Showing Android Alert With Black Background

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http://stackoverflow.com – Currently I have a null check which displays and alert (which is functioning correctly) however I'd like this alert to appear with a black bacground instead of just the alert dialog box. I've tried removing finish(); but that simply displays the alert with the previous layout behind it - and leaving it causes the alert to appear over the user's home screen - my question is: how can this be modified to display the alert with a simple black background instead? StartActivity.java source snippet: } else { // ICS and UP if (isMDNPresent) { (HowTos)