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The application could not be installed: INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED

Install parse failed manifest malformed

As an Android developer, you may encounter various errors and issues while working with Android Studio. One common error that you might come across is "The application could not be installed: INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED."

This error typically occurs during the installation process and indicates a problem with the app's manifest file. In this section, we will explore what this error means, its possible causes, and most importantly, how to solve it effectively.

What does "The application could not be installed: INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED" mean ?

When you encounter the error message "The application could not be installed: INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED," it means that there is an issue with the manifest file of your Android application.

The manifest file, named AndroidManifest.xml, is a crucial component that describes essential information about your app to the Android operating system. It includes details such as permissions, activities, services, and more.

The error message indicates that the Android package installer failed to parse or read the manifest file properly, as it found it to be malformed.

In other words, there is a syntax or structural problem in the manifest file that prevents the installation process from completing successfully.

What causes "The application could not be installed: INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED" ?

Several factors can lead to the "INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED" error in Android Studio. Let's take a look at some of the common causes:

  1. Syntax errors
    The manifest file follows a specific XML syntax. If you have accidentally introduced syntax errors such as missing tags, incorrect attribute values, or misplaced elements, it can result in a malformed manifest file.
  2. Mismatched tags
    The manifest file relies on properly nested opening and closing tags. If you have mismatched or improperly nested tags, the parser will fail to interpret the manifest file correctly.
  3. Invalid attribute values
    Every attribute in the manifest file has a defined set of valid values. If you have provided invalid or unsupported attribute values, the manifest file can become malformed and trigger the installation error.
  4. Incomplete manifest
    It is essential to include all the necessary components and declarations in the manifest file. If you have omitted any required elements, such as activities, services, or permissions, the manifest file will be incomplete, leading to the installation failure.

How to solve "The application could not be installed: INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED":

Resolving the "INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED" error requires identifying and rectifying the issues present in the manifest file. Here are some steps you can take to solve this problem:

  1. Verify the manifest file
    Double-check the AndroidManifest.xml file in your project to ensure that it is complete and correctly formatted. Look for any missing tags, improper nesting, or syntax errors.
    Pay attention to any highlighted errors or warnings displayed by Android Studio.
  2. Use lint checks
    Android Studio provides a powerful tool called lint that performs static code analysis on your project. It can help identify potential issues with your manifest file.
    Right-click on your project in the project explorer, select "Analyze," and click on "Inspect Code." Look for any manifest-related errors or warnings generated by lint.
  3. Check attribute values
    Review all the attribute values in your manifest file to ensure they are valid and supported. Verify that you haven't misspelled any attribute names or provided incorrect values.
    Refer to the official Android documentation for the correct attribute syntax and values.
  4. Review dependencies and libraries
    If you are using any third-party libraries or dependencies in your project, ensure they are correctly integrated and compatible with your manifest file.
    Sometimes, conflicts or outdated versions of libraries can lead to manifest-related issues.
  5. Clean and rebuild the project
    Sometimes, residual build artifacts or cached data can cause conflicts in Android Studio. Try cleaning your project by navigating to "Build" in the toolbar and selecting "Clean Project." Afterward, perform a rebuild by clicking on "Rebuild Project." This process can resolve any underlying issues and recreate the manifest file correctly.
  6. Seek help from the Android developer community
    If you are still unable to resolve the issue, don't hesitate to seek assistance from the vast Android developer community.
    Platforms like Stack Overflow, Reddit, and official Android developer forums are great places to ask questions and seek guidance from experienced developers who may have encountered similar issues.


Encountering the "The application could not be installed: INSTALL PARSE FAILED MANIFEST MALFORMED" error in Android Studio can be frustrating, but with the right approach, you can effectively resolve it.

By understanding the meaning of the error, identifying its causes, and following the suggested solutions, you can overcome manifest-related issues and ensure a successful installation of your Android application.

Remember to pay attention to the details in your manifest file, maintain proper syntax and structure, and leverage the available tools and resources to streamline your development process.

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