The Backspace gets restored as "Back" Button with the new Google Chrome extension
The Backspace gets restored as "Back" Button with the new Google Chrome extension

The Backspace gets restored as “Back” Button with the new Google Chrome extension

In early August, Google released Chrome 52 without the Backspace feature. To re-add the option, the company has recently launched a Chrome extension known as ‘Go Back with Backspace’.

This year, in the month of May, the company declared that it will be removing the “navigate back” capability of the Backspace keyboard shortcut, which doubled as a “Back” button for several years. This announcement of Google depressed a vast majority of Chrome users.

For navigating back 4 in 10,000 users used the Backspace key:

According to Google, the company made the decision as only 0.04% users used the shortcut. Moreover, of that minute percentage only 0.005% used the keyboard key while working on forms and most probably that was pressed to refill the form data in case of some error. Also to enhance the browser’s UX (User Experience), the company decided to remove the shortcut facility.

Eventually, the community working on Chrome developed extensions that completely replaced the shortcut key facility. The feature was removed officially when, in early August, Google released Chrome 52. However, many lovers of Chrome browser did not like this modification and the company left them in dismay followed by a feeling of dislike.

Google launches official extension for Chrome:

Some off the unofficial extensions for the Chrome browser got popular in the past. So the developers started to make money by using their extensions for ads and even malicious codes. It appears, to ward off extensions developed by such developers, Google decided to launch an official extension that brings back the removed backspace functionality.

How does the official extension work?

The functionality of navigating back by the key is brought back by the Go Back With Backspace extension by simply loading a little JavaScript code on the web page. The extension will not work on internal pages of the Chrome browser i.e. those beginning with “chrome://”. Apart from that, it will give the same functionality as was provided by the original browser feature previously.

However, the company had taken the right decision by taking out the Backspace feature because the users not related to technology used it seldom. Till now, the number of installs of this official extension have totalled to 10,000 only.

About Haider Khan

I'm an Independent Cyber Security Researcher, a geek who loves Cyber Security and Technology.