How to Get Back Button on Android

Alicia Santos

Android, Tutorials

Welcome to this tutorial on how to get back button on Android. In this article, we will explore different methods to implement the back button functionality in your Android application. So let’s dive right in!

Why is the Back Button Important?

The back button is an essential component of any Android application. It allows users to navigate backward within an app or go back to the previous activity or screen they were on. Without a back button, users might feel trapped and find it difficult to navigate through your app.

Method 1: Using the ActionBar

The simplest way to add a back button is by using the ActionBar in your app. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Step 1:

    Create a new activity or open an existing one in Android Studio.

  2. Step 2:

    In the onCreate method of your activity, add the following code:

          ActionBar actionBar = getSupportActionBar();
          if (actionBar != null) {
  3. Step 3:

    Add the following code outside of the onCreate method:

          public boolean onOptionsItemSelected(MenuItem item) {
              if (item.getItemId() == {
                  return true;
              return super.onOptionsItemSelected(item);

Congratulations! You have successfully added a back button using the ActionBar.

Method 2: Using ImageButton

If you prefer a custom back button, you can use an ImageButton. Here’s how:

  1. Step 1:

    In your layout XML file, add the following code:

              Android:src="@drawable/back_button_image" />
  2. Step 2:

    In your activity class, add the following code:

          ImageButton backButton = findViewById(R.backButton);
          backButton.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
              public void onClick(View v) {

Great! You now have a custom back button in your Android app.

Method 3: Using onBackPressed()

If you want to handle the back button press directly, you can override the onBackPressed() method in your activity. Here’s how:

  1. Step 1:

    In your activity class, add the following code:

          public void onBackPressed() {
              // Handle back button press here

Now you have full control over what happens when the back button is pressed.


In this tutorial, we explored different methods to implement the back button functionality in an Android application. We learned how to use the ActionBar, create a custom ImageButton, and handle the back button press directly. Now you can choose the method that best suits your needs and provide a seamless user experience in your Android app.

Remember, the back button is an essential part of navigation in Android, so make sure to incorporate it effectively in your app!

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