react-router reactjs

Programmatically navigate using React router


With react-router I can use the Link element to create links which are natively handled by react router.

I see internally it calls this.context.transitionTo(...).

I want to do a navigation. Not from a link, but from a dropdown selection (as an example). How can I do this in code? What is this.context?

I saw the Navigation mixin, but can I do this without mixins?



React Router v5.1.0 with hooks

There is a new useHistory hook in React Router >5.1.0 if you are using React >16.8.0 and functional components.

import { useHistory } from "react-router-dom";

function HomeButton() {
  const history = useHistory();

  function handleClick() {

  return (
    <button type="button" onClick={handleClick}>
      Go home

React Router v4

With v4 of React Router, there are three approaches that you can take to programmatic routing within components.

  1. Use the withRouter higher-order component.
  2. Use composition and render a <Route>
  3. Use the context.

React Router is mostly a wrapper around the history library. history handles interaction with the browser’s window.history for you with its browser and hash histories. It also provides a memory history which is useful for environments that don’t have a global history. This is particularly useful in mobile app development (react-native) and unit testing with Node.

A history instance has two methods for navigating: push and replace. If you think of the history as an array of visited locations, push will add a new location to the array and replace will replace the current location in the array with the new one. Typically you will want to use the push method when you are navigating.

In earlier versions of React Router, you had to create your own history instance, but in v4 the <BrowserRouter>, <HashRouter>, and <MemoryRouter> components will create a browser, hash, and memory instances for you. React Router makes the properties and methods of the history instance associated with your router available through the context, under the router object.

1. Use the withRouter higher-order component

The withRouter higher-order component will inject the history object as a prop of the component. This allows you to access the push and replace methods without having to deal with the context.

import { withRouter } from 'react-router-dom'
// this also works with react-router-native

const Button = withRouter(({ history }) => (
    onClick={() => { history.push('/new-location') }}
    Click Me!

2. Use composition and render a <Route>

The <Route> component isn’t just for matching locations. You can render a pathless route and it will always match the current location. The <Route> component passes the same props as withRouter, so you will be able to access the history methods through the history prop.

import { Route } from 'react-router-dom'

const Button = () => (
  <Route render={({ history}) => (
      onClick={() => { history.push('/new-location') }}
      Click Me!
  )} />

3. Use the context*

But you probably should not

The last option is one that you should only use if you feel comfortable working with React’s context model (React’s Context API is stable as of v16).

const Button = (props, context) => (
    onClick={() => {
      // context.history.push === history.push
    Click Me!

// you need to specify the context type so that it
// is available within the component
Button.contextTypes = {
  history: React.PropTypes.shape({
    push: React.PropTypes.func.isRequired

1 and 2 are the simplest choices to implement, so for most use cases, they are your best bets.


  • 31

    I tried to use method 1 in this way withRouter(( { history } ) => { console.log(“hhhhhhhh”); history.push(‘/bets’) }); But it never worked with router 4

    Mar 20, 2017 at 14:07

  • 82

    WHAT!? I can just use withRouter instead of passing history down through all of my components?? Gahh I need to spend more time reading docs…

    Jul 22, 2017 at 2:04

  • 24

    How can you just run history.push('/new-location') without attaching that behaviour to a Button or other DOM element?

    – Neil

    Sep 22, 2017 at 12:16

  • 23

    context isn’t experimental anymore as of react 16.

    – trysis

    Sep 2, 2018 at 14:11

  • 9

    Update: for those who use eact-router-dom v6 should use useNavigate() instead of useHistory(). See the following answer for more detail.

    – A7x

    Nov 29, 2021 at 0:43


React-Router v6+ Answer

You can use the new useNavigate hook. useNavigate hook returns a function which can be used for programmatic navigation.
Example from the react router documentaion

import { useNavigate } from "react-router-dom";

function SignupForm() {
  let navigate = useNavigate();

  async function handleSubmit(event) {
    await submitForm(;
    navigate("../success", { replace: true });

  return <form onSubmit={handleSubmit}>{/* ... */}</form>;

React-Router 5.1.0+ Answer (using hooks and React >16.8)

You can use the useHistory hook on Functional Components and Programmatically navigate:

import { useHistory } from "react-router-dom";

function HomeButton() {
  let history = useHistory();
  // use history.push('/some/path') here

React-Router 4.0.0+ Answer

In 4.0 and above, use the history as a prop of your component.

class Example extends React.Component {
   // use `this.props.history.push('/some/path')` here

NOTE: this.props.history does not exist in the case your component was not rendered by <Route>. You should use <Route path="..." component={YourComponent}/> to have this.props.history in YourComponent

React-Router 3.0.0+ Answer

In 3.0 and above, use the router as a prop of your component.

class Example extends React.Component {
   // use `this.props.router.push('/some/path')` here

React-Router 2.4.0+ Answer

In 2.4 and above, use a higher order component to get the router as a prop of your component.

import { withRouter } from 'react-router';

class Example extends React.Component {
   // use `this.props.router.push('/some/path')` here

// Export the decorated class
var DecoratedExample = withRouter(Example);

// PropTypes
Example.propTypes = {
  router: React.PropTypes.shape({
    push: React.PropTypes.func.isRequired

React-Router 2.0.0+ Answer

This version is backwards compatible with 1.x so there’s no need to an Upgrade Guide. Just going through the examples should be good enough.

That said, if you wish to switch to the new pattern, there’s a browserHistory module inside the router that you can access with

import { browserHistory } from 'react-router'

Now you have access to your browser history, so you can do things like push, replace, etc… Like:


Further reading:
Histories and

React-Router 1.x.x Answer

I will not go into upgrading details. You can read about that in the Upgrade Guide

The main change about the question here is the change from Navigation mixin to History. Now it’s using the browser historyAPI to change route so we will use pushState() from now on.

Here’s an exemple using Mixin:

var Example = React.createClass({
  mixins: [ History ],
  navigateToHelpPage () {
    this.history.pushState(null, `/help`);

Note that this History comes from rackt/history project. Not from React-Router itself.

If you don’t want to use Mixin for some reason (maybe because of ES6 class), then you can access the history that you get from the router from this.props.history. It will be only accessible for the components rendered by your Router. So, if you want to use it in any child components it needs to be passed down as an attribute via props.

You can read more about the new release at their 1.0.x documentation

Here is a help page specifically about navigating outside your component

It recommends grabbing a reference history = createHistory() and calling replaceState on that.

React-Router 0.13.x Answer

I got into the same problem and could only find the solution with the Navigation mixin that comes with react-router.

Here’s how I did it

import React from 'react';
import {Navigation} from 'react-router';

let Authentication = React.createClass({
  mixins: [Navigation],

  handleClick(e) {


    return (<div onClick={this.handleClick}>Click me!</div>);

I was able to call transitionTo() without the need to access .context

Or you could try the fancy ES6 class

import React from 'react';

export default class Authentication extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    this.handleClick = this.handleClick.bind(this);

  handleClick(e) {


    return (<div onClick={this.handleClick}>Click me!</div>);

Authentication.contextTypes = {
  router: React.PropTypes.func.isRequired


Note: if you’re using Redux, there is another project called
React-Router-Redux that gives you
redux bindings for ReactRouter, using somewhat the same approach that
React-Redux does

React-Router-Redux has a few methods available that allow for simple navigating from inside action creators. These can be particularly useful for people that have existing architecture in React Native, and they wish to utilize the same patterns in React Web with minimal boilerplate overhead.

Explore the following methods:

  • push(location)
  • replace(location)
  • go(number)
  • goBack()
  • goForward()

Here is an example usage, with Redux-Thunk:


import { goBack } from 'react-router-redux'

export const onBackPress = () => (dispatch) => dispatch(goBack())


  onClick={(e) => {


  • 4

    Thank you so much. The documentation is so hard to search that the use of replace in the useNavigate function while simple and useful is extremely challenging to find even if you know what you’re looking for.

    – Tyk

    Dec 1, 2021 at 21:40

  • 2

    I was hoping useNavigate was the solution, but version 6.2.1 it seems to be ignoring the { replace: true } and doesn’t refresh the page.

    Feb 3 at 21:56

  • The docs aren’t clear about the purpose or expected behavior of including the second optional param replace: state.

    – ThisClark

    Mar 18 at 18:36

  • Is there a solution that doesn’t use hooks?

    Mar 28 at 21:05


React-Router v2

For the most recent release (v2.0.0-rc5), the recommended navigation method is by directly pushing onto the history singleton. You can see that in action in the Navigating outside of Components doc.

Relevant excerpt:

import { browserHistory } from 'react-router';

If using the newer react-router API, you need to make use of the history from this.props when inside of components so:


It also offers pushState but that is deprecated per logged warnings.

If using react-router-redux, it offers a push function you can dispatch like so:

import { push } from 'react-router-redux';

However this may be only used to change the URL, not to actually navigate to the page.


  • 16

    Don’t forget that the newer API doesn’t use import { browserHistory } from './react-router' but instead creates history using import createBrowserHistory from 'history/lib/createBrowserHistory'. Later on, you can access history from the components props: this.props.history('/some/path')

    Feb 3, 2016 at 15:57