Backspace will no longer take you to previous web page in future Google Chrome releases

Seems like the Google engineers have found an enemy in the puny little Backspace in Chrome. Developers working on the Chromium project have announced plans to remove the Backspace keyboard shortcut from navigating to the previous URL/web page. This means that the puny Backspace key will no longer work as a Back button in future Google Chrome releases.

The Chromium developers stated that very few people use the Backspace key to navigate to the previous page. The developers say some of these people come from pages that had forms loaded which will anyhow have to be reloaded. The main reason for removing the Backspace is that users when filling out a form press Backspace thinking they will delete a character, but if they shift focus from the form to the browser window, they are actually navigating back one page, losing their entire form data.

Google developers say that in order to prevent such accidents from happening they want to delete the Backspace function in Chrome. This will the first time Chromium is fiddling with basic browser user interaction (UX) because almost all browsers have the Backspace key as a standard for going back one webpage.

  We have UseCounters showing that 0.04% of page views navigate back via the backspace button and 0.005% of page views are after a form interaction. The latter are often cases where the user loses data. Years of user complaints have been enough that we think it’s the right choice to change this given the degree of pain users feel by losing their data and because every platform has another keyboard combination that navigates back.  

Chrome users are most probably not going to be kind to the Chromium developers decision to axe Backspace. However, Chromium developers have already anticipated a backlash from the Google Chrome users community and the larger Chromium community as a whole. To placate these users, the devs said they’d be adding a Chrome flag to the browser’s settings that would allow anyone to restore the “Backspace – Back button” functionality.

If and when Backspace – back button functionality is removed from Google Chrome, users can try the alternative shortcut of ALT+LEFT key combo.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here