Development issue/problem:

Error detail

U003citemu003e internal element must either be a source reference or empty… source: [file:…].xml,position:{startLine:2,startColumn:4,startOffset:57,endColumn:61,endOffset:114}}],original:,tool:AAPT}
Error: java.util.concurrent.ExecutionException: : AAPT2 error : Check the logs for more details
:app:mergeDebugResources FAILED

SAFETY : The design failed with one exception.

The ‘:app:mergeDebugResources’ task has failed.
> Error: java.util.competitor.ExecutionException: : AAPT2 error : Check the data for the parts.

Source file


Building environment

How can I solve this problem?

Solution 1:

If you give a resource ID, the body must be empty.

For more information, see the link below.

So, as Oliver Manyasa said, it should be like this.

Solution 2:

I had a similar problem after upgrading to Android Studio 3.2.1.

The error was about this element in the ids.xml file


As mentioned by user Sangeet Suresh, I changed it to

That solved the problem.

Solution 3:

For those who are still stretching their brains to find a solution to this problem, create an ids.xml in src/main/res/values with a content similar to the next one (but make sure you update it with the ids you see errors in) :

Now Android Studio generates an error for explicit values, and if those values come from a library you’re using, you can’t make any changes to the intermediate file, so edit here instead and when you merge your code, Android Studio will take care of it.

Solution 4:

In your resource file, delete both the closing tag and the body, i.e. delete tv_deviceName.

and make your source file look like this:

Solution No 5:

For me it actually failed because the new versions of Gradles. I’m pretty sure some of the plugins I use are not compatible with the latest diploma. I managed that with the next versions:

Get ready for graduation. Properties file :


build.gradle file

Dependencies {
classpath ‘’


Since we now want to use the 3.2.+ versions, this is not a reliable solution.

I finally created a new ids.xml file and overwrote all inconsistent values.

an example of the ids.xml file :

Solution No 6:

I put this automatically generated file in res/xml/values with empty tags such as

That’s just it!

Solution No 7:

I made the following mistake

Wrong: The internal element must either be a link to the source or empty.

In my case I created a new test project and removed the toolbar and fab from the activity_main.xml file, but they were also in the ids.xml file. After removing both identifiers from the ids.xml file, I could get started. Your IDs.xml file can have a lot of identifiers, but since I created a new project, it doesn’t have one anymore.

Android – Inner element must either be a resource reference or empty –

The screenshot above shows the exact location of the file.

Solution No 8:

In the values folder I double-clicked the ids.xml file that caused problems


Android – Inner element must either be a resource reference or empty –

I tried some of the answers you chose:

But I have a mistake that says:

The element type Element must be closed with the corresponding End tag.

To fix this, I just added a fitting end label:


I’m new to Cotlin, and what just struck me, and what I didn’t understand, is the need to end the slash before closing >. If you don’t turn it on, you will get the error message I received, but if you turn it on, the accepted answer works.

Good luck!

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