More ways to use the navigation function


As previously mentioned, one of the most common ways to move from screen to screen is by setting the OnSelect property of a control. There are also several other ways to trigger the Navigate or Back functions.

One option is to use a DropDown control and an If statement. With this solution, depending on the choice selected in the drop-down menu, the app navigates to a specific screen. If you want to try it now, you can follow along with this example (if your VM mode instance is still open from the last exercise you can use that for the following steps).

  1. Start an app in Power Apps Studio and add two blank screens. There should be a total of three blank screens.

  2. On Screen1, add a Dropdown control.

  3. Set the Items property for the Dropdown control to:

  4. Set the OnChange property for the Dropdown control to the following:

    If(Dropdown1.Selected.Value ="Active",Navigate(Screen2,ScreenTransition.Cover), If(Dropdown1.Selected.Value = "Inactive",Navigate(Screen3,ScreenTransition.Fade)))

On your keyboard, hold the Alt key (or enter app Play mode) to test the new functionality. When you select Active from the drop-down menu, the app should navigate to Screen2. Likewise, if you select Inactive from the same drop-down menu, the app navigates to Screen3. Finally, if you select the blank ("") option, the app shouldn't navigate to another screen.

Using variables and the Timer control to navigate screens

You can also use a variable and a timer control with an If statement to set navigation. Depending on what the app sets the variable value as, sends the user to a specific screen. For example, if you have the question "Do you have additional feedback to provide regarding this incident?" If the user selects "Yes", then you want to send the user to the Additional Information screen. If the user selects, "No", then you want to navigate to the Form Completed screen.

Another option is to use a timer control. When the time runs out, the app navigates to a different screen. For example, maybe you only want to allow users 30 seconds to answer the questions on a screen before navigating to the next set of questions.

The following example builds off the previous example and incorporates variables and a Timer control.

  1. Return to Screen1 and add a Timer control.

  2. Set the Duration property to 10000 (in milliseconds)

  3. Set the Auto start to true (you can also select the toggle in the properties pane on the right side of the screen to 'On').

  4. Set the OnTimerEnd property to:

    If(Dropdown1.Selected.Value = "",Navigate(Screen2))
  5. Select the drop-down control and modify the OnChange property to

    If(Dropdown1.Selected.Value = "Active",Set(varStatus,1),If(Dropdown1.Selected.Value ="Inactive",Set(varStatus,2),Set(varStatus,0)))
  6. Add a new Button control, position it under the drop-down menu, and set the Text property to "Next".

  7. Set the OnSelect property for the "Next" button to

    If(varStatus = 1,Navigate(Screen2,ScreenTransition.Cover),
    If(varStatus = 2,Navigate(Screen3,ScreenTransition.Fade)))
  8. Go to Screen2 and ensure that you have a Back button with the OnSelect formula Back().

  9. Return to Screen1. There are now two ways to navigate to other screens from Screen1. Put your app in play mode. Notice that the timer begins counting right away and nothing happens unless the empty/blank field is selected in your drop-down.

  10. Select the empty/blank field from your drop-down. If you already have it selected, or if you select it before the timer expires, your app navigates to Screen2. If your timer runs to 10 seconds before you can change the dropdown, then you can select the timer control to restart the timer. Then after 10 seconds, your app will automatically navigate to Screen2.

  11. Return to Screen1 by selecting Back. Notice how your timer starts again the moment you return to Screen1, but it doesn't navigate to Screen2 unless your drop down is on the empty/blank field. Now let's try the alternate means of navigation.

  12. Select Active from the drop-down menu. This sets your variable named varStatus to 1.

  13. Select the Next button and you land on Screen2.

  14. Return to Screen1 (select Back to go to Screen1) and then select Inactive from the same drop-down. This makes your value of varStatus = 2.

  15. Select the Next button and see that it navigates you to Screen3.

Documentation Screen

Before moving to the knowledge check, let's discuss the Documentation screen. You can add a screen to your app and rename the screen Documentation. With no Navigation pointing to this screen, it isn't accessible to your end-users. The purpose of this screen is to give the App creator or co-editors a location in the app to make notes or add documentation about certain aspects of how the app functions. It can be a place to keep track of settings, such as formatting or colors. Using a Documentation screen is a great technique to provide instructions to other developers of the app.


There are different and flexible ways to configure navigation in your app. In the first example of this unit, the navigation dynamically changed with user input to the drop-down control. In the second example, we used variables and a timer control to control navigation. The timer moved your user to another screen if nothing was selected. The variable allowed you to control which screen your user navigated to, based on the drop-down value selected, and triggered when the user selected a button control. A Documentation screen in your app that users can't navigate to provides developers a location to add notes on the app. Power Apps provides the flexibility to choose what works best for your solution!