Version: 1.x

Moving between screens

In the previous section, "Hello React Navigation", we defined a StackNavigator with two routes (Home and Details), but we didn't learn how to let a user navigate from Home to Details (although we did learn how to change the initial route in our code, but forcing our users to clone our repository and change the route in our code in order to see another screen is arguably among the worst user experiences one could imagine).

If this was a web browser, we'd be able to write something like this:

<a href="details.html">Go to Details</a>

Another way to write this would be:

<a onClick={() => { document.location.href = "details.html"; }}>Go to Details</a>

We'll do something similar to the latter, but rather than using a document global we'll use the navigation prop that is passed down to our screen components.

Navigating to a new screen

import React from 'react';
import { Button, View, Text } from 'react-native';
import { StackNavigator } from 'react-navigation';
class HomeScreen extends React.Component {
render() {
return (
<View style={{ flex: 1, alignItems: 'center', justifyContent: 'center' }}>
<Text>Home Screen</Text>
<Button
title="Go to Details"
onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Details')}
/>
</View>
);
}
}
// ... other code from the previous section
โ†’ Run this code

Let's break down this down:

  • this.props.navigation: the navigation prop is passed in to every screen component (definition) in StackNavigator (more about this later in "The navigation prop in depth").
  • navigate('Details'): we call the navigate function (on the navigation prop โ€” naming is hard!) with the name of the route that we'd like to move the user to.

If we call this.props.navigation.navigate with a route name that we haven't defined on a StackNavigator, nothing will happen. Said another way, we can only navigate to routes that have been defined on our StackNavigator โ€” we cannot navigate to an arbitrary component.

So we now have a stack with two routes: 1) the Home route 2) the Details route. What would happen if we navigated to the Details route again, from the Details screen?

Navigate to a route multiple times

class DetailsScreen extends React.Component {
render() {
return (
<View style={{ flex: 1, alignItems: 'center', justifyContent: 'center' }}>
<Text>Details Screen</Text>
<Button
title="Go to Details... again"
onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Details')}
/>
</View>
);
}
}
โ†’ Run this code

If you run this code, you'll notice that each time you press the "Go to Details... again" button it will push a new screen on top. This is where our original comparison to document.location.href falls apart, because in a web browser these would not be treated as distinct routes and no new entries would be added to the browser history โ€” navigate for StackNavigator behaves more like the web's window.history.pushState: each time you call navigate it pushes a new route to the navigation stack.

Going back

The header provided by StackNavigator will automatically include a back button when it is possible to go back from the active screen (if there is only one screen in the navigation stack, there is nothing that you can go back to, and so there is no back button).

Sometimes you'll want to be able to programmatically trigger this behavior, and for that you can use this.props.navigation.goBack();.

class DetailsScreen extends React.Component {
render() {
return (
<View style={{ flex: 1, alignItems: 'center', justifyContent: 'center' }}>
<Text>Details Screen</Text>
<Button
title="Go to Details... again"
onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Details')}
/>
<Button
title="Go back"
onPress={() => this.props.navigation.goBack()}
/>
</View>
);
}
}
โ†’ Run this code

On Android, React Navigation hooks in to the hardware back button and fires the goBack() function for you when the user presses it, so it behaves as the user would expect.

Another common requirement is to be able to go back multiple screens -- for example, if you are several screens deep in a stack and want to dismiss all of them to go back to the first screen. We'll discuss how to do this in "Building a sign in flow".

Summary

  • this.props.navigation.navigate('RouteName') pushes a new route to the StackNavigator. We can call it as many times as we like and it will continue pushing routes.
  • The header bar will automatically show a back button, but you can programmatically go back by calling this.props.navigation.goBack(). On Android, the hardware back button just works as expected.
  • The navigation prop is available to all screen components (components defined as screens in route configuration and rendered by React Navigation as a route).
  • Full source of what we have built so far.