Provide custom back navigation

Back navigation is how users move backward through the history of screens they previously visited. All Android devices provide a Back button for this type of navigation, so don't add a Back button to your app’s UI. Depending on the user’s Android device, this button might be a physical button or a software button.

Android maintains a back stack of destinations as the user navigates throughout your application. This lets Android properly navigate to previous destinations when the Back button is pressed. However, there are a few cases where your app might need to implement its own Back behavior to provide the best possible user experience.

For example, when using a WebView, you might want to override the default Back button behavior to let the user navigate back through their web browsing history instead of the previous screens in your app.

Android 13 and higher includes a predictive back gesture for Android devices. To learn more about this feature, check out Add support for the predictive back gesture.

Implement custom back navigation

ComponentActivity, the base class for FragmentActivity and AppCompatActivity, lets you control the behavior of the Back button by using its OnBackPressedDispatcher, which you can retrieve by calling getOnBackPressedDispatcher().

The OnBackPressedDispatcher controls how Back button events are dispatched to one or more OnBackPressedCallback objects. The constructor for OnBackPressedCallback takes a boolean for the initial enabled state. When a callback is enabled—that is, isEnabled() returns true—the dispatcher calls the callback's handleOnBackPressed() to handle the Back button event. You can change the enabled state by calling setEnabled().

Callbacks are added using the addCallback methods. We recommend using the addCallback() method, which takes a LifecycleOwner. This ensures that the OnBackPressedCallback is only added when the LifecycleOwner is Lifecycle.State.STARTED. The activity also removes registered callbacks when their associated LifecycleOwner is destroyed, which prevents memory leaks and makes the LifecycleOwner suitable for use in fragments or other lifecycle owners that have a shorter lifetime than the activity.

Here is an example callback implementation:


class MyFragment : Fragment() {

    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {

        // This callback is only called when MyFragment is at least started
        val callback = requireActivity().onBackPressedDispatcher.addCallback(this) {
            // Handle the back button event

        // The callback can be enabled or disabled here or in the lambda


public class MyFragment extends Fragment {

    public void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        // This callback is only called when MyFragment is at least started
        OnBackPressedCallback callback = new OnBackPressedCallback(true /* enabled by default */) {
            public void handleOnBackPressed() {
                // Handle the back button event
        requireActivity().getOnBackPressedDispatcher().addCallback(this, callback);

        // The callback can be enabled or disabled here or in handleOnBackPressed()

You can provide multiple callbacks using addCallback(). When you do, the callbacks are invoked in the reverse order from the order you add them—the callback added last is the first given a chance to handle the Back button event. For example, if you add three callbacks named one, two, and three, in that order, they are invoked in the order three, two, one.

Callbacks follow the Chain of Responsibility pattern. Each callback in the chain is invoked only if the preceding callback was not enabled. This means that, in the preceding example, callback two is invoked only if callback three is not enabled, and callback one is only invoked if callback two is not enabled.

Note that when the callback is added using addCallback(), it is not added to the chain of responsibility until the LifecycleOwner enters the Lifecycle.State.STARTED state.

We recommend changing the enabled state on the OnBackPressedCallback for temporary changes, as doing so maintains the ordering described above. This is particularly important if you have callbacks registered on multiple nested lifecycle owners.

In cases where you want to remove the OnBackPressedCallback entirely, you can call remove(). This is usually not necessary, because callbacks are automatically removed when their associated LifecycleOwner is destroyed.

Activity onBackPressed()

If you are using onBackPressed() to handle Back button events, we recommend using an OnBackPressedCallback instead. However, if you can't make this change, the following rules apply:

  • All callbacks registered via addCallback are evaluated when you call super.onBackPressed().
  • In Android 12 (API level 32) and lower, onBackPressed is always called, regardless of any registered instances of OnBackPressedCallback.