Patterns Swipe to refresh

Swipe to refresh

Swipe to refresh manually refreshes screen content with a user action or gesture.

There are two methods for updating content in an app:

  • The preferred method is to automatically update content using sync, which keeps app content automatically updated.
  • Swipe to refresh is a swipe gesture available at the beginning of lists, grid lists, and card collections that are sorted by recent content.

Manual refreshing can supplement syncing. It maintains the current scroll position, as when checking for new mail in Gmail.

Icon

The refresh indicator is represented by a circular spinner, an icon with a curved arrow that spins in a circular motion.

Position

  • The swipe to refresh gesture is available at the top or bottom of content collections.
  • The refresh indicator’s resting position is centered horizontally relative to refreshing content.

Threshold

The refresh indicator must pass a threshold before an app refreshes, as indicated by the circular spinner’s opacity, speed, and translation changes.

Usage Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

Swipe to refresh is a swipe gesture available at the beginning of lists, grid lists, and card collections where the most recent content appears (Index 0).

It’s best to use this gesture with dynamic content that has frequent updates surfacing from a consistent location, where users have a high probability of seeing new content after initiating the gesture.

Refresh indicator

The refresh indicator appears only in conjunction with a refresh gesture or action. Syncing does not display a refresh indicator.

Effects

Changes may not be immediately obvious to users when this gesture is used in views that can change significantly upon refresh. For example, the refresh may non-sequentially delete, reorder, modify, and insert items or change only off-screen items.

Animation showing swipe to refresh

Swipe to refresh should not be used in the following situations:

  • Navigation drawers
  • Home screen widgets
  • Pannable content

Don't.

Navigation drawers (if present in an app) contain navigation destinations, not dynamic content.

Don't.

Home screen widgets should update content automatically.

Don't.

Pannable content, like in maps, have no primary direction or content origin from which users can presume the swipe to refresh gesture will originate.

Positioning Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

Gesture positioning

Typically, this gesture is available at the top of content collections, but it can also be at the bottom (for example, in chat applications).

Refresh indicator resting position

The refresh indicator, when resting, is centered horizontally relative to refreshing content.

Do.

Don't.

Don't.

Refresh indicator active position

The refresh indicator is located near the top of refreshing content.

Its exact vertical resting position can be adjusted to promote visual harmony with the underlying layout. For example, the indicator may fall on a material edge or grid line, as long as it’s located near the top of the refreshing content.

Do.

Don't.

Behavior Expand and collapse content An arrow that points down when collapsed and points up when expanded.

As the refresh indicator translates and/or scales into view, the circular spinner fades in while rotating.

The refresh indicator remains visible until the refresh activity completes and any new content is visible, or the user navigates away from the refreshing content.

Do.

Keeping the refresh indicator in view until the activity is completed provides feedback on the status of the refresh activity.

Don't.

Scrolling the refresh indicator off-screen hides the status of the refresh activity and may imply that the refresh activity is associated with a specific component within the view, such as a card, instead of the entire view.

Refresh indicator transitions

When another surface is in front of the material with refreshing content, the refresh indicator translates from underneath that surface and is clipped until it is fully visible.

The refresh indicator increases in size as it translates when:

  • The refreshing material is at a higher elevation than all other surfaces
  • A content refresh is initiated via an app bar or overflow menu action

Refreshing content that is at a higher elevation than other surfaces

Refreshing content that is coplanar with another surface

Refreshing content that is below another surface in z-space

Refreshing content via app bar action

Threshold requirements

To ensure intentional usage of the swipe to refresh gesture, the refresh indicator must pass a threshold before the app will refresh. This threshold is indicated by a number of cues:

  • The circular spinner reaches 100% opacity.
  • The rotation of the circular spinner slows down.
  • The rate of translation of the refresh indicator slows down.

After passing the threshold, completing the gesture will initiate a refresh.

Reversing the gesture past the threshold will cancel the refresh action.