Go back to the previous page with React Router

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Jul 25, 2022

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Go back to the previous page with React Router #

To go back to the previous page with React router:

  1. Use the useNavigate() hook, e.g. const navigate = useNavigate();.
  2. Call the navigate() function passing it -1 - navigate(-1).
  3. Calling navigate with -1 is the same as hitting the back button.
App.js
import {Link, Routes, Route, useNavigate} from 'react-router-dom'; export default function App() { const navigate = useNavigate(); return ( <div> <button onClick={() => navigate(-1)}>Go back</button> <button onClick={() => navigate(1)}>Go forward</button> <div> <nav> <ul> <li> <Link to="/">Home</Link> </li> <li> <Link to="/about">About</Link> </li> </ul> </nav> {/* 👇️ Wrap your Route components in a Routes component */} <Routes> <Route path="/about" element={<About />} /> <Route path="/" element={<Home />} /> </Routes> </div> </div> ); } function Home() { return <h2>Home</h2>; } function About() { return <h2>About</h2>; }

react router go back to previous page

The useNavigate hook returns a function that lets us navigate programmatically, e.g. after a form is submitted or a button is clicked.

To go back to the previous page, pass -1 as a parameter to the navigate() function, e.g. navigate(-1).

Calling navigate with -1 is the same as hitting the back button.

Similarly, you can call the navigate function with -2 to go 2 pages back.

To programmatically navigate to a different route, pass the path to the navigate function, e.g. navigate('/about').

App.js
import {useNavigate} from 'react-router-dom'; export default function App() { const navigate = useNavigate(); const handleClick = () => { // 👇️ replace set to true navigate('/about', {replace: true}); }; return ( <div> <button onClick={handleClick}>Navigate to About</button> </div> ); }

When the replace property on the options object is set to true, the current entry in the history stack gets replaced with the new one.

In other words, navigating to the new route won't push a new entry into the history stack, so if the user clicks the back button, they won't be able to navigate to the previous page.

This is useful when a user logs in because you don't want them to be able to click the back button and get back to the login page.

It is also useful if you have a route that redirects users to a different page because you don't want users to click the back button and get redirected again.

If you need to navigate one page forward, call navigate with 1 - navigate(1).

To use the useNavigate hook in your application, make sure the App component in your index.js file is wrapped in a Router.

index.js
import {createRoot} from 'react-dom/client'; import App from './App'; import {BrowserRouter as Router} from 'react-router-dom'; const rootElement = document.getElementById('root'); const root = createRoot(rootElement); // 👇️ wrap App in Router root.render( <Router> <App /> </Router> );
The best place to wrap your React app with a Router component is in your index.js file because that's the entry point of your React application.

Once your entire app is wrapped with a Router component, you can use any of the hooks from the react router package anywhere in your components.

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