How to prevent Android’s RecyclerView from recycling views

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The RecyclerView widget, alongside the CardView widget, was introduced in Android API 21 (Lollipop). RecyclerView is a more flexible and more advanced version of ListView, according to Android developers’ website. But don’t read flexible as easier to implement. It’s cool though. yeah, it’s ListView on steroids.

One of its key feature is that it recycles views that are out of device screen. It is a cool feature but it’s not always a good thing. There are times you don’t really want to recycle views. Or when recycling messes up your display.

To overcome that, you have to take advantage of the setIsRecyclable() of the RecyclerView.ViewHolder class. Take a look at the onBindViewHolder() method to see how I solved implemented this.

public void onBindViewHolder(final MyViewHolder holder, int position) {
    final DataSource dataSource = dataSourceList.get(position);


    String logoStr = dataSource.getLogo();

     * Do all the logo insertion stunts here
     * Register the changes to the Switch
     */ CompoundButton.OnCheckedChangeListener(){
        public void onCheckedChanged(CompoundButton buttonView, boolean isChecked){

You can argue that this is going against what RecyclerView was designed to do, but then remember that Google themselves must have considered that recycling might not always be a desired result, hence they created a shortcut.

Hope this works for you.


P.S.: If you have any issues or questions, don’t hesitate to ask questions via the comments below. I will try to answer as many as I can. Well, you can also talk about anything related too. No, no spamming please

P.P.S.: if you want to learn how to work with RecyclerView, I recommend a very good tutorial on


Afolabi 'aphoe' Legunsen

A software developer with 9 years professional experience. Over the years, he has built and contributed to a number of projects which includes MoneyTalks that won Visa's Financial Literacy Challenge and Opomulero that won the British Council's Culture Shift III. He currently the Software Project Lead of Itquette Solutions where his team has built Smart PMS and BlueQuiver HRMS among many other products.


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