Android Getting a result from another Activity

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By using startActivityForResult(Intent intent, int requestCode) you can start another Activity and then receive a result from that Activity in the onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) method. The result will be returned as an Intent. An intent can contain data via a Bundle

In this example MainActivity will start a DetailActivity and then expect a result from it. Each request type should have its own int request code, so that in the overridden onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) method in MainActivity , it can be determined which request to process by comparing values of requestCode and REQUEST_CODE_EXAMPLE (though in this example, there is only one).


public class MainActivity extends Activity {

    // Use a unique request code for each use case 
    private static final int REQUEST_CODE_EXAMPLE = 0x9345; 

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        // Create a new instance of Intent to start DetailActivity
        final Intent intent = new Intent(this, DetailActivity.class);

        // Start DetailActivity with the request code
        startActivityForResult(intent, REQUEST_CODE_EXAMPLE);

    // onActivityResult only get called 
    // when the other Activity previously started using startActivityForResult
    public void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
        super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data);

        // First we need to check if the requestCode matches the one we used.
        if(requestCode == REQUEST_CODE_EXAMPLE) {

            // The resultCode is set by the DetailActivity
            // By convention RESULT_OK means that whatever
            // DetailActivity did was executed successfully
            if(resultCode == Activity.RESULT_OK) {
                // Get the result from the returned Intent
                final String result = data.getStringExtra(DetailActivity.EXTRA_DATA);

                // Use the data - in this case, display it in a Toast.
                Toast.makeText(this, "Result: " + result, Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
            } else {
                // setResult wasn't successfully executed by DetailActivity 
                // Due to some error or flow of control. No data to retrieve.


public class DetailActivity extends Activity {

    // Constant used to identify data sent between Activities.
    public static final String EXTRA_DATA = "EXTRA_DATA";

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        final Button button = (Button) findViewById(;
        // When this button is clicked we want to return a result
        button.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
            public void onClick(View view) {
                // Create a new Intent object as container for the result
                final Intent data = new Intent();

                // Add the required data to be returned to the MainActivity
                data.putExtra(EXTRA_DATA, "Some interesting data!");
                // Set the resultCode as Activity.RESULT_OK to 
                // indicate a success and attach the Intent
                // which contains our result data
                setResult(Activity.RESULT_OK, data); 

                // With finish() we close the DetailActivity to 
                // return back to MainActivity

    public void onBackPressed() {
        // When the user hits the back button set the resultCode 
        // as Activity.RESULT_CANCELED to indicate a failure

A few things you need to be aware of:

  • Data is only returned once you call finish(). You need to call setResult() before calling finish(), otherwise, no result will be returned.

  • Make sure your Activity is not using android:launchMode="singleTask", or it will cause the Activity to run in a separate task and therefore you will not receive a result from it. If your Activity uses singleTask as launch mode, it will call onActivityResult() immediately with a result code of Activity.RESULT_CANCELED.

  • Be careful when using android:launchMode="singleInstance". On devices before Lollipop (Android 5.0, API Level 21), Activities will not return a result.

  • You can use explicit or implicit intents when you call startActivityForResult(). When starting one of your own activities to receive a result, you should use an explicit intent to ensure that you receive the expected result. An explicit intent is always delivered to its target, no matter what it contains; the filter is not consulted. But an implicit intent is delivered to a component only if it can pass through one of the component's filters.
Intent URI