Handling Android Back Button Press in React Native

Android Back Button

When the user presses the Android hardware back button in React Native, react-navigation will pop a screen or exit the app if there are no screens to pop. This is the sensible default behavior, but there are situations when you might want to implement custom handling. This is where handling the android back button is useful. You can also check react-navigation-backhandler library to handle the back press.

Event Listener for Back Button Press

To handle the Android Back Button Press in the React Native we have to register the hardwareBackPress event listener with a callback function, which will be called after pressing the Back Button. We should also remove the listener when we are jumping out from the screen (where we have added the listener) because sometimes after going to the next screen or any other screen the listener remains active in the background if the last screen is in the stack and not killed by the system.

The event subscriptions are called in reverse order (i.e. last registered subscription first), and if one subscription returns true then subscriptions registered earlier will not be called. 

Add hardwareBackPress Event Listener

BackHandler.addEventListener('hardwareBackPress', onBackPress);

Remove hardwareBackPress Event Listener

BackHandler.removeEventListener('hardwareBackPress', onBackPress);

Handle the event

useFocusEffect(
  React.useCallback(() => {
    const onBackPress = () => {
      alert('You clicked back. Now Screen will move to ThirdPage');
      nav.navigate('ThirdPage')
      return true;
    };

    BackHandler.addEventListener('hardwareBackPress', onBackPress);

    return () =>
      BackHandler.removeEventListener('hardwareBackPress', onBackPress);
  }, [])
);

Returning true from onBackPress denotes that we have handled the event, and react-navigation’s listener will not get called, thus not popping the screen. Returning false will cause the event to bubble up and react-navigation’s listener will pop the screen.

What we are going to do?

In our example, we are going from FirstPage to SecondPage using navigate and after clicking Back Button on SecondPage we will navigate to ThirdPage with an alert. So let’s get started.

To Make a React Native App

Getting started with React Native will help you to know more about the way you can make a React Native project. We are going to use react-native init to make our React Native App. Assuming that you have node installed, you can use npm to install the react-native-cli command line utility. Open the terminal and go to the workspace and run

npm install -g react-native-cli

Run the following commands to create a new React Native project

react-native init ProjectName

If you want to start a new project with a specific React Native version, you can use the --version argument:

react-native init ProjectName --version X.XX.X
react-native init ProjectName --version react-native@next

This will make a project structure with an index file named App.js in your project directory.

Installation of Dependencies

To install the dependencies open the terminal and jump into your project

cd ProjectName

Now run the following commands to install the dependencies

npm install @react-navigation/native --save
npm install @react-navigation/stack --save
npm install react-native-reanimated react-native-gesture-handler react-native-screens react-native-safe-area-context @react-native-community/masked-view --save

CocoaPods Installation

Please use the following command to install CocoaPods

npx pod-install ios

Project File Structure

To start with this Example you need to create a directory named pages in your project and create three files FirstPge.js, SecondPage.js, and ThirdPage.js.

Code to Handle Android Back Button

Now Open App.js in any code editor and replace the code with the following code

App.js

// Example: Handling Android Back Button Press in React Native using React Navigation V5 //
// https://aboutreact.com/handling-android-back-button-press/ //
import 'react-native-gesture-handler';

import * as React from 'react';
import { Button, View, Text } from 'react-native';

import { NavigationContainer } from '@react-navigation/native';
import { createStackNavigator } from '@react-navigation/stack';

import FirstPage from './pages/FirstPage';
import SecondPage from './pages/SecondPage';
import ThirdPage from './pages/ThirdPage';

const Stack = createStackNavigator();

function App() {
  return (
    <NavigationContainer>
      <Stack.Navigator initialRouteName="FirstPage">
        <Stack.Screen
          name="FirstPage"
          component={FirstPage}
          options={{
            title: 'First Page', //Set Header Title
            headerStyle: {
              backgroundColor: '#f4511e', //Set Header color
            },
            headerTintColor: '#fff', //Set Header text color
            headerTitleStyle: {
              fontWeight: 'bold', //Set Header text style
            },
          }}
        />
        <Stack.Screen
          name="SecondPage"
          component={SecondPage}
          options={{
            title: 'Second Page', //Set Header Title
            headerStyle: {
              backgroundColor: '#f4511e', //Set Header color
            },
            headerTintColor: '#fff', //Set Header text color
            headerTitleStyle: {
              fontWeight: 'bold', //Set Header text style
            },
          }}
        />
        <Stack.Screen
          name="ThirdPage"
          component={ThirdPage}
          options={{
            title: 'Third Page', //Set Header Title
            headerStyle: {
              backgroundColor: '#f4511e', //Set Header color
            },
            headerTintColor: '#fff', //Set Header text color
            headerTitleStyle: {
              fontWeight: 'bold', //Set Header text style
            },
          }}
        />
      </Stack.Navigator>
    </NavigationContainer>
  );
}

export default App;

Open pages/FirstPage.js in any code editor and replace the code with the following code.

FirstPage.js

// Example: Handling Android Back Button Press in React Native using React Navigation V5 //
// https://aboutreact.com/handling-android-back-button-press/ //
import * as React from 'react';
import { Button, View, Text, SafeAreaView } from 'react-native';

const FirstPage = ({ navigation }) => {
  return (
    <SafeAreaView style={{ flex: 1 }}>
      <View style={{ flex: 1 , padding: 16}}>
        <View
          style={{
            flex: 1,
            alignItems: 'center',
            justifyContent: 'center',
          }}>
          <Text
            style={{
              fontSize: 25,
              textAlign: 'center',
              marginBottom: 16
            }}>
            This is the First Page of the app
          </Text>
          <Button
            onPress={() => navigation.navigate('SecondPage')}
            title="Go to Second Page"
          />
        </View>
        <Text style={{ fontSize: 18, textAlign: 'center', color: 'grey' }}>
          Handling Android Back Button Press {'\n'}React Navigation
        </Text>
        <Text
          style={{ fontSize: 16, textAlign: 'center', color: 'grey' }}>
          www.aboutreact.com
        </Text>
      </View>
    </SafeAreaView>
  );
}

export default FirstPage;

Open pages/SecondPage.js in any code editor and replace the code with the following code.

SecondPage.js

// Example: Handling Android Back Button Press in React Native using React Navigation V5 //
// https://aboutreact.com/handling-android-back-button-press/ //
import * as React from 'react';
import { Button, View, Text, SafeAreaView, BackHandler } from 'react-native';
import { useFocusEffect } from '@react-navigation/native';

const SecondPage = ({ navigation }) => {
  let nav = navigation;
  useFocusEffect(
    React.useCallback(() => {
      const onBackPress = () => {
        alert('You clicked back. Now Screen will move to ThirdPage');
        nav.navigate('ThirdPage')
        return true;
      };

      BackHandler.addEventListener('hardwareBackPress', onBackPress);

      return () =>
        BackHandler.removeEventListener('hardwareBackPress', onBackPress);
    }, [])
  );

  return (
    <SafeAreaView style={{ flex: 1 }}>
      <View style={{ flex: 1, padding: 16 }}>
        <View
          style={{
            flex: 1,
            alignItems: 'center',
            justifyContent: 'center',
          }}>
          <Text
            style={{
              fontSize: 25,
              textAlign: 'center',
              marginBottom: 16
            }}>
            This is Second Page of the App
          </Text>
        </View>
        <Text style={{ fontSize: 18, textAlign: 'center', color: 'grey' }}>
          Handling Android Back Button Press {'\n'}React Navigation
        </Text>
        <Text
          style={{ fontSize: 16, textAlign: 'center', color: 'grey' }}>
          www.aboutreact.com
        </Text>
      </View>
    </SafeAreaView>
  );
}

export default SecondPage;

Open pages/ThirdPage.js in any code editor and replace the code with the following code.

ThirdPage.js

// Example: Handling Android Back Button Press in React Native using React Navigation V5 //
// https://aboutreact.com/handling-android-back-button-press/ //
// Third Screen which will be used to show backpress
import * as React from 'react';
import { Button, View, Text, SafeAreaView } from 'react-native';

const ThirdPage = ({ navigation }) => {
  return (
    <SafeAreaView style={{ flex: 1 }}>
      <View style={{ flex: 1, padding: 16 }}>
        <View
          style={{
            flex: 1,
            alignItems: 'center',
            justifyContent: 'center',
          }}>
          <Text
            style={{
              fontSize: 25,
              textAlign: 'center',
              marginBottom: 16
            }}>
            This is Third Page of the App
          </Text>
          <Button
            title="Reset navigator to First Page"
            onPress={() =>
              navigation.navigate('FirstPage')
            }
          />
        </View>
        <Text style={{ fontSize: 18, textAlign: 'center', color: 'grey' }}>
          Handling Android Back Button Press {'\n'}React Navigation
        </Text>
        <Text
          style={{ fontSize: 16, textAlign: 'center', color: 'grey' }}>
          www.aboutreact.com
        </Text>
      </View>
    </SafeAreaView>
  );
}

export default ThirdPage;

To Run the React Native App

Open the terminal again and jump into your project using.
cd ProjectName
To run the project on an Android Virtual Device or on real debugging device
react-native run-android
or on the iOS Simulator by running
react-native run-ios (macOS only).

Output Screenshots

HandlingAndroidBackButton1   HandlingAndroidBackButton2   HandlingAndroidBackButton3   HandlingAndroidBackButton4

That was the way to handle the Android Back Button. If you have any doubts or you want to share something about the topic you can comment below or contact us here. There will be more posts coming soon. Stay tuned!

Hope you liked it. 🙂


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4 thoughts on “Handling Android Back Button Press in React Native”

  1. you can set condition for costume function that u write for hardware button , for example when ( for example for React Native Router Flux ) Actions.currentScene === ‘Home’ do something or other conditions u want .

    Reply
  2. sir i’m not getting anything ,when i passed this.props.navigation.navigate(‘ThirdPage’); its not redirecting to another page (i declared my page instead of ‘ThirdPage’)

    Reply

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