Skip to main content


A user's context can switch dramatically while browsing Grafana, and sometimes their breadcrumbs don't match their history. In these cases, the users can't go back easily and may become frustrated with their experience. This guide defines context and shows how you can add the ReturnToPrevious functionality to your plugin that solves this issue with minimal coding.

Context in Grafana

For the purposes of Grafana plugin development, the term context refers to a user's place along a path from one root URL to another. Note that in Grafana, this term may also be used in connection with other Grafana features such as Explore or Dashboards.

Use breadcrumbs to notice a change in a user's context. For example:

  • Did you go from Home > Dashboards to Home > Explore? Then you changed the context you were in.

  • Did you go from Home > Dashboards > Playlist > Edit playlist to Home > Dashboards > Reporting > Settings? Then you're in the same context as previously.

As you can see, the key is the change on the URL from the root level. Because Explore and Dashboards are both at the root level, the user's context changed. But this was not the case with the user's path to Reporting Settings.

Add functionality to allow users to return to their previous context

  1. Select an interactive item, such as a link or button, to trigger the ReturnToPrevious functionality. This element is the one that will lead the user to another context within Grafana. For example, the Go to dashboard button of an Alert rule.

  2. To set the values needed, you can use the useReturnToPrevious hook from @grafana/runtime:

  • Specify the title to show in the button.
  • (Optional) Pass a second argument to set the href if it is different from the current URL.

For example:

import { config, useReturnToPrevious } from '@grafana/runtime';

const setReturnToPrevious = useReturnToPrevious();


onClick={() => {
Go to dashboard
  1. Verify that it works as expected. When you go from your app plugin to another area of Grafana through that interactive element, then the 'Return to previous' button should appear.

Usage guidelines

Do this

  • Do trigger the 'ReturnToPrevious' functionality through a link or an interactive element with an onClick event.
  • Do only use the 'ReturnToPrevious' functionality when the user is sent to another context, such as from Alerting to a Dashboard.
  • Do specify a button title that identifies the page to return to in the most understandable way.

Don't do this

  • Don't trigger the 'ReturnToPrevious' functionality via an element other than a link or button.
  • Don't use this functionality when going from one page to another in the same context.
  • Don't use text such as 'Back to the previous page'. Be specific.