Radio Buttons

Radio buttons allow the user to select one option from a set. You should use radio buttons for optional sets that are mutually exclusive if you think that the user needs to see all available options side-by-side. If it's not necessary to show all options side-by-side, use a spinner instead.

To create each radio button option, create a RadioButton in your layout. However, because radio buttons are mutually exclusive, you must group them together inside a RadioGroup. By grouping them together, the system ensures that only one radio button can be selected at a time.

Key classes are the following:

Responding to Click Events

When the user selects one of the radio buttons, the corresponding RadioButton object receives an on-click event.

To define the click event handler for a button, add the android:onClick attribute to the <RadioButton> element in your XML layout. The value for this attribute must be the name of the method you want to call in response to a click event. The Activity hosting the layout must then implement the corresponding method.

For example, here are a couple RadioButton objects:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RadioGroup xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:orientation="vertical">
    <RadioButton android:id="@+id/radio_pirates"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="@string/pirates"
        android:onClick="onRadioButtonClicked"/>
    <RadioButton android:id="@+id/radio_ninjas"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="@string/ninjas"
        android:onClick="onRadioButtonClicked"/>
</RadioGroup>

Note: The RadioGroup is a subclass of LinearLayout that has a vertical orientation by default.

Within the Activity that hosts this layout, the following method handles the click event for both radio buttons:

Kotlin

fun onRadioButtonClicked(view: View) {
    if (view is RadioButton) {
        // Is the button now checked?
        val checked = view.isChecked

        // Check which radio button was clicked
        when (view.getId()) {
            R.id.radio_pirates ->
                if (checked) {
                    // Pirates are the best
                }
            R.id.radio_ninjas ->
                if (checked) {
                    // Ninjas rule
                }
        }
    }
}

Java

public void onRadioButtonClicked(View view) {
    // Is the button now checked?
    boolean checked = ((RadioButton) view).isChecked();

    // Check which radio button was clicked
    switch(view.getId()) {
        case R.id.radio_pirates:
            if (checked)
                // Pirates are the best
            break;
        case R.id.radio_ninjas:
            if (checked)
                // Ninjas rule
            break;
    }
}

The method you declare in the android:onClick attribute must have a signature exactly as shown above. Specifically, the method must:

  • Be public
  • Return void
  • Define a View as its only parameter (this will be the View that was clicked)

Tip: If you need to change the radio button state yourself, use the setChecked(boolean) or toggle() method.