How to implement onBackPressedListener in fragments

There’s a method called onBackPressed that you can override in Activity classes. This is a pretty easy way implement any custom action you might want to take if and when the user presses the back button. However, this onBackPressed override option is unavailable in fragments. We can make this feature available in fragments however. And that’s what I’ll be going over in this post.

Our activity and fragment that we’ll be referring to as examples will be called MainActivity and MainFragment (creative names, I know). MainActivity will be displaying MainFragment and for whatever reason, we want to be able to listen to onBackPressed in our fragment instead of our activity. Just as a note, I had come across this problem where one activity had a ViewPager displaying content from two different fragments and I had to listen to the back pressed action in the fragments instead of the Activity due to the requirement of passing some data from individual fragments instead of the Activity.

To implement this, we need to utilize interfaces in our Activity which we will implement in our Fragment. So, in your MainActivity, add an interface called OnBackPressedListener like this and override both the onDestroy and onBackPressed method as shown.

Here, we are defining an interface called onBackPressedListener which defines a method called doBack. We will be implementing this interface in our fragment. We also have a method called setOnBackPressedListener which we will be calling in our fragment.

We are also overriding both the onDestroy methods and the onBackPressed methods. In the onDestroy method, we are nullifying the instantiated onBackPressedListener so that it doesn’t interfere with any new future activities that are instantiated. In the overriden onBackPressed method, we call the doBack method on the onBackPressedListener if it is not null, or just call the normal onBackPressed method of the Activity if it is null. We’ll be utilizing this altogether in our fragment.

Now, implement our fragment like this. The main thing you’ll see is that we’ll be implementing the MainActivity’s OnBackPressedListener in our fragment.

The most important part in our MainFragment is that we implement the OnBackPressedListener interface of our MainActivity and then in our onViewCreated method that we override, call the setOnBackPressedListener method while passing in the MainFragment. This will allow us to utilize MainActivity’s onBackPressed method in the doBack method of our MainFragment.

And that’s how you can listen for the back pressed action within your fragments. Sometimes I do wish that Google would just provide default APIs for these types of things.

About the Author Chris Jeon

Software developer currently focusing on Android development.