Nesting Navigators #

It is common in mobile apps to compose various forms of navigation. The routers and navigators in React Navigation are composable, which allows you to define a complicated navigation structure for your app.

For our chat app, we want to put several tabs on the first screen, to view recent chat threads or all contacts.

Introducing Tab Navigator #

Lets create a new TabNavigator in our App.js:

import { TabNavigator } from "react-navigation";

class RecentChatsScreen extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <Text>List of recent chats</Text>

class AllContactsScreen extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <Text>List of all contacts</Text>

const MainScreenNavigator = TabNavigator({
  Recent: { screen: RecentChatsScreen },
  All: { screen: AllContactsScreen },

If the MainScreenNavigator was rendered as the top-level navigator component, it would look like this:

Nesting a Navigator in a screen #

We want these tabs to be visible in the first screen of the app, but new screens in the stack should cover the tabs.

Lets add our tabs navigator as a screen in our top-level StackNavigator that we set up in the previous step.

const SimpleApp = StackNavigator({
  Home: { screen: MainScreenNavigator },
  Chat: { screen: ChatScreen },

Because MainScreenNavigator is being used as a screen, we can give it navigationOptions:

MainScreenNavigator.navigationOptions = {
  title: 'My Chats',

Lets also add a button to each tab that links to a chat:

  onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Chat', { user: 'Lucy' })}
  title="Chat with Lucy"

Now we have put one navigator inside another, and we can navigate between navigators:

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