Go Back With Backspace by Google for Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 17, 2016
Google Chrome

Go Back With Backspace is a new browser extension for the Google Chrome web browser by Google that maps back to the Backspace key in the browser.

Google removed backspace back navigation functionality in Chrome 52. Back then the company stated that only 0.04% of page views used the backspace key on the keyboard to navigate back.

The core reason for removing the functionality, besides lack of use, was that some users happened to hit the Backspace key accidentally. Some after filling out form data on sites losing the data in the progress.

Google made the decision to remove the mapping from the backspace key instead of implementing a safeguard (are you sure you want to go back if form data is filled out on a page).

Third party browser extensions like Back to Back were created as a response to bring back the functionality. Additionally, users could make use of the Alt-Left Arrow shortcut to go back, but that was not a suitable alternative for many users who were used to hitting the backspace key to go back.

Go Back With Backspace

go back with backspace

Go Back With Backspace is an official extension for Chrome by Google. It brings back the backspace back navigation mapping that Google removed.

The extension brings back the functionality for the most part. Google notes that it won't work on internal pages starting with chrome:// as well as other special pages. Basically, any page that ships internally with the browser does not support the backspace back navigation functionality.

This is true for all backspace mapping extension that bring back the back navigation functionality though.

Google notes that the extension has to install a tiny bit of code on every page in order to capture backspace key events. This code does not record anything or submit it to Google.


Go Back With Backspace adds the same functionality to Chrome that other extensions such as Back to Back add. Functionality is identical, and the only difference is that one is an official extension by Google, while the others are not.

Now You: Where you affected by the removal of the functionality in Chrome?

software image
Author Rating
3 based on 8 votes
Software Name
Go Back With Backspace
Software Category
Landing Page

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  1. Rick said on August 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    wow I cant believe so few people use backspace! Its one of my most used hotkeys and I thought there was something wrong with my PC when it stopped working! glad to know I can get it back

  2. Scott said on August 18, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Thank you, Martin!

  3. Your Name said on August 18, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Martin, please make review of free email providers that currently works, and add a note that inbox.com closes its free service and goes subscription only. Thanks.

  4. anon said on August 17, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    For those who are unaware, you have always been able to Alt+Left to go back and Alt+Right to go forth.

  5. Lorenzo said on August 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    I always have used the back button on my 4 mouse. If using a two button, then I use the right click and select back of the menu. Why have to go hands on to a keyboard just to surf on back, or forward?

  6. onehand said on August 17, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t use Chome so I don’t get affected but I use backspace to go back sometimes.
    I’m browsing with one hand so using 2 hands to browse is not my thing

    1. Velocity.Wave said on August 18, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Wow… that’s a bit shocking… I’m guessing you lost one of your hands in the war perhaps? If so… then I thank you for your service, and hope that perhaps in the future, you will regain usage of a second hand once again, perhaps through advanced robotic prosthesis. Medical technology is advancing rapidly, and accelerating exponentially. So it might be sooner than you suspect. But thanks again for your service, and hoping that you are doing well.

      1. onehand said on August 19, 2016 at 6:15 am

        lol not like that, I usually snack with one hand and browsing with the other hand.
        But I know someone who only has one hand, he can play dota with one hand and pretty good too. I’m impressed!

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