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Implement a checkbox

Learn how to implement a fully customizable checkbox in your Expo project.


The expo-checkbox package provides a quick implementation of a checkbox that you can directly use in your project. However, to have full customization, and control over the look and feel of the checkbox, this page goes in-depth on how to implement the component from scratch.

Understanding the checkbox

A checkbox is a button that exists in one of two states — it is checked or it isn't. This makes it a perfect candidate for the useState() hook. Our first iteration will render a button that toggles between checked and unchecked states. When the checkbox is checked, we'll render a checkmark icon in the center of the button.

Info-icon

You can find more information about using icons in your Expo project in our Icons guide.

Example
import { useState } from 'react';
import { Pressable, StyleSheet, Text, View } from 'react-native';
import { Ionicons } from '@expo/vector-icons';

function MyCheckbox() {
  const [checked, setChecked] = useState(false);
  return (
    <Pressable
      style={[styles.checkboxBase, checked && styles.checkboxChecked]}
      onPress={() => setChecked(!checked)}>
      {checked && <Ionicons name="checkmark" size={24} color="white" />}
    </Pressable>
  );
}

export default function App() {
  return (
    <View style={styles.appContainer}>
      <Text style={styles.appTitle}>Checkbox Example</Text>
      <View style={styles.checkboxContainer}>
        <MyCheckbox />
        <Text style={styles.checkboxLabel}>{`⬅️ Click!`}</Text>
      </View>
    </View>
  );
}

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
  checkboxBase: {
    width: 24,
    height: 24,
    justifyContent: 'center',
    alignItems: 'center',
    borderRadius: 4,
    borderWidth: 2,
    borderColor: 'coral',
    backgroundColor: 'transparent',
  },
  checkboxChecked: {
    backgroundColor: 'coral',
  },
  appContainer: {
    flex: 1,
    alignItems: 'center',
    justifyContent: 'center',
  },
  appTitle: {
    marginVertical: 16,
    fontWeight: 'bold',
    fontSize: 24,
  },
  checkboxContainer: {
    flexDirection: 'row',
    alignItems: 'center',
  },
  checkboxLabel: {
    marginLeft: 8,
    fontWeight: 500,
    fontSize: 18,
  },
});
Info-icon

icons.expo.fyi is a great resource for finding all of the icons available in the @expo/vector-icons package.

Controlling the checkbox

This checkbox isn't useful in this state because the checked value is accessible only from within the component — more often than not you'll want to control the checkbox from outside. This is achievable by defining checked and onChange as props that are passed into the checkbox:

Example
import { useState } from 'react';
import { Pressable, StyleSheet, Text, View } from 'react-native';
import { Ionicons } from '@expo/vector-icons';

function MyCheckbox({ onChange, checked }) {
  return (
    <Pressable
      style={[styles.checkboxBase, checked && styles.checkboxChecked]}
      onPress={onChange}>
      {checked && <Ionicons name="checkmark" size={24} color="white" />}
    </Pressable>
  );
}

export default function App() {
  const [checked, setChecked] = useState(false);
  return (
    <View style={styles.appContainer}>
      <Text style={styles.appTitle}>Checkbox Example</Text>
      <View style={styles.checkboxContainer}>
        <MyCheckbox onChange={() => setChecked(!checked)} checked={checked} />
        <Text style={styles.checkboxLabel}>{`⬅️ Click!`}</Text>
      </View>
    </View>
  );
}

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
  checkboxBase: {
    width: 24,
    height: 24,
    justifyContent: 'center',
    alignItems: 'center',
    borderRadius: 4,
    borderWidth: 2,
    borderColor: 'coral',
    backgroundColor: 'transparent',
  },
  checkboxChecked: {
    backgroundColor: 'coral',
  },
  appContainer: {
    flex: 1,
    alignItems: 'center',
    justifyContent: 'center',
  },
  appTitle: {
    marginVertical: 16,
    fontWeight: 'bold',
    fontSize: 24,
  },
  checkboxContainer: {
    flexDirection: 'row',
    alignItems: 'center',
  },
  checkboxLabel: {
    marginLeft: 8,
    fontWeight: 500,
    fontSize: 18,
  },
});
Info-icon

This pattern is referred to as a controlled component.

Extending the interface

It's common enough to need to render different styles when the checkmark is checked and when it is not. Let's add this to the checkbox's props and make it more reusable:

Example
import { useState } from 'react';
import { Pressable, StyleSheet, Text, View } from 'react-native';
import { Ionicons } from '@expo/vector-icons';

function MyCheckbox({
  checked,
  onChange,
  buttonStyle = {},
  activeButtonStyle = {},
  inactiveButtonStyle = {},
  activeIconProps = {},
  inactiveIconProps = {},
}) {
  const iconProps = checked ? activeIconProps : inactiveIconProps;
  return (
    <Pressable
      style={[
        buttonStyle,
        checked
          ? activeButtonStyle
          : inactiveButtonStyle,
      ]}
      onPress={() => onChange(!checked)}>
      {checked && (
        <Ionicons
          name="checkmark"
          size={24}
          color="white"
          {...iconProps}
        />
      )}
    </Pressable>
  );
}

export default function App() {
  const [checked, setChecked] = useState(false);
  return (
    <View style={styles.appContainer}>
      <Text style={styles.appTitle}>Checkbox Example</Text>
      <View style={styles.checkboxContainer}>
        <MyCheckbox
          checked={checked}
          onChange={setChecked}
          buttonStyle={styles.checkboxBase}
          activeButtonStyle={styles.checkboxChecked}
        />
        <Text style={styles.checkboxLabel}>{`⬅️ Click!`}</Text>
      </View>
    </View>
  );
}

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
  checkboxBase: {
    width: 24,
    height: 24,
    justifyContent: 'center',
    alignItems: 'center',
    borderRadius: 4,
    borderWidth: 2,
    borderColor: 'coral',
    backgroundColor: 'transparent',
  },
  checkboxChecked: {
    backgroundColor: 'coral',
  },
  appContainer: {
    flex: 1,
    alignItems: 'center',
    justifyContent: 'center',
  },
  appTitle: {
    marginVertical: 16,
    fontWeight: 'bold',
    fontSize: 24,
  },
  checkboxContainer: {
    flexDirection: 'row',
    alignItems: 'center',
  },
  checkboxLabel: {
    marginLeft: 8,
    fontWeight: 500,
    fontSize: 18,
  },
});

This checkbox ticks all of the boxes of what it should be. It toggles between checked states, can be controlled, and the styles are fully customizable.

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