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Changing which UITabBarController tabs can be edited

Swift version: 5.6

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

If you have a More tab in your tab bar controller, this will automatically get an Edit button so that users can drag tabs around to customize the user interface. This doesn't actually save the tab ordering for you, which means the tabs will revert on next run unless you persist the user's choices yourself, but it does do everything else for you.

By default, users can move any and all tabs, but if you want to force some tabs to be in place you should set the customizableViewControllers property of your tab bar controller. This should be an array of the view controllers you want to give your users access to edit, or an empty array if you want the Edit button to go away entirely.

If your tab bar controller is your window's root view controller (for example, if you started with the Xcode tab bar template project), you can allow users to customize the first three view controllers like this:

func application(_ application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplication.LaunchOptionsKey: Any]?) -> Bool {
    if let tabBarController = window?.rootViewController as? UITabBarController {
        let slice = tabBarController.viewControllers![0...2]
        let array = Array(slice)

        tabBarController.customizableViewControllers = array

    return true

Place that into your AppDelegate.swift file in place of the existing didFinishLaunchingWithOptions method, and you're done.

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