says:

    Unfortunately this isFinishing() method detects that the Activity is about to be closed. If you press the home button, and the Activity is in pause state, isFinishing still returns true. Do NOT use it for every scenario.

  7. JohnF says:

    Thanks. This fixed my problem!

  8. Mesah says:

    thx for solution.

  9. :| says:

    Thanks You
    I am Iranian Programer
    My Problem Fix With This Code

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