Skip to main content
Version: 3.x

Getting started

React Navigation is born from the React Native community's need for an extensible yet easy-to-use navigation solution written entirely in JavaScript (so you can read and understand all of the source), on top of powerful native primitives.

Before you commit to using React Navigation for your project, you might want to read the anti-pitch — it will help you to understand the tradeoffs that we have chosen along with the areas where we consider the library to be deficient currently.

What to expect

If you're already familiar with React Native then you'll be able to get moving with React Navigation quickly! If not, you may want to read sections 1 to 4 (inclusive) of React Native Express first, then come back here when you're done.

What follows within the Fundamentals section of this documentation is a tour of the most important aspects of React Navigation. It should cover enough for you to know how to build your typical small mobile application, and give you the background that you need to dive deeper into the more advanced parts of React Navigation.


Install the react-navigation package in your React Native project.

npm install react-navigation

Next, install react-native-gesture-handler and react-native-reanimated.

If you're using Expo, to ensure that you get the compatible versions of the libraries you should run:

npx expo install react-native-gesture-handler react-native-reanimated

Otherwise, just use yarn or npm directly:

npm install react-native-gesture-handler react-native-reanimated

Next, if you are not using the Expo managed workflow then you need to link these libraries if you haven't already. The steps depends on your React Native version:

  • React Native 0.60 and higher

    On newer versions of React Native, linking is automatic.

    On iOS, to complete the linking, make sure you have Cocoapods installed. Then run:

    cd ios
    pod install
    cd ..

    On Android, it shouldn't need any more steps. But if you get errors regarding Android Support library during building the app, you need to install and configure jetifier.

  • React Native 0.59 and lower

    If you're on an older React Native version, you need to manually link the dependencies. To do that, run:

    react-native link react-native-reanimated
    react-native link react-native-gesture-handler

To finalize installation of react-native-gesture-handler for Android, be sure to make the necessary modifications to

package com.reactnavigation.example;

import com.facebook.react.ReactActivity;
+ import com.facebook.react.ReactActivityDelegate;
+ import com.facebook.react.ReactRootView;
+ import com.swmansion.gesturehandler.react.RNGestureHandlerEnabledRootView;

public class MainActivity extends ReactActivity {

protected String getMainComponentName() {
return "Example";

+ @Override
+ protected ReactActivityDelegate createReactActivityDelegate() {
+ return new ReactActivityDelegate(this, getMainComponentName()) {
+ @Override
+ protected ReactRootView createRootView() {
+ return new RNGestureHandlerEnabledRootView(MainActivity.this);
+ }
+ };
+ }

Finally, run react-native run-android or react-native run-ios to launch the app on your device/simulator.

Hybrid iOS Applications (Skip for RN only projects)

If you're using React Navigation within a hybrid app - an iOS app that has both Swift/ObjC and React Native parts - you may be missing the RCTLinkingIOS subspec in your Podfile, which is installed by default in new RN projects. To add this, ensure your Podfile looks like the following:

 pod 'React', :path => '../node_modules/react-native', :subspecs => [
. . . // other subspecs
. . .

You're good to go! Continue to "Hello React Navigation" to start writing some code.