The Back Button

When you are looking at web pages in your browser you may sometimes wish to return to the previous page. Some web sites may provide a link in the page to allow you to do that but regardless of whether they do or not you can always go back to the previous page that you were looking at in the browser by pressing the "Back" button.

Obviously there is no button on your keyboard or mouse that is actually labelled "back" (unless you have a special internet keyboard with an extra row of buttons across the top in which case one of those buttons might just be so labelled). Instead the browser provides a number of different ways to "press the back button" by using the keyboard or mouse.

Let's start by looking at those ways of going back that involve the least amount of effort on your part because your fingers are already over the keyboard or you already have your hand on the mouse.

Can a web page stop you going back? Only if you allow it. Going back is a function of your browser and not of any individual web page and so you have full control over whether you will allow web pages to stop you going back.

The two most common ways that pages might try to stop you from going back are to block your access to the contextmenu or to open in a new window which has the menubar and toolbar removed.

Apart from the fact that neither of these methods blocks your ability to Alt/left-arrow to go back, there is no reason why you need to allow web pages to block your access to the other ways to go back. Modern browsers have a setting in their configuration where you can decide whether or not to allow web pages to block access to the contextmenu. This is normally set to disallow such access by default and so if you are using a modern browser and do not specifically allow web pages to interfere with your access to the contextmenu then web pages will not be able to do so. If you are currently using an antiquated browser that does not allow you to disable that access then you can either upgrade to a more modern browser or add a "disable no right click script" into your Favorites menu that you can select to restore access to the contextmenu when a web page is inconsiderate enough to block it.

Web pages can't force you to open them without a menubar or toolbar either now that tabbed browsers are in common use. Simply change the configuration of your browser to open all new window requests in a new tab and the History/Back menu and the Back button on the toolbar will always be available if you prefer to use an option that requires moving the mouse to the top of the screen over one that requires no use of the mouse or minimal mouse movement.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

go to top

FaceBook Follow
Twitter Follow