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Jahongir Rahmonov

I'm a Software Engineer at Delivery Hero. Avid reader. WIUT graduate. Blogger and an amateur speaker.

I write about Python, Django, Kubernetes and sometimes something non-technical.

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Sat 03 October 2015

Close modal on back button in AngularJS

We, developers, use modals all the time. I personally like to use ngDialog.

It is light, easy to use and highly customizable. Bootstrap is also good but it is somewhat heavy.

Here is how modal is opened in ngDialog:

    template: 'externalTemplate.html',
    controller: 'SomeController'

It will open up a modal as expected but when you press the back button of the browser, what happens?

I would expect the modal to close and stay where I was before the modal. But what happens is that you go back in browser history. Ouch! Especially on mobile, it is really not convenient to press the small 'x' button of the modal. That's why, I would guess, user would press the back button to close the modal.

Here is how I solved the problem:

First, I created a service that deals with modals and it has a flag modalIsShown which will be used later:

myApp.service('ModalService', ['ngDialog', function (ngDialog) {
  var modalIsShown = false;

  var openModal = function (template, controller) {
      template: template,
      controller: controller,
      closeByDocument: false,
      closeByEscape: false,
      showClose: false

  var closeModal = function () {

  return {
    openModal: openModal,
    closeModal: closeModal,
    modalIsShown: modalIsShown

Second, Here is how I open up a modal from my controller:

$scope.contactModal = function() {
  ModalService.modalIsShown = true;
  ModalService.openModal('contactModal.html', 'FooterController');

Basically, the function sets the flag to true and opens the modal.

The most interestion part happens here:

myApp.run(['$rootScope', '$route', '$location', '$routeParams', 'ModalService',
  function($rootScope, $route, $location, $routeParams, ModalService) {

  $rootScope.$on('$routeChangeStart', function(evt, next, current) {
    if (ModalService.modalIsShown){
      ModalService.modalIsShown = false;

When a user presses a back button, when the url is about to change, angular calls this $routeChangeStart observing function. And this function checks whether the flag modalIsShown is set to true. If so, it means that a user is trying to close a modal by pressing the back button, thus it closes the modal, sets the flag back to false and prevents the url change.

If anyone could suggest a better or cleaner way in comments, that would be awesome.

Hope it helps.

Fight on!


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