Android Navigation Drawer

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One of the most intuitive navigation UI component in android is the navigation drawer. First there is the standard NavigationView which is great and customizable. However there are other arguably more flexible options available as third party libraries. Lets look at them.

(a). MaterialDrawer

A flexible, easy to use, all in one drawer library for your Android project.


  • the easiest possible integration
  • uses the androidX support libraries
  • compatible down to API Level 16
  • includes an AccountSwitcher
  • quick and simple api
  • follows the NEW Google Material Design Guidelines
  • use vector (.svg) icons and icon fonts via the Android-Iconics integration
    • Google Material Design Icons, Google Material Community Design Icons, FontAwesome and more
  • comes with various themes which help to get your own themes clean
  • modify the colors on the go
  • comes with multiple default drawer items
  • based on a RecyclerView
  • RTL support
  • Gmail like MiniDrawer
  • expandable items
  • badge support
  • define custom drawer items
  • tested and stable
  • sticky footer or headers
  • absolutely NO limits
  • NavController support by @petretiandrea

Step 1: Installation

implementation "com.mikepenz:materialdrawer:${lastestMaterialDrawerRelease}"

//required support lib modules
implementation "androidx.appcompat:appcompat:${versions.appcompat}"
implementation "androidx.recyclerview:recyclerview:${versions.recyclerView}"
implementation "androidx.annotation:annotation:${versions.annotation}"
implementation "${versions.material}"
implementation "androidx.constraintlayout:constraintlayout:${versions.constraintLayout}"

// Add for NavController support
implementation "com.mikepenz:materialdrawer-nav:${lastestMaterialDrawerRelease}"

// Add for Android-Iconics support
implementation "com.mikepenz:materialdrawer-iconics:${lastestMaterialDrawerRelease}"

You can find dependency versions and all library releases on MVN Repository.

Step 2: Add the Drawer into the XML

The MaterialDrawerSliderView has to be provided as child of the DrawerLayout and will as such act as the slider

<androidx.drawerlayout.widget.DrawerLayout xmlns:android=""

    ... your content ...

        android:fitsSystemWindows="true" />

Step 3: Add the DrawerStyle to your theme

<style name="SampleApp.DayNight" parent="Theme.MaterialComponents.DayNight.NoActionBar">
    <item name="materialDrawerStyle">@style/Widget.MaterialDrawerStyle</item>
    <item name="materialDrawerHeaderStyle">@style/Widget.MaterialDrawerHeaderStyle</item>

Great. Your drawer is now ready to use.

Additional Setup

Add items and adding some functionality

//if you want to update the items at a later time it is recommended to keep it in a variable
val item1 = PrimaryDrawerItem().withIdentifier(1).withName(R.string.drawer_item_home)
val item2 = SecondaryDrawerItem().withIdentifier(2).withName(R.string.drawer_item_settings)

// get the reference to the slider and add the items

// specify a click listener
slider.onDrawerItemClickListener = { v, drawerItem, position ->
    // do something with the clicked item :D

Selecting an item

//set the selection to the item with the identifier 1
//set the selection to the item with the identifier 2
//set the selection and also fire the `onItemClick`-listener
slider.setSelection(1, true)

By default, when a drawer item is clicked, it becomes the new selected item. If this isn't the expected behavior,
you can disable it for this item using withSelectable(false):


Modify items or the drawer

//modify an item of the drawer
item1.withName("A new name for this drawerItem").withBadge("19").withBadgeStyle(new BadgeStyle().withTextColor(Color.WHITE).withColorRes(R.color.md_red_700))
//notify the drawer about the updated element. it will take care about everything else

//to update only the name, badge, icon you can also use one of the quick methods
slider.updateName(1, "A new name")

//the result object also allows you to add new items, remove items, add footer, sticky footer, ..

//remove items with an identifier

//open / close the drawer

//get the reference to the `DrawerLayout` itself

Add profiles and an AccountHeader

// Create the AccountHeader
headerView = AccountHeaderView(this).apply {
    attachToSliderView(slider) // attach to the slider
        ProfileDrawerItem().withName("Mike Penz").withEmail("").withIcon(getResources().getDrawable(R.drawable.profile))
    onAccountHeaderListener = { view, profile, current ->
        // react to profile changes

Android-Iconics support

The MaterialDrawer provides an extension for the Android-Iconics library. This allows you to create your DrawerItems with an icon from any font.

Choose the fonts you need. Available Fonts

// Add for Android-Iconics support
implementation "com.mikepenz:materialdrawer-iconics:${lastestMaterialDrawerRelease}"

// fonts
implementation 'com.mikepenz:google-material-typeface:x.y.z@aar' //Google Material Icons
implementation 'com.mikepenz:fontawesome-typeface:x.y.z@aar'     //FontAwesome
//now you can simply use any icon of the Google Material Icons font
//Or an icon from FontAwesome

Advanced Setup

For advanced usecases. Please have a look at the provided sample activities.

Load images via url

The MaterialDrawer supports fetching images from URLs and setting them for the Profile icons. As the MaterialDrawer does not contain an ImageLoading library
the dev can choose his own implementation (Picasso, Glide, ...). This has to be done, before the first image should be loaded via URL. (Should be done in the Application, but any other spot before loading the first image is working too)

//initialize and create the image loader logic
DrawerImageLoader.init(object : AbstractDrawerImageLoader() {
    override fun set(imageView: ImageView, uri: Uri, placeholder: Drawable) {

    override fun cancel(imageView: ImageView) {

    override fun set(imageView: ImageView, uri: Uri, placeholder: Drawable, tag: String?) {
        super.set(imageView, uri, placeholder, tag)

    override fun placeholder(ctx: Context): Drawable {
        return super.placeholder(ctx)

    override fun placeholder(ctx: Context, tag: String?): Drawable {
        return super.placeholder(ctx, tag)

An implementation with GLIDE v4 (See tag v6.1.1 for glide v3 sample) can be found in the sample application

JVM Target 1.8

// Since 8.1.0 the drawer includes core ktx 1.3.0 which requires jvm 1.8
kotlinOptions {
    jvmTarget = "1.8"


  1. Download code or read more here.
  2. Follow library author here.
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