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Issue metadata

Status: Duplicate
Merged: issue 36533
Owner: ----
Closed: Jan 2013
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Windows
Pri: 2
Type: Bug



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It is time to unlink the "Backspace" -> Browser Back shortcut.

Reported by brenton....@gmail.com, Aug 25 2012

Issue description

Browsers have inherited the "Backspace" shortcut to go back from antiquity, in the days when the web was far more static, before tabs, before webapps, before things like Google Docs and Chrome OS meant that browsers are used to create documents, sometimes documents that take hours to compose. 

Take an informal survey of your friends, and average the number of hours of work that each of them has lost due to hitting the "backspace" button trying to delete a word, but having that action move the browser back a page. This is unacceptable, and an inheritance of an archaic shortcut does not outweigh the damage that it causes. It is time to break backwards compatibility on this shortcut and force people to learn Alt + <- or one of the other back shortcuts, and allow "Backspace" to mean "Backspace" only. 

I am aware that while typing in a field (like this one) the backspace button will delete letters and not move the browser back, but it is all too easy (and too common) for the field to lose focus (for a myriad of reasons: an unintentional palm-touch to a trackpad, a moment of multitasking, focus stealing scripts or popups, an accidental "tab" press or some other shortcut). It's time to stop being bogged down by the past and do what is best for billions. Weigh the costs of the few minutes it takes people to learn a new shortcut against the cost of hours of work being lost over and over and over by the majority of web users.
 
Showing comments 184 - 283 of 283 Older
The length of this thread is an example of how must Google gives a @#!%.
The backspace is probably the single biggest deterrent to web development because users end up hating web applications because they loose your work.
ha I found the place where I CAN RANT ABOUT ALL THE WORK I JUST LOST BECAUSE CHROME CANT EVEN HAVE A STUPID OPTION TO DISABLE THE MIGHY "DELETE MY WORK" BUTTON.

Sorry, I am angry about this. So where it the open issue for this?
Why is it that every time I end up on a chromium issue tracker page I KNOW that I am going to end up disappointed. 

This crap is the worst part of google. How they straight up ignore issues for years at a time is bonkers.

This behavior NEEDS to change. If the backspace key shortcut didn't exist, and someone proposed it today, they would be ridiculed for daring to suggest that a button could have such different behaviors depending on whether or not a text area is selected. Lose focus of the box and you lose your work!
For the love of Chrome.  MAKE IT CONFIGURABLE ALREADY!  Stop being dictators and FIX IT.  I WANT THIS 'GO BACK' SHORTCUT KEY TURNED TO SOMETHING MORE REASONABLE THAT ISN'T A REGULARLY USED KEY!!!!!!

Fix it before I rage against the BACKSPACE KEY and start ripping them off of every keyboard I see and start sending them all to you guys.

Comment 188 by Deleted ...@, Mar 24 2015

Just typed a long comment on Youtube and the page went back, yeah I'm sick of it happening to me. I had this belief y'know that this comment could actually bring up conversation or interest, and now it's just gone, you happy GOOGLE!!?! It's driving me off the wall how inspired I felt typing it, how detailed and careful I was with my wording, could've had some new friends online but no, you've shut down my chances >:( I'm still searching for a solution to find my text now!!

Comment 189 by Deleted ...@, Mar 25 2015

This is one of the many reasons I use Firefox.

Comment 191 by Deleted ...@, Apr 28 2015

please!!! please!!!!! Google, give us the name of the Genius who designed this feature in Chrome, and additionally made sure it cannot be disabled. I personally want to thank him, so please give his address too. I would also like to nominate this great mind for a Turing award. 
Google's own Search product disables the "backspace" -> "back" key mapping, because it is a very unpopular misfeature.

Do you want to force every damn web page on the planet, one by one, to disable this idiot key binding with dodgy unrealiable javascript code?  Or do you want to fix your dumb browser in just the one place?

If you don't want to add a random option to disable or enable this key binding specifically, how about a feature to edit all key bindings, so they users can make the browser behave how they like?

Regardless of this, the "backspace" button by default should not cause a "back" navigation.

Comment 193 by Deleted ...@, May 30 2015

I think that all of the key bindings, on all of the browsers are ridiculous.
Any body who has ever worked in a quality text editor, knows that all these key binding are developed for people that don't really know how to use a computer.

Ctrl+n should never mean open an new tab!!! How annoying!

What could possibly be unsafe, or giving up any code secrets, by giving us a key-bind config file, and let us make our own. I don't even like using backspace to delete either, it's a waste of movement. ctrl+h works just fine for that thanks! 

Comment 194 by Deleted ...@, Jun 2 2015

Press ( Control and X ) at the same time,   this will turn off the feature
When will this be fixed? 

My girlfriend was just filling out an online job application and lost 45 mins of work- as it didnt save.. and she was typing into the form. 

come one google. FIX YOUR SHIT
definitely a huge issue. i've installed Lazarus so i won't lose data, but i really don't like how it works in Chrome (though it works perfectly in Firefox, as does the simple fix to disable the backspace=previous "feature".)
even if i haven't entered text in a page, it's far too easy to mess up whatever i'm trying to do with an accidental press of a single key. PLEASE fix this!
This should be, at a minimum, a hidden browser flag. I can't count how many times I've accidentally gone back and lost form data because I wasn't in a text field.

Comment 198 Deleted

Comment 199 by Deleted ...@, Aug 23 2015

Total stupidity to have this logic in a data-centric web environment.

If I was designing an in-house, form-based application and the user lost all data entered because he/she hit the backspace button one too many times in a textbox -- I'd lose my job.

Exactly how many millions of dollars (and I do mean MILLIONS) have been lost in loss of productivity due to this?

Come on! This is beyond ridiculous!

Comment 200 by Deleted ...@, Sep 7 2015

Seriously guys lets fix this shit. 

Comment 201 by Deleted ...@, Sep 8 2015

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fix this!!!!  I just lost a ton of work (AGAIN!) moments ago due to this STUPID Backspace shortcut which NOBODY intentionally uses!!  I can't count the number of times this has happened.  Probably in the triple digits of hours of work screwed up by this over the last 10 years.  Please disable this cruel, sadistic time bomb!  I can't believe there are years of complains on this and you guys haven't paid any attention...... :(

Comment 202 by Deleted ...@, Oct 1 2015

+10000000 votes for this.

It simply makes no sense and is totally unpredictable when it will happen.  
Over the world collectively there will have been thousands / tens of thousands / millions of hours of work lost due to this behaviour inherited from the dark age of the web. 

If you dont want to remove it completley, make it optional, where the first time you press backspace and it would usually take you back a page at that point prompt the user if they want that behaviour or to stay on the page (for this and future events)

We shouldn't have to rely on developers including catching events like "onbeforeunload" so many websites/apps don't do this. 

Nor should we rely on absurd workarounds like keeping what you type in another application and copy & pasting it. Its 2015 and THE application we should using is the Web.

Comment 203 by Deleted ...@, Oct 30 2015

This has burned me too many times. Please fix ASAP. P0, P0, P0!
3 years, over 200 comments, over 300 stars ... and this behaviour is still here, without an option to turn it off. DON'T BE EVIL, dear devs.
+1 please fix this this is ABSURD.

Just lost *again* my post 2 time in a row because of my crazy touchpad.

Comment 206 by Deleted ...@, Nov 16 2015

Oh my gosh this is still here?!

What product manager is doubling-down on this ridiculous feature? 

For crying out loud make it disabled by default and optional for those who want to turn it on. Problem freaking solved - geez!

Comment 207 by trau...@gmail.com, Nov 21 2015

Change this already. What #206 said. What a dangerous behavior.

Comment 209 by Deleted ...@, Dec 6 2015

I just lost 20 minutes of work - which I have to redo - because of this bug.  And it it is a bug.  BAD DESIGN IS A BUG. It's about time to squash this bug in all browsers.

 (BTW, Google.com disables it using javascript.)

So the only way to disable this horrible shortcut is to use a third party app called BackStop which captures the key press and stops it from propagating to the browser.  Now the BackStop extension doesn't work since chrome 36 and there are no settings to manage your shortcuts in the browser itself.  What if you wanted some other key to make you go back, or open a new tab, or change tabs?  Why can't you manage shortcuts from settings like you can with almost all other software?
Years later and still nothing on this issue?  This is a serious problem and all modern browsers should not only allow the ability to disable it, but should disable it by default.  I am a web developer and i HATE that i have to add javascript code to EVERY project to do this.  Not to mention the number of times it bit me in the ***.

Time to do what you do best Google: Be a leader, not a follower.
Another agree that backspace shouldn't navigate back to the previous page anymore.
We've past the point where the time saved navigating outweighs the inconvenience caused in losing data.
Yes please make this an option.  I think the backspace as back is hard to get rid of because its an accessibility feature for the blind, handicapped.  So it will never really go away.  The best we can hope for is that they give us an option in the secret advanced setting/flags page.


Please do this!!!! 
Please include an option to disable this backspace feature in chrome.  It is completely annoying to users like me, that use the backspace button only to delete characters.

Thank you,
This has plagued me for a long as I can remember in every browser I have ever used dating back to the dawn of thw web! At the very least, allow us to disable it in chrome://flags  
Kill it.

You know you'll be glad you did, and there'll be a day when we all look back on this relic and wonder "how did it take us so long?"
I understand your reasoning and empathize with the pain point (despite being one of the dinosaurs who uses "Backspace" dozens of times a day to navigate backward), but your approach doesn't solve the root problem.  You would be better advised to (securely) save a complete snapshot of the page state in the history tree whenever navigation commands are issued (back / forward), so in the case you describe, a user could simply hit "forward" to return to exactly where they were - i.e. the page with all their work intact.

This would cover off additional scenarios inducing the frustration you described (e.g. user accidentally hits back / forward in the midst of a large form), and you could further leverage the feature to periodically cache "active" snapshots when a page is in a dirty state (i.e. user has modified content) - addressing things like a Chrome / OS / hardware crash, a Javascript-induced freeze from some other content, etc.

Perhaps this would also help with the constant reload issue that's plagued Chrome for ages (#17136,  
https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=171316) - I'd love to be able to tell Chrome to use all the memory it wants and stop doing that (Edit: Just found out about #automatic-tab-discarding and will have to try it and see if it helps).  It would allow Chrome to restore a page with perfect fidelity when you navigate (how many times have you been on Wikipedia reading a large article with several subsections open, clicked a link to follow an ancillary topic, then hit the back button and found Chrome scroll to a different point on the page than you left off at?)

Back when the internet was all static content, that’s exactly how things worked – going backward simply restored the page from cache, without hitting a server.  I realize nowadays web content is more bi-directional, and you need to weigh the intent of the website developer (e.g. issuance of page_reload type events) against that of the user (who just want to go back to where they were, without triggering the page to start doing stuff) but frankly a browser is the property of the user and their needs should trump the rest.

These are my thoughts, take them or leave them.

I've actually advocated something like that in another comment somewhere else on the net--but as a test. It's telling that all these years later there are still furious comments on this issue--but how do we know it's not just a tiny angry minority?

It's time to A/B test this thing. When hitting backspace, a tiny survey should pop up for one in 10,000 users that asks them "did you just have the satisfying experience of conveniently going back a page, or did you just lose work unintentionally, if so, how much time did you just lose?"

Only then will Google have the data it needs to make an informed decision. 

Regarding your suggestion, I think that the browser should go "back" to a new window that is layered visually on top of the page you were on. That way, you're not actually leaving the page and nothing can possibly change. If you don't go "oh crap" and press forward again within one second, then the page you left is invisibly closed in the normal way. 
If you guys really want to disable this, please make it a toggle-able option instead. It's a feature that's used often by people with disabilities, people on laptops who don't have a mouse out, and people like me who prefer keyboard navigation. Please don't screw over the convenience of Group A just because group B won't stop complaining.
My backspace is always going back a page even after the update to remove it???? I've also downloaded google beta and it still goes back a page. And the extension 'backstop' doesn't work either.

I love the backspace feature. In fact, i'd like it to get extended.
It would be nice if it closed the current tab if there's nothing to go back to.
I use backspace to go back all the time and if it was able to close the tab when there's nothing to go back to i would use it even more.

Comment 222 by per...@gmail.com, Jun 4 2016

FWIW: recent versions of Chrome canary has this now. I just noted it when trying to navigate back using Backspace; it instructed me to use Cmd-Left Arrow instead.

Using 53.0.2757.0 canary (64-bit) right now.

Comment 223 by per...@gmail.com, Jun 4 2016

It's verified working the same in 53.0.2758.0 canary (64-bit). So, this will likely reach stable Chrome quite soon unless people object it very strongly.
Very strange to change this without having an option of user choice... 
This is 15 years of muscle memory that we have to retrain in a single update? 

My main argument against this approach: pressing two buttons very far apart means using two hands, this is not only very un-ergonomical but a bit ridiculous, its not like we are operating heavy machinery? Treat the user with some respect... 

Are we now also going to change the Android back-button? Have to hold volume-up + home button + click 'are you sure' :P

Least that could be done is put an option in chrome://flags like for all the other stuff.
Hi,

I vote for this to an option in flag page. 
When you don't have a 5 buttons mouse, it is very annoying to move you're hand from mouse to keyboard to activate shortcut.

+ 1 for that to be an option.
Also just realized that _right_-Alt + arrow-key actually changes the display driver's screen orientation. So in stead of going one page back, my screen tilts 90 degrees counter clockwise :)

Hence my ergonomics argument.


+ 1 for that to be an option

I'm disabled, pressing 2 keys at once is so much more difficult for me
Chrome: I'm officially leaving you.

The addition of the profile name badge in the top corner: absolutely useless.  Plus it's a privacy concern - it puts my name out there so everyone that walks by can see.

But I dealt with it, despite it taking up valuable screen real estate.

Then comes this update.  I've been hitting backspace (or delete on OS X) for at least 10 years in multiple browsers, and, guess what?  I've never ONCE had the problem this "resolves."  No flag option - just a "Use ⌘+Left Arrow" message.  That pops up dozens upon dozens of times a day.  Aren't you guys developers?  Don't you all use your keyboards all day?  Why use a more complicated keyboard shortcut to fix a problem that didn't need fixing in the first place (it's not my fault if you don't know how to focus on a text field, nor should it be Googles).

And!  The UI's all screwed up too with the new material setup.  It is, hands down, the worst design decision I've seen in an OS X app in a long time, save for the few apps using Java for desktop UI.  IT.  DOESN'T.  WORK.

So, Google, thanks for the years of a great browser.  But you're trying too hard to solve problems that don't need solving.  I don't need profile management.  I don't need a replacement keyboard shortcut for going back (which, by the way, works just fine in Firefox, Opera, Safari, and IE).  And I don't want a UI chrome that makes my tabs and bookmarks look like I went from OS X 10.11 to OS X 10.1.

You're done, Chrome.
"I am aware that while typing in a field (like this one) the backspace button will delete letters and not move the browser back, but it is all too easy (and too common) for the field to lose focus (for a myriad of reasons: an unintentional palm-touch to a trackpad, a moment of multitasking, focus stealing scripts or popups, an accidental "tab" press or some other shortcut). It's time to stop being bogged down by the past and do what is best for billions. Weigh the costs of the few minutes it takes people to learn a new shortcut against the cost of hours of work being lost over and over and over by the majority of web users."

This is, by far, the most asinine thing I've ever heard about modern technology.  By "do[ing] what is best for billions" is the most bloated, egotistical thing I've ever heard.  This is *not* the "best," and a keyboard shortcut is, in no way, keeping us "bogged down by the past."  It's a keyboard shortcut.  Grow up and learn how to use your computer.
Now that backspace no longer works I can no longer browse one handed, this is annoying. The ALT is on the left-hand, side the arrow keys on the right, this breaks my whole workflow. Forbidding backspace for all users just because less than 1% of all websites now do word processing is not the correct way to handle the problem for this kind applications. 
I see that it is annoying in this 1% of websites that you can lose you work. And because in this application people usually type with both hands, so typing ALT + LEFT is not a problem. But for quick browsing the 99% of the web (shift +) backspace is the much more convenient way to do it.
For the 1%, there are ways to reduce the impact of an accidental history back. A) good web application implements an auto save feature. B) intercept history back e.g. “Are you sure you want to leave this page?”  (on some pages only used is unsaved changes exist). 
For B) I see that this could be too much interruption as well and you would like to handle backspace differently, so why not have something in JavaScript like 
windows.wordProcessing = true or window.historyBackspaceDisabled = true
which than allows the web application to use backspace and maybe display “use Alt + Left to go back”. 
Please give me back backspace (at least as an option) I’m old and Chrome just lost accessibility for me. 

Exactly as previous comments says, now both hands are required to be able to navigate back. I'm actually fine with all the reasons for losing the 'backspace' method, which made accidents all too common, but a pair of keys on different sides of the keyboard is the other extreme!
+1 for an option or a flag. 
Muscle memory and ease of single handed navigation is the main argument here. This has always worked for me fine and now it's all gone without a notice how to re-enable a well worked feature that isn't a security threat or anything. I new alt-left worked, and at times it's perfect, but on any regular keyboard i prefer the backspace key. Please don't make me have to write auto-it scripts to press alt-left when google is in focus and no text-area or input box is active.  
+1 for option or a flag.

It should become a flag or ability to change it from being cmd to another shortcut on OSX. The option to use CMD+Arrow Key's is default OSX behavior to change from different desktop spaces. 
I just want to put my vote in for keeping the backspace button as a backpage button. It speeds up work incredibly for those of us who use it, and having to revert to a two-button solution (alt + back arrow) is a big slowdown. I also fill out forms all the time in web pages but have learned to make sure the cursor is focused on the input field before using the backspace button to delete what I've written there.

The fact that Chrome has removed the backspace button is a victory for newbies and clumsy users and a defeat for advanced users.

Comment 235 by cobr...@gmail.com, Jun 11 2016

"The fact that Chrome has removed the backspace button is a victory for newbies and clumsy users and a defeat for advanced users."

This sums up very nicely the reasoning behind this (and many other) decisions being made in software design nowadays. Dumb it down. Make it so that idiots can't be harmed by their own idiocy. Save morons from themselves. 

A long-standing Murphy's Law states it best: "Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it." It has never applied more than it does to today's software design practices.

In summation: give us an option to configure this, at least. By all means, help newbies continue to be newbies, but don't lump the rest of us with them.

Comment 236 by flo...@gmail.com, Jun 11 2016

+1 to keep backspace, at least as a prominent Settings option. Here's what happens: hit backspace out of habit without thinking. Nothing happens, instead a popup shows up to use Cmd+Left (on Mac). Find the frigging Cmd key, next find the frigging Left key. Both of these are hardly ever used when browsing. After the 5th time rage-quit and switch over to Firefox.
The "back button" was also inherited from antiquity, that's not a reason to remote it. This is a well known keyboard shortcut and removing it is very irritating. What's worse is that damn message that pops up saying, "I know what you really want, but we've arbitrarily disabled it and you should use a harder shortcut instead (which has existed a long time and wasn't getting used because it's not as easy)".

Removing this was a mistake as far as I'm concerned. I've known about alt-left/right for a VERY long time as well and didn't use it for good reason; it's more effort. At the least, this should be a user-definable option even if you want to default it for all the users who were apparently affected (and I still don't even see how or why it matters given how well Chrome remembers form values).

Comment 239 by luke...@gmail.com, Jun 15 2016

Can we have a setting, that will configure backspace as back button? In other browsers it was like that and now it's very annoying to use chrome;)
Please return the backspace function, otherwise I'll revert to Firefox. Can't believe Google would just scrap such a basic functionality without giving end users the options.

And seriously Alt + left to go back? A two hand key combination... really...?

Comment 241 by ja...@jayme.ca, Jun 17 2016

I literally have 4 buttons on my keyboard that act as page modifiers... two dedicated forward/back buttons and two arrow keys which simply need a modifier that can is easily reached with the same hand or with the opposite hand basically being in resting position. 

The impact of a misplaced cursor or backspace after tab is much worse than you lazy jerks who keep this backspace key acting as something other than deleting single letters of text.

I should not need to download an extension or configure a browser or every webpage so it doesn't do stupid things. 
As an alternative, ALT-Backspace is easy to type when you're used to backspace, and doesn't have the expected character-deletion behaviour. It's also easy to press backspace, see the error message, then correct yourself by pressing alt. I think that if we need to switch from a single-keypress to one that includes a modifier, it would be good to include the alt-backspace option.

Plus, it's then easy (for the same reason!) to swap to alt-<-- in the future.
ALT-Backspace is only easy to type for people who have two ALT keys. However in many countries keyboards only have the left Alt key. The right Alt key is replaced by an AltGr key. As written somewhere above AltGr + Left cannot be used because on notebooks this usually rotates the screen. 
To comment on comment #241 “I should not need to download an extension or configure a browser or every webpage so it doesn't do stupid things.“ True! Sorry my comment #238 with the link to the extension was meant as a solution to bring the traditional binding for history back on backspace back to current Chrome – for those who cannot live without it; like me.


re: 243; I didn't think of that (seems like a recurring theme on this bug!) but couldn't AltGr+Backspace solve the same problem? Assuming the "right alt" or equivalent right-side key-modifying button is safe to use with the backspace key, this might work around the problem fairly well, at least for most people.

There is clearly a usability problem for some people. Those people are going to have it their way, and the rest of us are stuck with it. I'd like a better option than a passive-aggressive toast box at the top of the browser though. 


Comment 245 by ads...@gmx.de, Jun 28 2016

I only have one hand. I can not close the gap of alt and left arrow. What do i do? Writing too many keyboard macros is not ideal. Why do you hate disabled people?
This was a terrible decision and should be reverted. I stopped using my chromebook because backspace no longer serves as a navigational key. I guess I could install the above-recommended extension but that's pretty ridiculous and a security risk. I know google doesn't take it too seriously but asking even one user before pushing this out should have made it clear this was a terrible decision.
This is annoying.  Surely it should be optional?
Please allow a way to revert to the previous behavior where the backspace button takes you back a page.
Please give us back the backspace key shortcut (at least a flag in about:flags)!
I sincerely request Chromium put the backspace and shift+backspace keys to navigate backwards and forwards as an option in chrome://flags.
sad frog.jpg
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+1 for option or a flag.

As others have pointed out, this is not how you address the problem of lost work. Not at all. How this poor keyboard shortcut ever appeared NEAR the radar when essentially looking for the auto-save feature is utterly confounding. Lazarus functionality could have been default in all browsers by now, complete with reassuring feedback to the user.

I can understand if that's too much work and too much politics, but what about choosing instead (in an equally brutal way towards users) to enforce the "Are you sure you want to leave this page?" pop-up?! Did it not occur to anyone that implementing a change affecting 1-10% of browser use time is better than a change impacting 99% of use time?
+1 for an option or a flag, using two hands to navigate back is extremely annoying.
+1 for flag.  This is absurdly user hostile.  Some of us have been doing this for 2 decades.  Almost since before I can remember I've been doing this.  Please give us an advanced user configuration to do this.  I would hate to have to switch browsers for such a technically trivial piece of functionality.

Comment 254 Deleted

Comment 255 Deleted

Or you could just press Shift+Tab and bam all your work is back. Give me my shortcut back. I actually know how to use it.

A better fix is to stop the backspace key from deleting text and make it a dedicated navigation key in Chrome. If users want to delete text with a keyboard they can use Shift+Arrows and the Delete key. If somebody is in a text box and presses backspace the browser should display a message instructing them to use alternate keys to delete text.

"Imagine how ridiculous it would be if hitting the letter B opened the bookmarks tab or hitting + by itself zoomed in on a page?" -- I'm... not clear on why that would be ridiculous. If you weren't in a text box, that seems useful. You are aware that gmail has a whole ton of single letter shortcuts like that, yes?
You can get backspace back --enable-blink-features=BackspaceDefaultHandler
Hi Everyone,

I understand that the same key may have different usages and that sometime these usage may be quite incompatible. However, replacing a widely supported 1-key shortcut by a 2-key shortcut is absolutely not a good option.

I used the backspace to be able to browse with one hand (thumb close to backspace and index close to screen to scroll). 

You have decided me. I'll go to Edge. Not because chrome/chromium changed but because it changes to be more complex to use.
The removal of the backspace button as a control to return to the previous page seems like a punishment by google to all the users who actually enjoy using it and are competent enough to not backspace blindly on their very important documents. 

Everybody has mistakenly backspaced out of a page by accident at some point, and it can be annoying, but the pros of being able to navigate backwards with only one button far outweigh the cons for me personally. Not to mention that many webpages actually save information typed if you do accidentally navigate away from your work.

Completely taking this option away is not prudent and has become a huge inconvenience for what seems like an immense number of users. We don't need annoying pop-ups, we don't need different buttons to backspace in documents, we don't need time-consuming key combinations. We just need an option.

As much as I prefer to use google chrome compared to other browsers, if you will not at least provide an option for normal users to easily re-enable backspace as a backwards navigation key, I will be forced to stop using google chrome as my main browser.
Honestly it should be on the web devs to fix their own sites. If you have users spending ridiculous amounts of time on a page and not saving their work then you have a bad webpage.
1. Save their work (optional)
2. Disable the backspace on the page, or ask the user if this is what they want.

I'm sorry, if you're anyone who is for removal of the backspace key your arguments are weak. You're problem is local and this fix is globally removing the feature. If you can't learn how to use delete then you could use shift + delete. Instead you're leaving anyone against the removal with the only option shift + left arrow. That's an arbitrary fix.

Comment 261 by i...@haftbar.org, Aug 10 2016

Removing the single button "back" feature without a single button alternative hits users with disabilities hard. 
On computers without enabled assistance features (99% of all computers), it is now necessary to push two buttons simultaneously to achieve back navigation. 
- If a user can only use one hand, he cannot perform this on a keyboard where the right "alt"-key is "alt-gr". I've tried, it does not work. Also on many computers alt+left is a shortcut from intel graphics (rotate screen).
 
- If only one finger or a typing stick is available, it is impossible to perfom back navigation from now on. 

Before this change, my colleagues could use all PCs running chrome. Now, this is no longer possible without setting up or modifying the OS / Chrome.

Please consider what this means for users with disabilities.


I use the backspace key more often to go back than I've ever hit the problem in the OP. If anything, backspace-as-back should be an option the user can turn on and off. My user experience with Chrome has just gotten that much more frustrating.
Funny that the second comment to this "bug" is wishing for this change to be a user defined option.

A little part of me dies every time I hit the back(space) button and it does nothing.  I think it's time to switch back to Firefox.
This change has really made my browsing experience a lot more difficult, I scan and move through a lot of webpages quickly.  My keyboard only has 1 Alt and 1 Alt Gr key, to use use the short cut I actually have to use 2 hands.

Also Alt-Gr + arrow is already a shortcut on windows for screen rotation.  It is an inherited problem but it has forked the user experience of browsers.
It's amazing to me that the complaints of a very small group of people resulted in a forced change that is inconvenient and pointless. The option to enable/disable backspace page navigation should have been an obvious necessity. Come on Google. The Chrome community as a whole should not be punished for the ineptitude of a select few.
Come on, give us a flag for this! I had to install again another extension (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/back-to-backspace/cldokedgmomhbifmiiogjjkgffhcbaec) to fix something that did not need a fix.

Of course, if you delete a feature that have been here for a really long time, you are going to annoy a lot...

I'm really considering leaving Chrome for an alternative...
Wow, this is infuriating. Why change a one key shortcut, that is a standard across most (all?) browsers, and has been in use for decades? This doesn't make any sense.

Alt L works when browsing a file system because it's quickest to have both hands on the keyboard while doing that, and it doesn't require the use of the mouse. This doesn't work with web content, which by design requires one hand to be on the mouse. It is always going to be quicker to just click the back button than to take a hand off the mouse to hold the Alt key, which seems against the core purpose of hotkeys. 

If this is really such a huge problem, at least make it a toggleable option. The suggested option of installing an extension to restore the expected behaviour (across different browsers) seems like a poor one to me.
Whoever requested, approved and implemented this change; doesn't know anything about computers and how power users use them. Because your aunt can't distinguish backspace from text field or browser window doesn't mean that you can remove it from browser function. This is what happens when you give power to elfish and ignorant people. 
Please return the backspace key to its multi-role use. This is very frustrating. I don't CHOOSE (notice the exact verb there!) a web browser to be frustrated.




Please keep it removed. I'm amazed at the vitriol in these comments over something like this. All of the users threatening to "leave chrome" aren't going to do anything like that. (If they do, good luck to them.) Backspace isn't a "power users" feature. I don't know who they all think the inept users are that are causing everyone else to be "punished". That's just stupid. Google, no doubt, removed the feature due to measurements made from telemetry. It looks like you can add it back with an extension...so what's the problem?

Comment 271 by eud...@gmail.com, Aug 21 2016

Make it optional. I, for one, haven't had any issues with accidentally hitting backspace and losing work for about 10 years now. Also, I've had to "fix" my mother, father and gf's computer because they thought they had broken the "go back" button since this update went live. It's completely nuts. I too thought something had broken until I realized it was a "feature". The message that pops up is not exactly reassuring.

While you are at it, you could just make shortcuts optional and modifiable. This shortcut revamp has broken other gobal shortcuts I used (alt+start, alt+end for music player control...). It's entirely hostile towards someone that uses the computer for something else than browsing the web.
Please fix backspace or at least make make the function optional for page back.  Backspace for page back isn't something Google came up with and has been around since before Chrome existed.  Removing the functionality because people might make a mistake is like taking away delete because someone *might make a mistake and delete something*. alt+left is a crappy substitute and I page back far more oftenthan I try to delete something I have typed into a webpage.

Comment 273 Deleted

Comment 274 Deleted

Removing navigate back from backspace makes sense for all the stated reasons. But I believe changing the shortcut to alt+leftarrow is one of the main reasons this many people are unhappy with the change.
Navigating back is now a two-handed operation instead of a one-handed one.
Users will always resist changes. But changes that in fact improves the experience will, eventually, be accepted. However, at least for me personally, having a one-handed navigate back shortcut, is more valuable than avoiding the original issue, and so I find that the change have overall made chrome worse than before.

I appreciate, that you tried to find an unused shortcut for the backpage feature using the arrow keys, but I'rather have a completely nonsensical shortcut over one that requires two hands. Giving the address bar focus is already alt+d, so how about making navigate back alt+z or something?

Comment 276 by cku...@gmail.com, Aug 31 2016

I'm using the keyboard to navigate web pages quite a bit, backspace, space, ctrl-r, etc. so I'd really miss this feature. But having the default changed and having a chrome://flags option to switch it back on again would be OK, I guess.
Some people don't use their save-button in hours and lose work. (What web app doesn't save peoples work periodically anyways?)

Let us then remove a standard feature that has been in use for decades. Without any simple possibility to enable it.

Instead of the "Use Alt+Left button to navigate back", why not ask the user if they want to enable the old behavior?
As a person who has used the internet since 1994 I can only say that this change is the only thing in the last 10 years to convince me to switch browsers away from Chrome. And I'm a developer who had a control deprecated from Silverlight. 

The chrome extension is a completely different behavior than the previous backspace command. It breaks backspace interaction on any flash application, etc. Just add the option back in as a configurable parameter, and protect form data that's received input from backspace, maybe give it a warning or require a second keypress if any form fields have data in them. 

This was seriously the "easy way out" that was totally the wrong move from a long term progression of browser capability. You should seek the correct behavior, not an easy way out. I'm a developer, so maybe that makes me more experienced than some users, but you honestly shouldn't need to protect users from themselves to the degree of removing functionality. That's what confirmations, warnings, keybinding configurations and the like are for. 

Give me back backspace, you savages.
Most users want to back good old backspace in chrome

Please ignore minority of users who dont know how to use keyboard :)
Am I missing something here?  I just lost 1/2 hour of time spent on a job app, used google for how to disable backspace, to find it's supposedly fixed?  And Im' running Linux of all crazy things, so how did this crap find its way into my laptop?

Chromium	51.0.2704.103 (Developer Build) (64-bit)
Revision	c4febd5ae385dee28312cfb1ce0c653b0919044a
OS	Linux

That being said the mods "don't like settings" or so I read...  how about using chrome://flags/ ??  Why is this even that big of deal to decide how to implement?
Why don't we also remove the use of the Space Bar to scroll down one-page-length and pop-up the message "Press PgDn to scroll down"? The Space Bar is for inputting a space, and it's definitely a horrendous misinterpretation for the Space Bar to scroll down the page. Absolutely hideous, and must be removed. Do you want your users to be startled by a page that's scrolling down when they are trying to input spaces into a form?
I AM NOT AGREEING WITH YOU, YOU ARE THE WARMEST COMPANY THAT PREFERS MISSING OUR CHOICES WHILE WE USE ONLY THE BACKSPACE WITHOUT THIS WHORE "ALT +"!

Comment 283 Deleted

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