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Google Chrome deletes Backspace

Tiny number of users were losing data from forms, so Chrome's stopped going backwards going forward

Google's Chrome browser no longer lets you go back to your previously-used page with the Backspace key.

As explained on this code review page “0.04% of page views navigate back via the backspace button and 0.005% 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 change appears to have slipped into Chrome without much fanfare and now some of the small number of Backspace-and-Chrome-using folks out there are missing their preferred navigation keypress and venting in threads like this one.

Their complaints are being met with ripostes to the effect that there are many other keystrokes that will go back one page, such as ALT-Left Arrow.

Learning new keyboard shortcuts can be irritating … for about the first two hours until you build up a little muscle memory. Chrome's 0.04% of Backspacers therefore have an unpleasant morning ahead of them. ®

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