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Using onAppear Only Once in SwiftUI

SwiftUI, View Lifecycle, onAppear1 min read

In SwiftUI, the onAppear modifier is commonly used to perform actions when a view appears on screen. It's useful for tasks like loading data, initializing variables, or updating the UI. By default, the onAppear modifier triggers the associated code block every time the view becomes visible. However, there are scenarios where you may want certain code to execute only once, such as fetching initial data from a server or performing one-time setup. In this article, we will explore techniques to achieve this behavior and ensure that the code inside the onAppear modifier runs only once.

Technique 1: Using an @State Flag

One way to achieve one-time execution of code inside the onAppear modifier is by using an @State property to track whether the code has already been executed. Let's look at an example:

1struct ContentView: View {
2 @State private var didFinishSetup = false
4 var body: some View {
5 VStack {
6 Text("Welcome to my app!")
7 }
8 .onAppear {
9 if !didFinishSetup {
10 // Perform one-time setup here
11 print("Performing one-time setup...")
13 // Mark setup as finished
14 didFinishSetup = true
15 }
16 }
17 }

In this example, we introduce a boolean flag called didFinishSetup using the @State property wrapper. The first time the view appears, the code inside the onAppear modifier will execute the one-time setup logic. Subsequent appearances of the view won't trigger the setup code because the flag is already set to true.

Technique 2: Using a Custom View Modifier

Another approach to execute code only once in SwiftUI's onAppear is by creating a custom view modifier. This allows you to encapsulate the behavior and reuse it across different views.

Here's an example of a custom view modifier that leverages the @State flag technique we discussed earlier:

1struct OnceOnAppearModifier: ViewModifier {
2 @State private var didAppear = false
4 func body(content: Content) -> some View {
5 content.onAppear {
6 if !didAppear {
7 // Perform one-time action here
8 print("Performing one-time action...")
10 // Mark action as finished
11 didAppear = true
12 }
13 }
14 }
17extension View {
18 func onceOnAppear() -> some View {
19 self.modifier(OnceOnAppearModifier())
20 }

With this custom view modifier, you can use the onceOnAppear modifier on any view to ensure that its associated code block executes only once upon appearance:

1struct ContentView: View {
2 var body: some View {
3 VStack {
4 Text("Welcome to my app!")
5 }
6 .onceOnAppear()
7 }

Using this technique, the code inside the onceOnAppear modifier will run only the first time the view appears on screen.

In Closing

By utilizing either an @State flag or a custom view modifier, you can control when code inside the onAppear modifier executes. These techniques allow you to perform initialization tasks, fetch data, or set up your view just once in SwiftUI. Remember to choose the approach that best fits your specific use case.