Android: Overcoming the 64K Method Limit in Android Apps

Android: Overcoming the 64K Method Limit in Android Apps

In the ever-evolving world of Android development, encountering errors is a part of the journey. A common hurdle many of us face is the notorious Multidex error. Let's dive into what this error is, why it occurs, and how I tackled it in my recent Flutter project.

What is Multidex?

Multidex enables the compilation of an application into executable bytecode files, known as .dex files, from an APK file. Each multidex file has a capacity limit of 65,536 methods. However, for applications targeting a minimum SDK version of API 20 or lower, exceeding this method count in the application or its referenced libraries results in the aforementioned build error.

The error I Faced:

While running my app on Android, Android decided to throw this error at me:

[!] App requires Multidex support Multidex support is required for your android app to build since the number of methods has exceeded 64k. See for more information. You may pass the --no-multidex flag to skip Flutter's multidex support to use a manual solution. Flutter tool can add multidex support. The following file will be added by flutter: android/app/src/main/java/io/flutter/app/

Initial troubleshooting:

My first thought was to check my Gradle files. I wondered if I was missing something crucial like org.gradle.jvmargs=-Xmx1536M, android.useAndroidX=true, or android.enableJetifier=true. But however, everything was set correctly into the files.

The solution that worked:

The breakthrough came with a simple yet effective change: updating the minSdkVersion in my Gradle file from 19 to 21.

Why it worked?

Android API level 21 and higher use the ART runtime, which supports loading multiple DEX files from APK files. ART compiles these at install time into a single OAT file for execution. By setting minSdkVersion to 21 or higher, Multidex is enabled by default, getting round the need for additional libraries.

Wrapping Up

In Android development, understanding and resolving errors like the Multidex issue is key to successful app building. While increasing the minSdkVersion is an effective solution, it's crucial to consider the broader impact on your app's compatibility. I encourage fellow developers to share their experiences or alternative solutions to this common challenge.


About Me

I am Zaahra, a Google Women Techmakers Ambassador who enjoy mentoring people and writing about technical contents that might help people in their developer journey. I also enjoy building stuffs to solve real life problems.

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Umme Faatimah-Iz-Zaahra Mujore | Google Women TechMakers Ambassador | Software Engineer