Thursday, April 7, 2011

Browser Back Button Issues

       Sometimes the "Back" button on a web browser will stop working, disappear or behave abnormally. Issues with the "Back" button stem from a variety of causes. Four major back button problems relate to new tabs or windows, website scripts, a Microsoft Office bug, and certain web browser defects. Viruses can also cause "Back" button issues.

This article will help you to identify and eliminate browser back button issues.

New Tabs and Windows

            Some webpage links open in new browser tabs or windows automatically. The original window or tab remains open but hidden. Click the corresponding "X" to close the new tab or browser window and return to the original page. New users and people who switch from window-based browsing to tab-based browsing often experience problems with this before recognizing how the multiple tab/window system works.

Website Scripts

            Some websites use scripts that partially disable the "Back" button in an attempt to keep users from leaving. The button may appear to work but it returns the user to the same page. The easiest way to remedy this is to click the browser's "Home" icon or enter a new URL in the address bar. Another option is to click the small arrow to the right of the "Back" button and select a previous page from the menu that appears, according to Some browsers do this when a user clicks and holds the "Back" button.

Browser Issues

            The offline help system for Office 2010 Beta uses Internet Explorer 8. It can sometimes cause the back and forward buttons to stop functioning, according to Microsoft. The company recommends installing the latest "Cumulative Security Update" to rectify these issues. The fix first appeared in update #978207.

            Another problem is that some revisions of Internet Explorer 5.0 browser allowed the "Back" button to disappear or stop functioning, according to Microsoft. A few older computers still have IE 5.0 installed, especially PCs with Windows 95 or 98. Users can eliminate this problem by updating Internet Explorer to a newer version or using a different browser.

Other Issues

            Some web browsers allow users to remove the "Back" button. If someone does this, the "Back" button can be manually restored; the process varies by browser. An alternative is to press the backspace key, which typically works the same as the "Back" button.

            Although no recent major viruses have specifically aimed to interfere with the "Back" button, they certainly have the potential to do this. However, it's best to consider the above-mentioned causes first, unless other virus-like symptoms appear.