Android Studio – Fix sudden unresolved symbols

Android Studio is a fickle beast. At times surprisingly clever and useful, and other times a flaky nightmare.

The most recent issue I came across was when a Google Glass project suddenly stopped building with unresolved symbol errors. This manifests itself as all your “*” imports failing, and the resulting use of any object from those libs causing compilation errors.

What the hell, Android Studio??

What the hell, Android Studio??

How to fix it

Eventually I checked my project dependencies and explicitly added the GDK as a library. Bingo, that sorted it out.

  1. Copy the gdk.jar

    This will be in your Android SDK directory, under /add-ons/addon-google_gdk-google-19/libs

  2. Paste it into the libs folder in your project directory

    e.g. C:\Projects\MyProject\app\libs

  3. Go to File > Project Structure
  4. Select your module (default name is app)
  5. Click the Dependencies tab
  6. Click the “+” sign
  7. Navigate to the libs folder and select the gdk.jar file
  8. OK through everything

I have zero idea why the issue suddenly arose. As with so many other issues I’ve come across in my short time developing for Android, I’ve learned to FDM: fix, document, and move on.

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