Drag Drop and Swipe with RecyclerView

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You can implement the swipe-to-dismiss and drag-and-drop features with the RecyclerView without using 3rd party libraries.

Just use the ItemTouchHelper class included in the RecyclerView support library.

Instantiate the ItemTouchHelper with the SimpleCallback callback and depending on which functionality you support, you should override onMove(RecyclerView, ViewHolder, ViewHolder) and / or onSwiped(ViewHolder, int)and and finally attach to your RecyclerView.

ItemTouchHelper.SimpleCallback simpleItemTouchCallback = new ItemTouchHelper.SimpleCallback(0, ItemTouchHelper.LEFT | ItemTouchHelper.RIGHT) {

    public void onSwiped(RecyclerView.ViewHolder viewHolder, int swipeDir) {
        // remove item from adapter

    public boolean onMove(RecyclerView recyclerView, RecyclerView.ViewHolder viewHolder, RecyclerView.ViewHolder target) {
            final int fromPos = viewHolder.getAdapterPosition();
            final int toPos = target.getAdapterPosition();
            // move item in `fromPos` to `toPos` in adapter.
            return true;// true if moved, false otherwise

ItemTouchHelper itemTouchHelper = new ItemTouchHelper(simpleItemTouchCallback);

It’s worth mentioning that SimpleCallback constructor applies the same swiping strategy to all items in the RecyclerView. It’s possible in any case to update the default swiping direction for specific items by simply overriding method getSwipeDirs(RecyclerView, ViewHolder).

Let’s suppose for example that our RecyclerView includes a HeaderViewHolder and that we obviously don’t want to apply swiping to it. It will be enough to override getSwipeDirs as follows:

public int getSwipeDirs(RecyclerView recyclerView, RecyclerView.ViewHolder viewHolder) {
    if (viewHolder instanceof HeaderViewHolder) {
        // no swipe for header
        return 0;
    // default swipe for all other items
    return super.getSwipeDirs(recyclerView, viewHolder);

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