Confusing $locationChangeSuccess and $stateChangeStart

The question:

I am trying to do some authentication with AngularUI Router. $urlRouter.sync() looks like exactly what I need. However, that’s only available when I intercept $locationChangeSuccess. But when I do that, $ is empty, whereas I want it to be the current state.

Here’s my code so far:

$rootScope.$on('$locationChangeSuccess', function(event, next, nextParams) {
  if ($ === 'login') {
    return userService.isAuthenticated().then(function(response) {
      var authenticated;
      authenticated = response.authenticated;
      return alert(authenticated);

Any pointers as to what I’m doing wrong?

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

I would suggest to go more “UI-Router way”. We should use $rootScope.$on('$stateChangeStart' event where $state.current would be properly provided. Here is a working example

Let’s observe simple (but not naive) solution, which could be extended to any degree later. Also if you will like this approach, here is much more comprehensive implementation: angular ui-router login authentication

Firstly, let’s have our user service defined like this:

.factory('userService', function ($timeout, $q) {

    var user = undefined;

    return {
        // async way how to load user from Server API
        getAuthObject: function () {
            var deferred = $q.defer();

            // later we can use this quick way -
            // - once user is already loaded
            if (user) {
                return $q.when(user);

            // server fake call, in action would be $http
            $timeout(function () {
                // server returned UN authenticated user
                user = {isAuthenticated: false };
                // here resolved after 500ms
            }, 500)

            return deferred.promise;

        // sync, quick way how to check IS authenticated...
        isAuthenticated: function () {
            return user !== undefined
                && user.isAuthenticated;

So, we use async (here $timeout) to load user object form a server. In our example it will have a property {isAuthenticated: false }, which will be used to check if is authenticated.

There is also sync method isAuthenticated() which, until user is loaded and allowed – always returns false.

And that would be our listener of the '$stateChangeStart' event:

.run(['$rootScope', '$state', 'userService',
 function ($rootScope, $state, userService) {

     $rootScope.$on('$stateChangeStart', function (event, toState,   toParams
                                                        , fromState, fromParams) {    
        // if already authenticated...
        var isAuthenticated = userService.isAuthenticated();
        // any public action is allowed
        var isPublicAction = angular.isObject(
                           && === true;    

        if (isPublicAction || isAuthenticated) {

        // stop state change

        // async load user 
           .then(function (user) {

              var isAuthenticated = user.isAuthenticated === true;

              if (isAuthenticated) {
                // let's continue, use is allowed
                $state.go(toState, toParams)
              // log on / sign in...

What we are checking first, is if user is already loaded and authenticated (var isAuthenticated = ...). Next we will give green to any public method. This is done with the data {} property of the state object definition (see Attach Custom Data to State Objects)

And that’s it. In case of states defined like in a below snippet we can experience:

  • the 'public', 'home' are allowed to anybody
  • the 'private', 'private' will redirect to login if isAuthenticated === false
  • the 'login' in this example provides quick way how to switch isAuthenticated on/off

    // States
      // public
      .state('home', {
          url: "/home",
          templateUrl: 'tpl.html',
          data: { isPublic: true },
      .state('public', {
          url: "/public",
          templateUrl: 'tpl.html',
          data: { isPublic: true },
      // private
      .state('private', {
          url: "/private",
          templateUrl: 'tpl.html',
      .state('private2', {
          url: "/private2",
          templateUrl: 'tpl.html',
      // login
      .state('login', {
          url: "/login",
          templateUrl: 'tpl.html',
          data: { isPublic: true },
          controller: 'loginCtrl',

Check that all here

Some other resources:

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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