titleThe UIBarButtonItem title
styleThe style of the UIBarButtonItem
targetThe object to receive the UIBarButtonItem action
actionThe selector (method) to be performed when the UIBarButtonItem is pressed


Referencing self.navigationItem assumes that the UIViewController is embedded inside a UINavigationController.

Creating a UIBarButtonItem

let barButtonItem = UIBarButtonItem(title: "Greetings!", style: .Plain, target: self, action: #selector(barButtonTapped))
self.navigationItem.rightBarButtonItem = barButtonItem

UIBarButtonItem *barButtonItem = [[UIBarButtonItem alloc] initWithTitle:@"Greetings!" style:UIBarButtonItemStylePlain target:self action:@selector(barButtonTaped)];
self.navigationItem.rightBarButtonItem = barButtonItem;

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Creating a UIBarButtonItem in the Interface Builder

The example below shows how to add a navigation bar button (called a UIBarButtonItem) in the Interface Builder.

Add a Navigation Controller to your Storyboard

Select your View Controller and then in the Xcode menu choose Editor > Embed In > Navigation Controller.

navigation controller screenshot

Alternatively, you could add a UINavigationBar from the Object Library.

Add a Bar Button Item

Drag a UIBarButtonItem from the Object Library to the top navigation bar.

UIBarButtonItem in the object library screenshot

It should look like this:

UIBarButtonItem placed on the storyboard screenshot

Set the Attributes

You could double-click "Item" to change the text to something like "Refresh", but there is an actual icon for Refresh that you can use. Just select the Attributes Inspector for the UIBarButtonItem and for System Item choose Refresh.

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That will give you the default Refresh icon.

enter image description here

Add an IB Action

Control drag from the UIBarButtonItem to the View Controller to add an @IBAction.

class ViewController: UIViewController {

    @IBAction func refreshBarButtonItemTap(sender: UIBarButtonItem) {
        print("How refreshing!")

That's it.


Bar Button Item Original Image with no Tint Color

Provided that barButtonItem has a non-null image property (e.g. set in the Interface Builder).


   barButtonItem.image = [barButtonItem.image imageWithRenderingMode:UIImageRenderingModeAlwaysOriginal];