Eclipse error: Access restriction: The type ‘xyz’ is not API

Eclipse has some pretty bizarre error messages that really don’t tell you exactly what the error is or how to fix it. This weekend I saw this one for example:

Access restriction: The type 'xyz' is not API (restriction on required library ...)

A quick Google told me what this actually means is that I have a line of code using a JDK API that is not in the currently selected runtime for the current project, but does exist in other available runtimes.

For example, when setting up a project with a Maven pom.xml, if you don’t explicitly specify what JVM version you want for the project, you get Java 5 by default.

There’s a couple of different ways to change the JVM version using Maven, but the approach I prefer is by adding properties (because it’s more concise than configuring the Maven compiler plugin):

<properties>
    <maven.compiler.target>1.8</maven.compiler.target>
    <maven.compiler.source>1.8</maven.compiler.source>
</properties>

Alternatively if you’re not using Maven, just change the JRE System Library in the project settings on the Java Build Path/Libraries tab (remove the one that’s currently there and add the version that does have the APIs that you’re using, most likely a later version).

2 Replies to “Eclipse error: Access restriction: The type ‘xyz’ is not API”

  1. Thank you very much for sharing this analysis. It helped me overcome the problem of compilation failing due to this “Access Restriction..” exception.

    All the best.

    Luis

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