Solution for NullPointerException in Eclipse

The error message "an internal error occurred during: 'contacting software sites'. java.lang.NullPointerException" in Eclipse usually indicates an issue with accessing or updating software sites. This error is typically caused by a null reference being accessed somewhere in the code.

Possible Causes:

  • Network connectivity issues preventing Eclipse from accessing the software sites.
  • Incorrect or outdated software site URLs configured in Eclipse.
  • Bugs or conflicts in Eclipse or its plugins.


  1. Check Internet Connection: Ensure that your computer has a stable internet connection. Sometimes, network issues can prevent Eclipse from contacting the software sites.
  2. Verify Software Site URLs: Check if the URLs of the software sites configured in Eclipse are correct and up-to-date. Incorrect URLs can lead to NullPointerExceptions.
  3. Update Eclipse: Make sure you are using the latest version of Eclipse IDE. Bugs and issues related to software site contacting may have been fixed in newer versions.
  4. Disable/Update Problematic Plugins: If the error occurs after installing or updating certain plugins, try disabling or updating them to see if the issue resolves.
  5. Clean Eclipse Workspace: Sometimes, workspace corruption can lead to unexpected errors. Try cleaning your Eclipse workspace by going to "Project" > "Clean..." and selecting your project.
  6. Check Eclipse Configuration: Review Eclipse configuration files (like eclipse.ini) to ensure proper memory allocation and other settings.

After applying the above steps, restart Eclipse and attempt to access the software sites again. If the issue persists, you may need to consult Eclipse forums or seek assistance from the Eclipse community for further troubleshooting.

One or more update sites may not be available. Try (temporarily) deactivating some update sites, except, in Window > Preferences: Install/Update > Available Software Sites by unchecking them.
Remove the files in the cache from the following folder and reinstall from Help -> Install New Software -> [site URL] -> and so on... .eclipse\org.eclipse.oomph.p2\cache This location should be in your user's directory. For me, it was like this: C:\Users\username\.eclipse\org.eclipse.oomph.p2\cache