Refresh Previous Screen after Going Back in React Navigation

This is an Example to Refresh the Previous Screen after Going Back to the old Screen in React Native using React Navigation. If you are familiar with the navigation in React Native then I hope you very well know React Navigation. We have also used the same navigator for this example.

While working with multiple screens we usually switch between screens and sometimes wants to refresh the previous screen as the result set should change. If we talk about React Navigation it does not provide the default refresh facility as in most of the cases we do not want to rerender the view. So we have to add some extra things to refresh the previous screens while going back.

To refresh the previous screen when going back

As a JavaScript developer, we very well know about the listeners. In this case, we will also use a listener called didFocus to find the current state of the Screen/ Activity.

To apply didFocus listener:

To remove the listener:

In this example, we will create 2 Screens FirstPage and SecondPage and will make a count on both the screens to see whether it is refreshing or not. If we run the application without the didFocus listener we have no way to reset the counter when coming back to FirstPage so counter will increase as we are unable to refresh the screen but in other condition when we apply the didFocus listener we can reset the counter or basically we can say that we can refresh the screen. So Let’s get Started with example.

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

This example is updated for the React Navigation 4.0+. For more about React Navigation 4 please have a look at Using React Navigation 4.0 in React Native apps.

To switch between the screens and to make a navigation header we need to add react navigation in our application.

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

1. Install react-navigation dependency to import createAppContainer

2. Install react-native-gesture-handler dependency to support gesture navigation

3. Install react-navigation-stack to import createStackNavigator

These commands will copy all the dependencies into your node_module directory.

CocoaPods Installation

After the updation of React Native 0.60, they have introduced autolinking so we do not require to link the libraries but need to install pods.

In this example we need to install the pods for react-native-gesture-handler.

Please use the following command to install CocoaPods

Project Structure

To start with this Example you need to create a directory named pages in your project and create two files FirstPage.js and SecondPage.js

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


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


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


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).

Without Refresh Event Listener (Without didFocus)

With Refresh Event Listener (With didFocus)

This is how you can Refresh the Previous Screen after Going Back in React Navigation. If you have any doubt 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. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Refresh Previous Screen after Going Back in React Navigation”

  1. i use this code for the purpose of when i login the app that time i give some changes in the navigation drawer menus.But it not changed, when i close and reopen the app that time the navigation drawer menus are changed. i need the code for when login the app that time the navigation drawer menu will be change

    this code is suitable for my issues or anyother format/code is there.

    i use this below code i got ” focusListener not found ” error.

    this.focusListener = navigation.addListener(‘didFocus’, () => {
    this.setState({ count: 0 });

  2. hi you can aslo use state params context to load Previous Screen When Going Back.


    if(something == true){
    this.props.navigation.state.params.context.function1(); // run function on pre screen
    this.props.navigation.navigate(“Previous Screen”); // to go back

  3. Estoy usando un didmount para cargar los datos de mysql(pantalla A) al ir a una pantalla B y actualizar esos datos. regreso a pantalla A pero esos datos no se actualizaron .ayuda

    • Hey hi, It does not refresh the whole screen. It just calls the function associated with the ‘didFocus’. If you see in this example I have used this.setState({ count: 0 }); to reset my state. So put all your code in a method and call the method from function associated with ‘didFocus’

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