Google Chrome to Soon Ditch Backspace Shortcut After Complaints

Google Chrome to Soon Ditch Backspace Shortcut After Complaints
  • Chrome browser will ditch backspace shortcut on July 26.
  • Google says lots of users complained about a loss of data.
  • For those who want, the shortcut can be revived via an extension.

Google is planning to remove a commonly used shortcut in Chrome, after complaints from many users. The backspace button which effectively took the user to the previous page in Chrome, has now been removed in the beta version of Chrome.

The feature is currently live on v52 developer channel, and is expected to go live in Chrome on July 26, when the stable version comes out. Google Developer Ojan Vafai confirms that the feature can easily be enabled by users who want it via a simple extension installation.

Vafai explained that the shortcut was considered to be a pain for many users, as in some cases, it led to loss of data. After getting enough complaints, the company took the decision to revoke this default shortcut. If a user wants to disable the shortcut immediately, there is an extension that already exists to disable the function.

This shortcut will be disabled by Chrome by default after July 26, and power users will have to turn to an extension to run the shortcut on Chrome browser. Explaining the reason, Vafai said, "We have UseCounters showing that 0.04 percent of page views navigate back via the backspace button and 0.005 percent of page views are after a form interaction. The latter are often cases where the user loses data. Years of user complaints have been enough that we think it's the right choice to change this given the degree of pain users feel by losing their data and because every platform has another keyboard combination that navigates back."

The other shortcut to go back to the previous page in Chrome is "Alt+Left", and the left pointing arrow on the top left of the screen.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to More
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