How to close activity and go back to previous activity in android

I have a main activity, that when I click on a button, starts a new activity, i used the following code to do so:

Intent intent = new Intent(this, SettingsActivity.class);

The above code was run from the main activity.

Now in my new activity which is called by the main activity, I have a back button. When I click on this back button I want my new activity to close and it must go back to the original main activity.

I have tried calling super.finish() and just finish() (from the new activity) but this then closes my entire application (including my main activity).

How can I just close the activity that is currently in focus, and then return to the main activity?


The fact that my phones back button also closes my entire app, leads me to think that i have started up the secondary activity incorrectly?

Ok I have been looking,

I created a Settings Activity that uses the same manifest code and the same code to Start the activity.

For the settings Activity when I push the back button, it returns to the Main activity.

With the activity mentioned above in the main Question it simply exits my entire app. So the problem doesn’t seem to be with the code to finish the activity but the activity its self.

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Just don’t call finish() on your MainActivity then this eliminates the need to Override your onBackPressed() in your SecondActivity unless you are doing other things in that function. If you feel the “need” for this back button then you can simply call finish() on the SecondActivity and that will take you to your MainActivity as long as you haven’t called finish() on it

I think you call the finish() in MainActivity when you start the your SettingsActivity


Mistakenly either you set the android:noHistory = “true” in MainActivity in AndroidManifest.xml.

On pressing the back key the activity automatically finish.


Before you switch to your ‘SettingsActivity’, you have called finish() in your MainActivity, which causes pressing button go back to main screen since MainActivity was already killed.

Button edit = (Button) view.findViewById(;
edit.setOnClickListener(new OnClickListener() {

    public void onClick(View view) {
        Intent intent = new Intent(this, YourMainActivity.class);

I did a lot of things with activities and intents, but don’t remember very well.

Have you tried this?


You are making this too hard. If I understand what you are trying to do correctly, the built-in ‘back’ button and Android itself will do all the work for you:

Also, implementing a custom “back” button violates Core App Quality Guideline UX-N1:

When you click your button you can have it call:


You can go back to the previous activity by just calling finish() in the activity you are on. Note any code after the finish() call will be run – you can just do a return after calling finish() to fix this.

If you want to return results to activity one then when starting activity two you need:

startActivityForResults(myIntent, MY_REQUEST_CODE);

Inside your called activity you can then get the Intent from the onCreate() parameter or used


To set return a result to activity one then in activity two do

setResult(Activity.RESULT_OK, MyIntentToReturn);

If you have no intent to return then just say


If the the activity has bad results you can use Activity.RESULT_CANCELED (this is used by default). Then in activity one you do

onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, Intent data) {
    // Handle the logic for the requestCode, resultCode and data returned...

To finish activity two use the same methods with finish() as described above with your results already set.

I don’t know if this is even usefull or not but I was strugling with the same problem and I found a pretty easy way, with only a global boolean variable and onResume() action. In my case, my Activity C if clicked in a specific button it should trigger the finish() of Activity B!

Activity_A -> Activity_B -> Activity_C

Activity_A (opens normally Activity_B)

Activity_B (on some button click opens Activity_C):

// Global:
boolean its_detail = false;
// -------
SharedPreferences prefs =  getApplicationContext().getSharedPreferences("sharedpreferences", 0);
boolean v = prefs.getBoolean("select_client", false);

its_detail = v;


public void onResume(){
     if(its_detail == true){

So, whenever I click the button on Activity C it would do the “onResume()” function of Activity B and go back to Activity A.

try this code instead of finish:


if you use fragment u should use


if you use single activity u can use

{ getApplicationContext.finish();   }

Try this method..

it may be possible you are calling finish(); in the click button event so the main activity is closed just after you clicking the button and when you are coming back from next activity the application is exit because main activity is already closed and there is no active activity.

I believe your second activity is probably not linked to your main activity as a child activity. Check your AndroidManifest.xml file and see if the <activity> entry for your child activity includes a android:parentActivityName attribute. It should look something like this:

<?xml ...?>