Navigation and routing

Flutter provides a complete system for navigating between screens and handling deep links. Small applications without complex deep linking can use Navigator, while apps with specific deep linking and navigation requirements should also use the Router to correctly handle deep links on Android and iOS, and to stay in sync with the address bar when the app is running on the web.

To configure your Android or iOS application to handle deep links, see Deep linking.

Using the Navigator


The Navigator widget displays screens as a stack using the correct transition animations for the target platform. To navigate to a new screen, access the Navigator through the route's BuildContext and call imperative methods such as push() or pop():

onPressed: () {
      builder: (context) => const SongScreen(song: song),
child: Text(,

Because Navigator keeps a stack of Route objects (representing the history stack), The push() method also takes a Route object. The MaterialPageRoute object is a subclass of Route that specifies the transition animations for Material Design. For more examples of how to use the Navigator, follow the navigation recipes from the Flutter Cookbook or visit the Navigator API documentation.

Using named routes


Applications with simple navigation and deep linking requirements can use the Navigator for navigation and the MaterialApp.routes parameter for deep links:

Widget build(BuildContext context) {
  return MaterialApp(
    routes: {
      '/': (context) => HomeScreen(),
      '/details': (context) => DetailScreen(),

Routes specified here are called named routes. For a complete example, follow the Navigate with named routes recipe from the Flutter Cookbook.



Although named routes can handle deep links, the behavior is always the same and can't be customized. When a new deep link is received by the platform, Flutter pushes a new Route onto the Navigator regardless of where the user currently is.

Flutter also doesn't support the browser forward button for applications using named routes. For these reasons, we don't recommend using named routes in most applications.

Using the Router


Flutter applications with advanced navigation and routing requirements (such as a web app that uses direct links to each screen, or an app with multiple Navigator widgets) should use a routing package such as go_router that can parse the route path and configure the Navigator whenever the app receives a new deep link.

To use the Router, switch to the router constructor on MaterialApp or CupertinoApp and provide it with a Router configuration. Routing packages, such as go_router, typically provide a configuration for you. For example:

  routerConfig: GoRouter(
    // …

Because packages like go_router are declarative, they will always display the same screen(s) when a deep link is received.

Using Router and Navigator together


The Router and Navigator are designed to work together. You can navigate using the Router API through a declarative routing package, such as go_router, or by calling imperative methods such as push() and pop() on the Navigator.

When you navigate using the Router or a declarative routing package, each route on the Navigator is page-backed, meaning it was created from a Page using the pages argument on the Navigator constructor. Conversely, any Route created by calling Navigator.push or showDialog will add a pageless route to the Navigator. If you are using a routing package, Routes that are page-backed are always deep-linkable, whereas pageless routes are not.

When a page-backed Route is removed from the Navigator, all of the pageless routes after it are also removed. For example, if a deep link navigates by removing a page-backed route from the Navigator, all pageless routes after (up until the next page-backed route) are removed too.

Web support


Apps using the Router class integrate with the browser History API to provide a consistent experience when using the browser's back and forward buttons. Whenever you navigate using the Router, a History API entry is added to the browser's history stack. Pressing the back button uses reverse chronological navigation, meaning that the user is taken to the previously visited location that was shown using the Router. This means that if the user pops a page from the Navigator and then presses the browser back button the previous page is pushed back onto the stack.

More information


For more information on navigation and routing, check out the following resources:

  • The Flutter cookbook includes multiple navigation recipes that show how to use the Navigator.
  • The Navigator and Router API documentation contain details on how to set up declarative navigation without a routing package.
  • Understanding navigation, a page from the Material Design documentation, outlines concepts for designing the navigation in your app, including explanations for forward, upward, and chronological navigation.
  • Learning Flutter's new navigation and routing system, an article on Medium, describes how to use the Router widget directly, without a routing package.
  • The Router design document contains the motivation and design of the Router` API.