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Google Chrome Bfcache Implementation to Make Back-and-Forth Navigation Faster

Google Chrome Bfcache Implementation to Make Back-and-Forth Navigation Faster

Google is currently testing bfcache on Chrome browser

  • Google Chrome already has a caching feature that re-parse HTML source
  • However, bfcache is aimed to load previously visited webpages faster
  • Safari and Firefox already have similar implementations

Google is set to make back-and-forth navigation faster on its Chrome browser by exploring a new back/ forward cache feature called bfcache. The purpose of the new development is to make the experience faster specifically when you revisit a page by using the back or forward button of the Chrome browser. Google estimates that the new change would improve performance up to 19 percent of all navigation taking place on for mobile Chrome. Notably, Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox already have similar back-forward cache implementations. But the Chrome maker claims that it is not using the common WebKit's implementation of bfcache.

With bfcache, Google's Chrome will be able to cache all the content of the webpages you visit, including their JavaScript. This will work in tandem with the existing caching feature of the browser that essentially re-parses the HTML source of webpages. Ultimately, the new implementation is aimed to restore the full state of the webpages when you navigate back.

Google's Engineering Manager of Web Developer Relations Addy Osmani in an update post mentions that the experience through the bfcache implementation will be like "pausing a page when you leave it and playing it when you return." This comes as an addition to help users save some time since Chrome won't completely reload a previously visited webpage.

Having said that, the new addition is not going to boost the loading speed of Chrome altogether. The changes through bfcache can only be noticed when a user presses either the back or forward navigation button on the browser. Moreover, Osmani has made a video to preview how bfcache would work on Chrome for Android.


As we mentioned, Google isn't the only Web browser maker to implement bfcache. Apple and Mozilla have already offered a similar experience. However, as Osmani pointed out in his post, Google isn't using WebKit's implementation of bfcache due to a compatibility issue with Chrome's multiprocess architecture. The new feature, therefore, would take some time to reach your Chrome browser.


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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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