Problems with Android Fragment back stack

AndroidAndroid FragmentsBack Stack

Android Problem Overview

I've got a massive problem with the way the android fragment backstack seems to work and would be most grateful for any help that is offered.

Imagine you have 3 Fragments

[1] [2] [3]

I want the user to be able to navigate [1] > [2] > [3] but on the way back (pressing back button) [3] > [1].

As I would have imagined this would be accomplished by not calling addToBackStack(..) when creating the transaction that brings fragment [2] into the fragment holder defined in XML.

The reality of this seems as though that if I dont want [2] to appear again when user presses back button on [3], I must not call addToBackStack in the transaction that shows fragment [3]. This seems completely counter-intuitive (perhaps coming from the iOS world).

Anyway if i do it this way, when I go from [1] > [2] and press back I arrive back at [1] as expected.

If I go [1] > [2] > [3] and then press back I jump back to [1] (as expected). Now the strange behavior happens when I try and jump to [2] again from [1]. First of all [3] is briefly displayed before [2] comes into view. If I press back at this point [3] is displayed, and if I press back once again the app exits.

Can anyone help me to understand whats going on here?

And here is the layout xml file for my main activity:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
          android:orientation="vertical" >

        class="com.fragment_test.FragmentControls" >
    <!-- Preview: layout=@layout/details -->


Update This is the code I'm using to build by nav heirarchy

    Fragment frag;
    FragmentTransaction transaction;

    //Create The first fragment [1], add it to the view, BUT Dont add the transaction to the backstack
    frag = new Fragment1();

    transaction = getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
    transaction.replace(, frag);

    //Create the second [2] fragment, add it to the view and add the transaction that replaces the first fragment to the backstack
    frag = new Fragment2();

    transaction = getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
    transaction.replace(, frag);

    //Create third fragment, Dont add this transaction to the backstack, because we dont want to go back to [2] 
    frag = new Fragment3();
    transaction = getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
    transaction.replace(, frag);

     //END OF SETUP CODE-------------------------
    //Press back once and then issue the following code:
    frag = new Fragment2();
    transaction = getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
    transaction.replace(, frag);

    //Now press back again and you end up at fragment [3] not [1]

Many thanks

Android Solutions

Solution 1 - Android

Explanation: on what's going on here?

If we keep in mind that .replace() is equal with .remove().add() that we know by the documentation:

> Replace an existing fragment that was added to a container. This is essentially the same as calling remove(Fragment) for all currently added fragments that were added with the same containerViewId and then add(int, Fragment, String) with the same arguments given here.

then what's happening is like this (I'm adding numbers to the frag to make it more clear):

// transaction.replace(, frag1);
Transaction.remove(null).add(frag1)  // frag1 on view

// transaction.replace(, frag2).addToBackStack(null);
Transaction.remove(frag1).add(frag2).addToBackStack(null)  // frag2 on view

// transaction.replace(, frag3);
Transaction.remove(frag2).add(frag3)  // frag3 on view

(here all misleading stuff starts to happen)

Remember that .addToBackStack() is saving only transaction not the fragment as itself! So now we have frag3 on the layout:

< press back button >
// System pops the back stack and find the following saved back entry to be reversed:
// [Transaction.remove(frag1).add(frag2)]
// so the system makes that transaction backward!!!
// tries to remove frag2 (is not there, so it ignores) and re-add(frag1)
// make notice that system doesn't realise that there's a frag3 and does nothing with it
// so it still there attached to view
Transaction.remove(null).add(frag1) //frag1, frag3 on view (OVERLAPPING)

// transaction.replace(, frag2).addToBackStack(null);
Transaction.remove(frag3).add(frag2).addToBackStack(null)  //frag2 on view

< press back button >
// system makes saved transaction backward
Transaction.remove(frag2).add(frag3) //frag3 on view

< press back button >
// no more entries in BackStack
< app exits >

#Possible solution

Consider implementing FragmentManager.BackStackChangedListener to watch for changes in the back stack and apply your logic in onBackStackChanged() methode:

Solution 2 - Android

It seems as though fragment [3] is not removed from the view when back is pressed so you have to do it manually!

First of all, don't use replace() but instead use remove and add separately. It seems as though replace() doesn't work properly.

The next part to this is overriding the onKeyDown method and remove the current fragment every time the back button is pressed.

public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event)
    if (keyCode == KeyEvent.KEYCODE_BACK)
        if (getSupportFragmentManager().getBackStackEntryCount() == 0)
            return false;

            return false;


    return super.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);

public void removeCurrentFragment()
    FragmentTransaction transaction = getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();

    Fragment currentFrag =  getSupportFragmentManager().findFragmentById(;

    String fragName = "NONE";

    if (currentFrag!=null)
        fragName = currentFrag.getClass().getSimpleName();

    if (currentFrag != null)



Solution 3 - Android

First of all thanks @Arvis for an eye opening explanation.

I prefer different solution to the accepted answer here for this problem. I don't like messing with overriding back behavior any more than absolutely necessary and when I've tried adding and removing fragments on my own without default back stack poping when back button is pressed I found my self in fragment hell :) If you .add f2 over f1 when you remove it f1 won't call any of callback methods like onResume, onStart etc. and that can be very unfortunate.

Anyhow this is how I do it:

Currently on display is only fragment f1.

f1 -> f2

Fragment2 f2 = new Fragment2();

nothing out of the ordinary here. Than in fragment f2 this code takes you to fragment f3.

f2 -> f3

Fragment3 f3 = new Fragment3();
getActivity().getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction().replace(, f3).addToBackStack(null).commit();

I'm not sure by reading docs if this should work, this poping transaction method is said to be asynchronous, and maybe a better way would be to call popBackStackImmediate(). But as far I can tell on my devices it's working flawlessly.

The said alternative would be:

final FragmentActivity activity = getActivity();
activity.getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction().replace(, f3).addToBackStack(null).commit();

Here there will actually be brief going back to f1 beofre moving on to f3, so a slight glitch there.

This is actually all you have to do, no need to override back stack behavior...

Solution 4 - Android

I know it's a old quetion but i got the same problem and fix it like this:

First, Add Fragment1 to BackStack with a name (e.g "Frag1"):

frag = new Fragment1();

transaction = getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
transaction.replace(, frag);

And then, Whenever you want to go back to Fragment1 (even after adding 10 fragments above it), just call popBackStackImmediate with the name:

getSupportFragmentManager().popBackStackImmediate("Frag1", 0);

Hope it will help someone :)

Solution 5 - Android

After @Arvis reply i decided to dig even deeper and I've written a tech article about this here:

For the lazy developers around. My solution consists in always adding the transactions to the backstack and perform an extra FragmentManager.popBackStackImmediate() when needed (automatically).

The code is very few lines of code and, in my example, I wanted to skip from C to A without jumping back to "B" if the user didn't went deeper in the backstack (ex from C navigates to D).

Hence the code attached would work as follow A -> B -> C (back) -> A & A -> B -> C -> D (back) -> C (back) -> B (back) -> A


fm.beginTransaction().replace(, new CFragment()).commit()

were issued from "B" to "C" as in the question.

Ok,Ok here is the code :)

public static void performNoBackStackTransaction(FragmentManager fragmentManager, String tag, Fragment fragment) {
  final int newBackStackLength = fragmentManager.getBackStackEntryCount() +1;

      .replace(, fragment, tag)

  fragmentManager.addOnBackStackChangedListener(new FragmentManager.OnBackStackChangedListener() {
    public void onBackStackChanged() {
      int nowCount = fragmentManager.getBackStackEntryCount();
      if (newBackStackLength != nowCount) {
        // we don't really care if going back or forward. we already performed the logic here.

        if ( newBackStackLength > nowCount ) { // user pressed back

Solution 6 - Android

If you are Struggling with addToBackStack() & popBackStack() then simply use

FragmentTransaction ft =getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
ft.replace(, new HomeFragment(), "Home");

In your Activity In OnBackPressed() find out fargment by tag and then do your stuff

Fragment home = getSupportFragmentManager().findFragmentByTag("Home");

if (home instanceof HomeFragment && home.isVisible()) {
    // do you stuff

For more Information I never use addToBackStack() for handling fragment.

Solution 7 - Android

I think, when I read your story that [3] is also on the backstack. This explains why you see it flashing up.

Solution would be to never set [3] on the stack.

Solution 8 - Android

I had a similar issue where I had 3 consecutive fragments in the same Activity [M1.F0]->[M1.F1]->[M1.F2] followed by a call to a new Activity[M2]. If the user pressed a button in [M2] I wanted to return to [M1,F1] instead of [M1,F2] which is what back press behavior already did.

In order to accomplish this I remove [M1,F2], call show on [M1,F1], commit the transaction, and then add [M1,F2] back by calling it with hide. This removed the extra back press that would have otherwise been left behind.

// Remove [M1.F2] to avoid having an extra entry on back press when returning from M2
final FragmentTransaction ftA = fm.beginTransaction();
final FragmentTransaction ftB = fm.beginTransaction();

Hi After doing this code: I'm not able to see value of Fragment2 on pressing Back Key. My Code:

FragmentTransaction ft = fm.beginTransaction();
ft.add(, f1);

ft.add(, f2);
ft.add(, f3);


	public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event){

		if(keyCode == KeyEvent.KEYCODE_BACK){
            Fragment currentFrag =  getFragmentManager().findFragmentById(;
			FragmentTransaction transaction = getFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
		    if(currentFrag != null){
		    	String name = currentFrag.getClass().getName();
            if(getFragmentManager().getBackStackEntryCount() == 0){
    return super.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);

public void removeCurrentFragment()
		FragmentTransaction transaction = getFragmentManager().beginTransaction();
	    Fragment currentFrag =  getFragmentManager().findFragmentById(;
	    if(currentFrag != null){

Solution 9 - Android

executePendingTransactions() , commitNow() not worked (

Worked in androidx (jetpack).

private final FragmentManager fragmentManager = getSupportFragmentManager();

public void removeFragment(FragmentTag tag) {
    Fragment fragmentRemove = fragmentManager.findFragmentByTag(tag.toString());
    if (fragmentRemove != null) {

        // fix by @Ogbe


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Content TypeOriginal AuthorOriginal Content on Stackoverflow
QuestionChris BirchView Question on Stackoverflow
Solution 1 - AndroidArvisView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 2 - AndroidChris BirchView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 3 - AndroidNemanja KovacevicView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 4 - AndroidShirane85View Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 5 - AndroidAndrea BaccegaView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 6 - AndroidDattu HujareView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 7 - AndroidjdekeijView Answer on Stackoverflow
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Solution 9 - Androidtim4devView Answer on Stackoverflow