How to fix "unexpected element <queries> found in <manifest>" error?


Asked by CommonsWare on July 18, 2020 (source).

All of a sudden, I am getting this build error in my Android project:

unexpected element <queries> found in <manifest>

How do I fix it?


Question answered by CommonsWare (source).

The Android Gradle Plugin needs to know about new manifest elements, particularly for the manifest merger process. The plugin has a tendency to get confused if it sees elements in the manifest merger that it does not recognize, tossing out build errors like the one in the question.

In this case, Android 11 introduced <queries> as a manifest element, and older versions of the Android Gradle Plugin do not know about that element.

The fact that this occurs from manifest merger means that simply upgrading a dependency might bring about this error. For example, if you upgrade to the latest version of com.awesome:awesome-library, and it contained a <queries> element in its manifest, you might crash with the aforementioned error in your builds, even without any other changes in your code.

Google released a series of patch versions of the Android Gradle Plugin to address this:

  • 3.3.3
  • 3.4.3
  • 3.5.4
  • 3.6.4
  • 4.0.1

If you are using an existing plugin in the 3.3.* through 4.0.* series, upgrade to the associated patch version (or higher) from that list, and you should no longer run into that error (e.g., classpath '').

If you are using Android Studio 4.1 or higher, with a matching Android Gradle Plugin (e.g., in the 4.1.* series), you should be fine without any changes. Those plugin versions were already aware of <queries>.

See this Android Developers Blog post for more.