Google Chrome is now the most widely used web browser in the world. It currently holds more than 40 percent of the web browsing market, beating Mozilla’s Firefox and even the former leader Microsoft’s Internet Explorer/Edge.
Although Chrome can be a memory hog sometimes, it has all its competitors beat with its speed, plus the variety and number of extensions available for it. Chrome power users also love the time-saving keyboard shortcuts mapped for a variety of actions.
However, there is one keyboard shortcut they’ve disabled that’s either a boon or a bane for users.
Remember those times when you hit the backspace key inadvertently, Chrome immediately goes back to the previous page? That’s on purpose since the backspace key is mapped to do precisely that: go back a page.
Now, on Chrome Update 52, Google has decided to remove that backspace keyboard shortcut altogether.
This change may be welcome to a majority of users who don’t rely on the backspace shortcut anyway since the alt+left arrow still does the same thing. For keyboard and mouse power users, though, the backspace shortcut is indispensable.
According to the Google Code Reviews page, only 0.04 percent of page views are triggered by the backspace shortcut. That is still a sizable minority considering Chrome’s user base is so massive. Backspace backlash will inevitably be heard.
To appease these backspace shortcut fans, Google released a free Chrome extension called “Go Back With Backspace.” This extension will do just that, restore the “previous page” functionality of the backspace key.
To install this extension, just go to the Chrome Web Store “Go Back With Backspace” page then click “ADD TO CHROME”. Read through what the extension is permitted to do and click “Add extension” to confirm. An icon for the extension will then be added to the upper-right corner of your Chrome browser.
Clicking on this icon will give you further options for hiding the icon from the menu or for completely removing the extension from Chrome.
Keep in mind that you will have to be on Chrome version 52 and later to install this extension. If you haven’t updated Chrome yet, you will get a “Not Compatible” warning on the extension page.
Do you use the backspace shortcut to go back in Chrome? What do you think of this change?
Drop us a comment below!