Mathijs Segers Mathijs Segers - 1 month ago 10
Android Question

Changing the Android Overflow menu icon programmatically

I've been looking for a method to programmatically change the color of the overflow menu icon in android.

The only option I have found is to change the icon permanently by adding a custom style.
The problem is that in the nearby future we will need to change this during the use of our app.

Our app is an extension to a series of online-platforms and therefore a user can enter their platform's web-url. These have their own styles and will be fetched by an API call towards the app.

These might adress me to change the color of the icon...

Currently I change other icons in the Actionbar like this:

if (ib != null){
Drawable resIcon = getResources().getDrawable(R.drawable.navigation_refresh);
resIcon.mutate().setColorFilter(StyleClass.getColor("color_navigation_icon_overlay"), PorterDuff.Mode.SRC_ATOP);

For now I'll have to use the styles.


You actually can programmatically change the overflow icon using a little trick. Here's an example:

Create a style for the overflow menu and pass in a content description

<style name="Widget.ActionButton.Overflow" parent="@android:style/Widget.Holo.ActionButton.Overflow">
    <item name="android:contentDescription">@string/accessibility_overflow</item>

<style name="Your.Theme" parent="@android:style/Theme.Holo.Light.DarkActionBar">
    <item name="android:actionOverflowButtonStyle">@style/Widget.ActionButton.Overflow</item>

Now call ViewGroup.findViewsWithText and pass in your content description. So, something like:

public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

    // The content description used to locate the overflow button
    final String overflowDesc = getString(R.string.accessibility_overflow);
    // The top-level window
    final ViewGroup decor = (ViewGroup) getWindow().getDecorView();
    // Wait a moment to ensure the overflow button can be located
    decor.postDelayed(new Runnable() {

        public void run() {
            // The List that contains the matching views
            final ArrayList<View> outViews = new ArrayList<>();
            // Traverse the view-hierarchy and locate the overflow button
            decor.findViewsWithText(outViews, overflowDesc,
            // Guard against any errors
            if (outViews.isEmpty()) {
            // Do something with the view
            final ImageButton overflow = (ImageButton) outViews.get(0);


    }, 1000);

public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
    // Add a dummy item to the overflow menu
    return super.onCreateOptionsMenu(menu);

View.findViewsWithText was added in API level 14, so you'll have to use your own compatibility method:

static void findViewsWithText(List<View> outViews, ViewGroup parent, String targetDescription) {
    if (parent == null || TextUtils.isEmpty(targetDescription)) {
    final int count = parent.getChildCount();
    for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) {
        final View child = parent.getChildAt(i);
        final CharSequence desc = child.getContentDescription();
        if (!TextUtils.isEmpty(desc) && targetDescription.equals(desc.toString())) {
        } else if (child instanceof ViewGroup && child.getVisibility() == View.VISIBLE) {
            findViewsWithText(outViews, (ViewGroup) child, targetDescription);