[ios] Change color of Back button in navigation bar

I am trying to change the color of the Settings button to white, but can't get it to change.

I've tried both of these:

navigationItem.leftBarButtonItem?.tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor()
navigationItem.backBarButtonItem?.tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor()

but no change, it still looks like this:

enter image description here

How do I make that button white?

The answer is

self.navigationController?.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.redColor()

This snippet does the magic. Instead of the redColor, change it to as your wish.

In Swift 4, you can take care of this issue using:

let navStyles = UINavigationBar.appearance()
// This will set the color of the text for the back buttons.
navStyles.tintColor = .white
// This will set the background color for navBar
navStyles.barTintColor = .black

It will be solved with this line in -(void)viewDidLoad:

self.navigationItem.backBarButtonItem.tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor;

Very easy to set up in the storyboard:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Swift 3

The most upvoted answer is not correct for Swift 3.

enter image description here

The correct code to change color is:

self.navigationController?.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.white

If you want to change color, change UIColor.white above to the desired color

I'm using this in swift 5 and worked for me

navigationItem.backBarButtonItem?.tintColor = UIColor(named: "uberRed")

Add following code to didFinishLaunchingWithOptions function in AppDelegate.swift

var navigationBarAppearace = UINavigationBar.appearance()

navigationBarAppearace.tintColor = uicolorFromHex(0xffffff) // White color
navigationBarAppearace.barTintColor = uicolorFromHex(0x034517) // Green shade

// change navigation item title color
navigationBarAppearace.titleTextAttributes =[NSForegroundColorAttributeName:UIColor.whiteColor()]

self.navigationController.navigationBar.tintColor = [UIColor whiteColor];

This works for me, iOS 9.0+

You can use like this one. Place it inside AppDelegate.swift.

func application(application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [NSObject: AnyObject]?) -> Bool {
        // Override point for customization after application launch.

        UINavigationBar.appearance().translucent = false
        UINavigationBar.appearance().barTintColor = UIColor(rgba: "#2c8eb5")
        UINavigationBar.appearance().tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor()
        UINavigationBar.appearance().titleTextAttributes = [NSForegroundColorAttributeName:UIColor.whiteColor()]

        return true

Use this code in AppDelegate class, inside of didFinishLaunchingWithOptions.

func application(_ application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplicationLaunchOptionsKey: Any]?) -> Bool {

UINavigationBar.appearance().tintColor = .white


Lets try this code:

 func application(application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [NSObject: AnyObject]?) -> Bool {
    // Override point for customization after application launch.

    let navigationBarAppearace = UINavigationBar.appearance()
    navigationBarAppearace.tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor()  // Back buttons and such
    navigationBarAppearace.barTintColor = UIColor.purpleColor()  // Bar's background color
    navigationBarAppearace.titleTextAttributes = [NSForegroundColorAttributeName:UIColor.whiteColor()]  // Title's text color

    self.window?.backgroundColor = UIColor.whiteColor()
    return true

This code changes the arrow color

self.navigationController.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor();

If this does not work, use the code below:

self.navigationBar.barStyle = UIBarStyle.Black
self.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor()

Swift 3 Notes

UIColor.whiteColor() and similar have been simplified to UIColor.white

Also, many previously implicit optionals have been changed to explicit, so you might need:

self.navigationController?.navigationBar =

You can change the global tint color in your storyboard by clicking on an empty space on the board and select in the right toolbar "Show the file inspector", and you will see in the bottom of the toolbar the "Global Tint" option.

Global Tint option in storyboard

In Swift3, To set the Back button to red.

self.navigationController?.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.red

I prefer custom NavigationController rather than setting global ui, or put in ViewController.

Here is my solution

class AppNavigationController : UINavigationController {

  override func viewDidLoad() {
    self.delegate = self

  override func viewWillAppear(_ animated: Bool) {


extension AppNavigationController : UINavigationControllerDelegate {

  func navigationController(_ navigationController: UINavigationController, willShow viewController: UIViewController, animated: Bool) {
    let backButtonItem = UIBarButtonItem(
      title: "   ",
      style: UIBarButtonItem.Style.plain,
      target: nil,
      action: nil)
    backButtonItem.tintColor = UIColor.gray
    viewController.navigationItem.backBarButtonItem = backButtonItem

  func navigationController(_ navigationController: UINavigationController, didShow viewController: UIViewController, animated: Bool) {



Also you don't need to mess with Apple Api like EKEventEditViewController,PickerViewController and so on if you use global settings ui like UIBarButtonItem.appearance().tintColor = .white

Swift 5.3:

UINavigationBar.appearance().backIndicatorImage = UIImage(named: "custom-back-image")
UINavigationBar.appearance().backIndicatorTransitionMaskImage = UIImage(named: "custom-back-image")

All the answers setting UINavigationBar.appearance().tintColor conflict with Apple's documentation in UIAppearance.h.

Note for iOS7: On iOS7 the tintColor property has moved to UIView, and now has special inherited behavior described in UIView.h. This inherited behavior can conflict with the appearance proxy, and therefore tintColor is now disallowed with the appearance proxy.

In Xcode, you need to command-click on each property you want to use with appearance proxy to inspect the header file and make sure the property is annotated with UI_APPEARANCE_SELECTOR.

So the correct way to color the navigation bar purple and the title and buttons white throughout the app via the appearance proxy is:

UINavigationBar.appearance().isTranslucent = false
UINavigationBar.appearance().barTintColor = .purple
UINavigationBar.appearance().titleTextAttributes = [NSAttributedStringKey.foregroundColor: UIColor.white]
UIBarButtonItem.appearance().tintColor = .white

Note that UIBarButtonItem is not a subclass of UIView but rather NSObject. So its tintColor property is not the inherited tintColor from UIView.

Unfortunately, UIBarButtonItem.tintColor is not annotated with UI_APPEARANCE_SELECTOR – but that seems to me a documentation bug. The response from Apple Engineering in this radar states it is supported.

Not sure why nobody has mentioned this...but I was doing exactly what you were doing in my viewDidLoad...and it wasn't working. Then I placed my code into viewWillAppear and it all worked.

The above solution is to change a single barbuttonItem. If you want to change the color for every navigationBar in your code then follow this answer.

Basically changing onto the class itself using appearance() is like making a global change on all instances of that view in your app. For more see here

    self.navigationController?.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.black // to change the all text color in navigation bar or navigation 
    self.navigationController?.navigationBar.barTintColor = UIColor.white // change the navigation background color
    self.navigationController?.navigationBar.titleTextAttributes = [NSForegroundColorAttributeName:UIColor.black] // To change only navigation bar title text color

in swift 2.0 use

self.navigationController!.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.whiteColor();

If you already have the back button in your "Settings" view controller and you want to change the back button color on the "Payment Information" view controller to something else, you can do it inside "Settings" view controller's prepare for segue like this:

override func prepare(for segue: UIStoryboardSegue, sender: Any?) { 
    if segue.identifier == "YourPaymentInformationSegue"
        //Make the back button for "Payment Information" gray:
        self.navigationItem.backBarButtonItem?.tintColor = UIColor.gray               

Swift 4.2

Change complete app theme

func application(_ application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplicationLaunchOptionsKey: Any]?) -> Bool {
        // Override point for customization after application launch.

        UINavigationBar.appearance().tintColor = .white

        return true

Change specific controller

let navController = UINavigationController.init(rootViewController: yourViewController) 
navController.navigationBar.tintColor = .red

present(navController, animated: true, completion: nil)

You have one choice hide your back button and make it with your self. Then set its color.

I did that:

self.navigationItem.setHidesBackButton(true, animated: true)
let backbtn = UIBarButtonItem(title: "Back", style:UIBarButtonItemStyle.Plain, target: self, action: "backTapped:")
self.navigationItem.leftBarButtonItem = backbtn
self.navigationItem.leftBarButtonItem?.tintColor = UIColor.grayColor()

You should add this line

 self.navigationController?.navigationBar.topItem?.backBarButtonItem?.tintColor = .black

For Swift 2.0, To change the Navigation-bar tint color, title text and back button tint color changed by using the following in AppDelegate.swift

func application(application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [NSObject: AnyObject]?) -> Bool {

  // Override point for customization after application launch.

    //Navigation bar tint color change

    UINavigationBar.appearance().barTintColor = UIColor(red: 42/255.0, green: 140/255.0, blue: 166/255.0, alpha: 0.5)

    //Back button tint color change

    UINavigationBar.appearance().barStyle = UIBarStyle.Default
    UINavigationBar.appearance().tintColor =  UIColor(red: 204/255.0, green: 255/255.0, blue: 204/255.0, alpha: 1)

    //Navigation Menu font tint color change

    UINavigationBar.appearance().titleTextAttributes = [NSForegroundColorAttributeName: UIColor(red: 204/255.0, green: 255/255.0, blue: 204/255.0, alpha: 1), NSFontAttributeName: UIFont(name: "OpenSans-Bold", size: 25)!]//UIColor(red: 42/255.0, green: 140/255.0, blue: 166/255.0, alpha: 1.0)

    UIApplication.sharedApplication().statusBarStyle = UIStatusBarStyle.LightContent

    return true

If you tried many times but could not work, you may try :

UIBarButtonItem.appearance(whenContainedInInstancesOf: [UINavigationBar.self]).tintColor = .red

Actually, I tried many times, only found this way will work.

You should use this:

navigationController?.navigationBar.barTintColor = .purple
navigationController?.navigationBar.tintColor = .white


 override func viewDidLoad() {

 self.navigationController?.navigationBar.tintColor = UIColor.white

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