How to send an object from one Android Activity to another using Intents?

If you’re just passing objects around then Parcelable was designed for this. It requires a little more effort to use than using Java’s native serialization, but it’s way faster (and I mean way, WAY faster).

From the docs, a simple example for how to implement is:

// simple class that just has one member property as an example
public class MyParcelable implements Parcelable {
    private int mData;

    /* everything below here is for implementing Parcelable */

    // 99.9% of the time you can just ignore this
    public int describeContents() {
        return 0;

    // write your object's data to the passed-in Parcel
    public void writeToParcel(Parcel out, int flags) {

    // this is used to regenerate your object. All Parcelables must have a CREATOR that implements these two methods
    public static final Parcelable.Creator<MyParcelable> CREATOR = new Parcelable.Creator<MyParcelable>() {
        public MyParcelable createFromParcel(Parcel in) {
            return new MyParcelable(in);

        public MyParcelable[] newArray(int size) {
            return new MyParcelable[size];

    // example constructor that takes a Parcel and gives you an object populated with it's values
    private MyParcelable(Parcel in) {
        mData = in.readInt();

Observe that in the case you have more than one field to retrieve from a given Parcel, you must do this in the same order you put them in (that is, in a FIFO approach).

Once you have your objects implement Parcelable it’s just a matter of putting them into your Intents with putExtra():

Intent i = new Intent();
i.putExtra("name_of_extra", myParcelableObject);

Then you can pull them back out with getParcelableExtra():

Intent i = getIntent();
MyParcelable myParcelableObject = (MyParcelable) i.getParcelableExtra("name_of_extra");

If your Object Class implements Parcelable and Serializable then make sure you do cast to one of the following:

i.putExtra("parcelable_extra", (Parcelable) myParcelableObject);
i.putExtra("serializable_extra", (Serializable) myParcelableObject);

Leave a Comment