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The App class is the base for creating Kivy applications. Think of it as your main entry point into the Kivy run loop. In most cases, you subclass this class and make your own app. You create an instance of your specific app class and then, when you are ready to start the application’s life cycle, you call your instance’s method.

Creating an Application

Method using build() override

To initialize your app with a widget tree, override the build() method in your app class and return the widget tree you constructed.

Here’s an example of a very simple application that just shows a button:

Application example using build() + return

An application can be built if you return a widget on build(), or if you set

import kivy

from import App
from kivy.uix.button import Button

class TestApp(App):

    def build(self):
        # return a Button() as a root widget
        return Button(text='hello world')

if __name__ == '__main__':

The file is also available in the examples folder at kivy/examples/application/

Here, no widget tree was constructed (or if you will, a tree with only the root node).

Method using kv file

You can also use the Kivy Language for creating applications. The .kv can contain rules and root widget definitions at the same time. Here is the same example as the Button one in a kv file.

Contents of ‘test.kv’:

#:kivy 1.0

    text: 'Hello from test.kv'

Contents of ‘’:

Application built from a  .kv file

This shows how to implicitly use a .kv file for your application. You
should see a full screen button labelled "Hello from test.kv".

After Kivy instantiates a subclass of App, it implicitly searches for a .kv
file. The file test.kv is selected because the name of the subclass of App is
TestApp, which implies that kivy should try to load "test.kv". That file
contains a root Widget.

import kivy

from import App

class TestApp(App):

if __name__ == '__main__':

See kivy/examples/application/

The relationship between and test.kv is explained in App.load_kv().

Application configuration

Use the configuration file

Your application might need its own configuration file. The App class handles ‘ini’ files automatically if you add the section key-value pair to the App.build_config() method using the config parameter (an instance of ConfigParser):

class TestApp(App):
    def build_config(self, config):
        config.setdefaults('section1', {
            'key1': 'value1',
            'key2': '42'

As soon as you add one section to the config, a file is created on the disk (see get_application_config for its location) and named based your class name. “TestApp” will give a config file named “test.ini” with the content:

key1 = value1
key2 = 42

The “test.ini” will be automatically loaded at runtime and you can access the configuration in your method:

class TestApp(App):
    def build_config(self, config):
        config.setdefaults('section1', {
            'key1': 'value1',
            'key2': '42'

    def build(self):
        config = self.config
        return Label(text='key1 is %s and key2 is %d' % (
            config.get('section1', 'key1'),
            config.getint('section1', 'key2')))

Create a settings panel

Your application can have a settings panel to let your user configure some of your config tokens. Here is an example done in the KinectViewer example (available in the examples directory):


You can add your own panels of settings by extending the App.build_settings() method. Check the Settings about how to create a panel, because you need a JSON file / data first.

Let’s take as an example the previous snippet of TestApp with custom config. We could create a JSON like this:

    { "type": "title",
      "title": "Test application" },

    { "type": "options",
      "title": "My first key",
      "desc": "Description of my first key",
      "section": "section1",
      "key": "key1",
      "options": ["value1", "value2", "another value"] },

    { "type": "numeric",
      "title": "My second key",
      "desc": "Description of my second key",
      "section": "section1",
      "key": "key2" }

Then, we can create a panel using this JSON to automatically create all the options and link them to our App.config ConfigParser instance:

class TestApp(App):
    # ...
    def build_settings(self, settings):
        jsondata = """... put the json data here ..."""
        settings.add_json_panel('Test application',
            self.config, data=jsondata)

That’s all! Now you can press F1 (default keystroke) to toggle the settings panel or press the “settings” key on your android device. You can manually call App.open_settings() and App.close_settings() if you want to handle this manually. Every change in the panel is automatically saved in the config file.

You can also use App.build_settings() to modify properties of the settings panel. For instance, the default panel has a sidebar for switching between json panels whose width defaults to 200dp. If you’d prefer this to be narrower, you could add: = dp(100)

to your build_settings() method.

You might want to know when a config value has been changed by the user in order to adapt or reload your UI. You can then overload the on_config_change() method:

class TestApp(App):
    # ...
    def on_config_change(self, config, section, key, value):
        if config is self.config:
            token = (section, key)
            if token == ('section1', 'key1'):
                print('Our key1 has been changed to', value)
            elif token == ('section1', 'key2'):
                print('Our key2 has been changed to', value)

The Kivy configuration panel is added by default to the settings instance. If you don’t want this panel, you can declare your Application as follows:

class TestApp(App):
    use_kivy_settings = False
    # ...

This only removes the Kivy panel but does not stop the settings instance from appearing. If you want to prevent the settings instance from appearing altogether, you can do this:

class TestApp(App):
    def open_settings(self, *largs):

New in version 1.0.7.

Profiling with on_start and on_stop

It is often useful to profile python code in order to discover locations to optimise. The standard library profilers ( provides multiple options for profiling code. For profiling the entire program, the natural approaches of using profile as a module or profile’s run method does not work with Kivy. It is however, possible to use App.on_start() and App.on_stop() methods:

import cProfile

class MyApp(App):
    def on_start(self):
        self.profile = cProfile.Profile()

    def on_stop(self):

This will create a file called myapp.profile when you exit your app.

Customising layout

You can choose different settings widget layouts by setting App.settings_cls. By default, this is a Settings class which provides the pictured sidebar layout, but you could set it to any of the other layouts provided in kivy.uix.settings or create your own. See the module documentation for kivy.uix.settings for more information.

You can customise how the settings panel is displayed by overriding App.display_settings() which is called before displaying the settings panel on the screen. By default, it simply draws the panel on top of the window, but you could modify it to (for instance) show the settings in a Popup or add it to your app’s ScreenManager if you are using one. If you do so, you should also modify App.close_settings() to exit the panel appropriately. For instance, to have the settings panel appear in a popup you can do:

def display_settings(self, settings):
        p = self.settings_popup
    except AttributeError:
        self.settings_popup = Popup(content=settings,
                                    size_hint=(0.8, 0.8))
        p = self.settings_popup
    if p.content is not settings:
        p.content = settings

def close_settings(self, *args):
        p = self.settings_popup
    except AttributeError:
        pass # Settings popup doesn't exist

Finally, if you want to replace the current settings panel widget, you can remove the internal references to it using App.destroy_settings(). If you have modified App.display_settings(), you should be careful to detect if the settings panel has been replaced.

Pause mode

New in version 1.1.0.

On tablets and phones, the user can switch at any moment to another application. By default, your application will close and the App.on_stop() event will be fired.

If you support Pause mode, when switching to another application, your application will wait indefinitely until the user switches back to your application. There is an issue with OpenGL on Android devices: it is not guaranteed that the OpenGL ES Context will be restored when your app resumes. The mechanism for restoring all the OpenGL data is not yet implemented in Kivy.

The currently implemented Pause mechanism is:

  1. Kivy checks every frame if Pause mode is activated by the Operating System due to the user switching to another application, a phone shutdown or any other reason.

  2. App.on_pause() is called:

  3. If False is returned or App.on_pause() has no return statement, then App.on_stop() is called.

  4. If True is returned or App.on_pause() is not defined, the application will sleep until the OS resumes our App.

  5. When the app is resumed, App.on_resume() is called.

  6. If our app memory has been reclaimed by the OS, then nothing will be called.

Here is a simple example of how on_pause() should be used:

class TestApp(App):

   def on_pause(self):
      # Here you can save data if needed
      return True

   def on_resume(self):
      # Here you can check if any data needs replacing (usually nothing)


Both on_pause and on_stop must save important data because after on_pause is called, on_resume may not be called at all.

Asynchronous app

In addition to running an app normally, Kivy can be run within an async event loop such as provided by the standard library asyncio package or the trio package (highly recommended).


Normally, when a Kivy app is run, it blocks the thread that runs it until the app exits. Internally, at each clock iteration it executes all the app callbacks, handles graphics and input, and idles by sleeping for any remaining time.

To be able to run asynchronously, the Kivy app may not sleep, but instead must release control of the running context to the asynchronous event loop running the Kivy app. We do this when idling by calling the appropriate functions of the async package being used instead of sleeping.

Async configuration

To run a Kivy app asynchronously, either the async_runTouchApp() or App.async_run() coroutine must be scheduled to run in the event loop of the async library being used.

The environmental variable KIVY_EVENTLOOP or the async_lib parameter in async_runTouchApp() and App.async_run() set the async library that Kivy uses internally when the app is run with async_runTouchApp() and App.async_run(). It can be set to one of “asyncio” when the standard library asyncio is used, or “trio” if the trio library is used. If the environment variable is not set and async_lib is not provided, the stdlib asyncio is used.

init_async_lib() can also be directly called to set the async library to use, but it may only be called before the app has begun running with async_runTouchApp() or App.async_run().

To run the app asynchronously, one schedules async_runTouchApp() or App.async_run() to run within the given library’s async event loop as in the examples shown below. Kivy is then treated as just another coroutine that the given library runs in its event loop. Internally, Kivy will use the specified async library’s API, so KIVY_EVENTLOOP or async_lib must match the async library that is running Kivy.

For a fuller basic and more advanced examples, see the demo apps in examples/async.

Asyncio example ~~~~~~~~~~~~~–

import asyncio

from import async_runTouchApp
from kivy.uix.label import Label

loop = asyncio.get_event_loop()
    async_runTouchApp(Label(text='Hello, World!'), async_lib='asyncio'))

Trio example ~~~~~~~~~~–

import trio

from import async_runTouchApp
from kivy.uix.label import Label

from functools import partial

# use functools.partial() to pass keyword arguments:
async_runTouchApp_func = partial(async_runTouchApp, async_lib='trio'), Label(text='Hello, World!'))

Interacting with Kivy app from other coroutines

It is fully safe to interact with any kivy object from other coroutines running within the same async event loop. This is because they are all running from the same thread and the other coroutines are only executed when Kivy is idling.

Similarly, the kivy callbacks may safely interact with objects from other coroutines running in the same event loop. Normal single threaded rules apply to both case.

New in version 2.0.0.


Bases: kivy.event.EventDispatcher

Application class, see module documentation for more information.


Fired when the application is being started (before the runTouchApp() call.


Fired when the application stops.


Fired when the application is paused by the OS.


Fired when the application is resumed from pause by the OS. Beware: you have no guarantee that this event will be fired after the on_pause event has been called.

Changed in version 1.7.0: Parameter kv_file added.

Changed in version 1.8.0: Parameters kv_file and kv_directory are now properties of App.

async async_run(async_lib=None)[source]

Identical to run(), but is a coroutine and can be scheduled in a running async event loop.

See for example usage.

New in version 2.0.0.


Initializes the application; it will be called only once. If this method returns a widget (tree), it will be used as the root widget and added to the window.


None or a root Widget instance if no self.root exists.


New in version 1.0.7.

This method is called before the application is initialized to construct your ConfigParser object. This is where you can put any default section / key / value for your config. If anything is set, the configuration will be automatically saved in the file returned by get_application_config().

config: ConfigParser

Use this to add default section / key / value items


New in version 1.0.7.

This method is called when the user (or you) want to show the application settings. It is called once when the settings panel is first opened, after which the panel is cached. It may be called again if the cached settings panel is removed by destroy_settings().

You can use this method to add settings panels and to customise the settings widget e.g. by changing the sidebar width. See the module documentation for full details.

settings: Settings

Settings instance for adding panels


Close the previously opened settings panel.


True if the settings has been closed.


Returns an instance of the ConfigParser for the application configuration. You can use this to query some config tokens in the build() method.


Create the settings panel. This method will normally be called only one time per application life-time and the result is cached internally, but it may be called again if the cached panel is removed by destroy_settings().

By default, it will build a settings panel according to settings_cls, call build_settings(), add a Kivy panel if use_kivy_settings is True, and bind to on_close/on_config_change.

If you want to plug your own way of doing settings, without the Kivy panel or close/config change events, this is the method you want to overload.

New in version 1.8.0.


New in version 1.8.0.

Dereferences the current settings panel if one exists. This means that when App.open_settings() is next run, a new panel will be created and displayed. It doesn’t affect any of the contents of the panel, but lets you (for instance) refresh the settings panel layout if you have changed the settings widget in response to a screen size change.

If you have modified open_settings() or display_settings(), you should be careful to correctly detect if the previous settings widget has been destroyed.

property directory

New in version 1.0.7.

Return the directory where the application lives.


New in version 1.8.0.

Display the settings panel. By default, the panel is drawn directly on top of the window. You can define other behavior by overriding this method, such as adding it to a ScreenManager or Popup.

You should return True if the display is successful, otherwise False.

settings: Settings

You can modify this object in order to modify the settings display.


Return the filename of your application configuration. Depending on the platform, the application file will be stored in different locations:

  • on iOS: <appdir>/Documents/.<appname>.ini

  • on Android: <user_data_dir>/.<appname>.ini

  • otherwise: <appdir>/<appname>.ini

When you are distributing your application on Desktops, please note that if the application is meant to be installed system-wide, the user might not have write-access to the application directory. If you want to store user settings, you should overload this method and change the default behavior to save the configuration file in the user directory.

class TestApp(App):
    def get_application_config(self):
        return super(TestApp, self).get_application_config(

Some notes:

  • The tilda ‘~’ will be expanded to the user directory.

  • %(appdir)s will be replaced with the application directory

  • %(appname)s will be replaced with the application name

New in version 1.0.7.

Changed in version 1.4.0: Customized the defaultpath for iOS and Android platforms. Added a defaultpath parameter for desktop OS’s (not applicable to iOS and Android.)

Changed in version 1.11.0: Changed the Android version to make use of the user_data_dir and added a missing dot to the iOS config file name.


Return the icon of the application.


Return the name of the application.

static get_running_app()[source]

Return the currently running application instance.

New in version 1.1.0.


Icon of your application. The icon can be located in the same directory as your main file. You can set this as follows:

class MyApp(App):
    def build(self):
        self.icon = 'myicon.png'

New in version 1.0.5.

Changed in version 1.8.0: icon is now a StringProperty. Don’t set the icon in the class as previously stated in the documentation.


For Kivy prior to 1.8.0, you need to set this as follows:

class MyApp(App):
    icon = 'customicon.png'

Recommended 256x256 or 1024x1024? for GNU/Linux and Mac OSX 32x32 for Windows7 or less. <= 256x256 for windows 8 256x256 does work (on Windows 8 at least), but is scaled down and doesn’t look as good as a 32x32 icon.


Path of the directory where application kv is stored, defaults to None

New in version 1.8.0.

If a kv_directory is set, it will be used to get the initial kv file. By default, the file is assumed to be in the same directory as the current App definition file.


Filename of the Kv file to load, defaults to None.

New in version 1.8.0.

If a kv_file is set, it will be loaded when the application starts. The loading of the “default” kv file will be prevented.


(internal) This function is used for returning a ConfigParser with the application configuration. It’s doing 3 things:

  1. Creating an instance of a ConfigParser

  2. Loading the default configuration by calling build_config(), then

  3. If it exists, it loads the application configuration file, otherwise it creates one.


ConfigParser instance


This method is invoked the first time the app is being run if no widget tree has been constructed before for this app. This method then looks for a matching kv file in the same directory as the file that contains the application class.

For example, say you have a file named that contains:

class ShowcaseApp(App):

This method will search for a file named showcase.kv in the directory that contains The name of the kv file has to be the lowercase name of the class, without the ‘App’ postfix at the end if it exists.

You can define rules and a root widget in your kv file:

<ClassName>: # this is a rule

ClassName: # this is a root widget

There must be only one root widget. See the Kivy Language documentation for more information on how to create kv files. If your kv file contains a root widget, it will be used as self.root, the root widget for the application.


This function is called from run(), therefore, any widget whose styling is defined in this kv file and is created before run() is called (e.g. in __init__), won’t have its styling applied. Note that build() is called after load_kv has been called.

property name

New in version 1.0.7.

Return the name of the application based on the class name.

on_config_change(config, section, key, value)[source]

Event handler fired when a configuration token has been changed by the settings page.

Changed in version 1.10.1: Added corresponding on_config_change event.


Event handler called when Pause mode is requested. You should return True if your app can go into Pause mode, otherwise return False and your application will be stopped.

You cannot control when the application is going to go into this mode. It’s determined by the Operating System and mostly used for mobile devices (android/ios) and for resizing.

The default return value is True.

New in version 1.1.0.

Changed in version 1.10.0: The default return value is now True.


Event handler called when your application is resuming from the Pause mode.

New in version 1.1.0.


When resuming, the OpenGL Context might have been damaged / freed. This is where you can reconstruct some of your OpenGL state e.g. FBO content.


Event handler for the on_start event which is fired after initialization (after build() has been called) but before the application has started running.


Event handler for the on_stop event which is fired when the application has finished running (i.e. the window is about to be closed).


Open the application settings panel. It will be created the very first time, or recreated if the previously cached panel has been removed by destroy_settings(). The settings panel will be displayed with the display_settings() method, which by default adds the settings panel to the Window attached to your application. You should override that method if you want to display the settings panel differently.


True if the settings has been opened.


Options passed to the __init__ of the App


Pause the application.

On Android set OS state to pause, Kivy app state follows. No functionality on other OS. .. versionadded:: 2.2.0


The root widget returned by the build() method or by the load_kv() method if the kv file contains a root widget.

property root_window

New in version 1.9.0.

Returns the root window instance used by run().


Launches the app in standalone mode.


New in version 1.8.0.

The class used to construct the settings panel and the instance passed to build_config(). You should use either Settings or one of the provided subclasses with different layouts (SettingsWithSidebar, SettingsWithSpinner, SettingsWithTabbedPanel, SettingsWithNoMenu). You can also create your own Settings subclass. See the documentation of Settings for more information.

settings_cls is an ObjectProperty and defaults to SettingsWithSpinner which displays settings panels with a spinner to switch between them. If you set a string, the Factory will be used to resolve the class.


Stop the application.

If you use this method, the whole application will stop by issuing a call to stopTouchApp(). Except on Android, set Android state to stop, Kivy state then follows.


Title of your application. You can set this as follows:

class MyApp(App):
    def build(self):
        self.title = 'Hello world'

New in version 1.0.5.

Changed in version 1.8.0: title is now a StringProperty. Don’t set the title in the class as previously stated in the documentation.


For Kivy < 1.8.0, you can set this as follows:

class MyApp(App):
    title = 'Custom title'

If you want to dynamically change the title, you can do:

from kivy.base import EventLoop
EventLoop.window.title = 'New title'
use_kivy_settings = True

New in version 1.0.7.

If True, the application settings will also include the Kivy settings. If you don’t want the user to change any kivy settings from your settings UI, change this to False.

property user_data_dir

New in version 1.7.0.

Returns the path to the directory in the users file system which the application can use to store additional data.

Different platforms have different conventions with regards to where the user can store data such as preferences, saved games and settings. This function implements these conventions. The <app_name> directory is created when the property is called, unless it already exists.

On iOS, ~/Documents/<app_name> is returned (which is inside the app’s sandbox).

On Windows, %APPDATA%/<app_name> is returned.

On OS X, ~/Library/Application Support/<app_name> is returned.

On Linux, $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/<app_name> is returned.

On Android, Context.GetFilesDir is returned.

Changed in version 1.11.0: On Android, this function previously returned /sdcard/<app_name>. This folder became read-only by default in Android API 26 and the user_data_dir has therefore been moved to a writeable location.

async, embedded=False, async_lib=None)[source]

Identical to runTouchApp() but instead it is a coroutine that can be run in an existing async event loop.

async_lib is the async library to use. See for details and example usage.

New in version 2.0.0., embedded=False)[source]

Static main function that starts the application loop. You can access some magic via the following arguments:

See for example usage.


To make dispatching work, you need at least one input listener. If not, application will leave. (MTWindow act as an input listener)


If you pass only a widget, a MTWindow will be created and your widget will be added to the window as the root widget.


No event dispatching is done. This will be your job.

widget + embedded

No event dispatching is done. This will be your job but we try to get the window (must be created by you beforehand) and add the widget to it. Very useful for embedding Kivy in another toolkit. (like Qt, check kivy-designed)[source]

Stop the current application by leaving the main loop.

See for example usage.