Enable android:largeHeap in Android 4, and disable it in Android 2.3-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

Currently, I have a piece of code, which is designed to run both in Android 2.3 and 4+

The code will perform much better (Where it will not have OutOfMemory exception most of the time), if android:largeHeap is being applied in AndroidManifest.xml.


Currently, my android:minSdkVersion need to set to 15 instead of 10 (Android 2.3). If not, android:largeHeap is not allowable in AndroidManifest.xml.

    android:targetSdkVersion="15" />

Within single APK, how possible I can set

  • Use android:largeHeap option if I were in Android 4+
  • Do not use android:largeHeap option if I were in Android 2.3
How to solve:

You can also disable large heap in Honeycomb and enable it in ICS or JB. Just a little hacky or something. Here’s what I tried.

Before we proceed, change your Build target to Honeycomb, Jelly Bean or ICS so we can put android:largeHeap attribute. Also, you can set android:minSdkVersion to API 10.

Android API 10 doesn’t support large heap.

  1. Create a folder values-v14 in res folder
  2. I created bools.xml in values-v14
  3. Put this value in bools.xml of values-v14

<bool name="largeheap">true</bool>

boolean value for values > bools.xml or values-[API VERSION] > bools.xml to disable large-heap in different API Version or by default.

<bool name="largeheap">false</bool>

Change the value of android:largeHeap to @bool/largeheap instead of hardcoded true or false


I tested this code by making a memory leak application or just load a Huge bitmaps, and, its working!

Good Luck!


Keep the android:largeHeap="true" attribute in your AndroidManifest.xml. This should be ignored for versions that don’t support it. Then, to support older versions, set the heap size using the VMRuntime class (via reflection, if necessary).

More on this topic: How to increase heap size of an android application?


  1. 1.Build project with target Android 3.0 (API 11) or above.
    (Project properties – Android – Project Build Target – select above API level 11)

  2. in Manifest file, Change the uses-sdk value as following

    < uses-sdk
    android:targetSdkVersion=”11″ />

For prior versions of Android 3.0, you can use VMRuntime class for memory manipulations.


Seems that you have incorrect target sdk in project.properties file, check it out and change target to your AndroidManifest`s targetSdk (15) and rebuild project.


# Project target.

P.S. I tryed add android:largeHeap to my Project (minSdk = 7, targetSdk = 17) compiled and run normally on all Android versions.


Please change project properties:

In project Properties -> Android -> Project Build Target -> Google API, API level 19 (or any other you need) 🙂

So your can leave your minimum SDK option without change, for example 8 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *