The SwiftUI cookbook for navigation

Description: The recipe for a great app begins with a clear and robust navigation structure. Join the SwiftUI team in our proverbial coding kitchen and learn how you can cook up a great experience for your app. We’ll introduce you to SwiftUI’s navigation stack and split view features, show you how you can link to specific areas of your app, and explore how you can quickly and easily restore navigational state.

Sample App

Deprecation notice

All previous navigation APIs are deprecated:

  • NavigationView is replaced by two new containers, NavigationStack and NavigationSplitView (more on this later)
  • NavigationLink still exists, has a completely different API and behavior, and is no longer mandatory to use

New navigation APIs


  • with the new containers, we have a single binding for managing their stack state/path
  • this single binding represents all the values pushed onto the stack, think of it as an array of screens
    • The new NavigationLink APIs append values to this binding
    • you can directly mutate this binding yourself (just add/remove elements from this state/path array)
    • You can programmatically push/pop multiple screens at once
    • You can programmatically deep link
    • You can pop to the root view by removing all the items

Two new containers:

  1. NavigationStack - for a single push-pop stack
  2. NavigationSplitView - for multi-column apps
    • automatically adapts into a single-column stack on iPhone, into Slide Over on iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV
    • provides configuration options that let you:

NavigationSplitView has two initializers:

NavigationStack(path: $path) {
  NavigationLink("trigger", value: value)

NavigationSplitView {
  List(model.employees, selection: $employeeIds) { employee in
} detail: {
  EmployeeDetails(for: employeeIds)


  • appends elements onto the stack it appears in
  • no longer accepts a destination parameter (we use the new navigationDestination(for:destination:) modifier instead)
  • is no longer needed, programmatically append things to the $path state yourself instead

navigationDestination(for:destination:) modifier

  • declares the type of the presented data that it's responsible for
  • takes in a view builder that describes what view to push onto the stack when a instance of that data is presented
NavigationStack {
  List {
    NavigationLink("Mint", value:
    NavigationLink("Pink", value:
    NavigationLink("Teal", value: Color.teal)
  .navigationDestination(for: Color.self) { color in
    ColorDetail(color: color) // The view to be pushed

Explanation: when a navigation link is tapped, a new Color value is appended to the NavigationStack internal $path state, NavigationStack then asks the navigationDestination(for:destination:) modifier associated with Color for the view to be pushed.

  • Every navigation stack keeps track of a path that represents all the data that the stack is showing
  • When the stack shows its root view, the path is empty
  • the stack also keeps track of all the navigation destinations declared inside it, or inside any view pushed onto the stack
  • if you'd like to use this path yourself (e.g., for programmatic navigation), use the new type-erasing NavigationPath collection where you can push values of different types

Example with explicit path:

struct ContentView: View {
  /// The stack state.
  @State private var path: [Int] = []

  var body: some View {
    // This navigation doesn't use NavigationLink! 🎉
    NavigationStack(path: $path) {
      NumberView(0, onGoToNextNumber: { path = [1] })
        // 👇🏻 This modifier returns the view to be pushed for $path values of type Int
        .navigationDestination(for: Int.self) { number in 
          NumberView(number, onGoToNextNumber: { path.append(number + 1) })

/// A view that displays a number and has a button triggering an action injected by 
/// its parent view.
struct NumberView: View {
  var number: Int
  var onGoToNextNumber: () -> Void

  init(_ number: Int, onGoToNextNumber: @escaping () -> Void) {
    self.number = number
    self.onGoToNextNumber = onGoToNextNumber

  var body: some View {
    Button("Go to next number", action: onGoToNextNumber)

Persistent state

  1. encapsulate your navigation state into a Codable model
  2. use SceneStorage to save and restore that state
  3. restore data via .task:
// Use SceneStorage to save and restore
@StateObject private var navModel = NavigationModel()
@SceneStorage("navigation") private var data: Data?

var body: some View {
  NavigationSplitView { ... }
  .task {
  	// restore state if present
  	if let data = data {
  		navModel.jsonData = data

    // start an asynchronous for loop that will iterate 
    // whenever my navigation model changes. The body of 
    // this loop will run on each change, so I can use 
    // that to save my navigation state back to my scene 
    // storage data.
    for await _ in navModel.objectWillChangeSequence {
    	data = navModel.jsonData


  • Check Apple's Migrating to New Navigation Types article
  • List, NavigationSplitView, and NavigationStack were made to mix together
  • put navigationDestination(for:destination:) modifiers within easy reach
  • start with NavigationSplitView when it makes sense

Missing anything? Corrections? Contributions are welcome 😃


Written by

Federico Zanetello

Federico Zanetello

Software engineer with a strong passion for well-written code, thought-out composable architectures, automation, tests, and more.