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In the beta version of Chrome on the Mac Backspace is not working as 'back' as in virtually any other browser. It just does nothing. Is there a way to activate that or is that a known but still unresolved bug?

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Since the mac already has command-left and since, as @Arjan pointed out, there really is no backspace on the Mac, I'd actually consider this kind of behavior a bug rather than a feature. It repurposes the delete key to behave like it would on other platforms. – mmr Aug 1 '10 at 18:59
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It really is a bug. See this issue in their bug tracker.

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Yup, it's a bug. The same thing is happening with my mouses back button. – alex Sep 13 '09 at 12:55

The mac version of Google Chrome is a Developer Preview i think. So there are many bugs and many issues to fix to get it on par with the windows version.

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I can tell you that in the current version of Chrome on windows the Backspace works fine (I never knew about that binding, by the way). So I'd assume this is just a bug in the beta.

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Maybe you should better use Cmd-[ and Cmd-] to navigate back and forward. This also works in other browsers and in, for example, Finder.

(While awaiting the bug fix, and if Cmd-[ and Cmd-] are too difficult on localised keyboards: Cmd-Left and Cmd-Right might work in Chrome as well. These don't work in Finder though. And see Can I seize control of Cmd-Left in OSX? here on Super User, or Disable Firefox's Command-Arrows page jump shortcuts on for an annoying issue in Firefox for Cmd-Left and Cmd-Right, which may unexpectedly take you to the previous page while editing! Likewise, using Delete may cause problems in other situations. So one may actually want to disable Cmd-Left, Cmd-Right and Delete to work for navigation, like described for Firefox in those links.)

(As a side note, a Mac does not really have a Backspace key.)

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Although that works, it's a really arkward keyboard shortcut on a german keyboard. So I would really rather stick to the "Backspace" solution... The one keystroke outweighs the sometimes strange unwanted behaviour for me. – dertoni Sep 13 '09 at 18:53
mhm, i will have to make due with that until it's fixed, but look at these keyboard layouts:… & English:… On the german keyboard [ is ALT-5 so I have to press 3 keys... – dertoni Sep 14 '09 at 12:13
Aha, shows the wrong layout! And even shows a non-German version then. I wonder what one would actually receive then -- especially the Y and Z keys should probably not be like the image in the Apple store. Still, your keyboard has no "backspace". ;-) – Arjan Sep 14 '09 at 13:07
> Still, your keyboard has no "backspace". < I give you that ;-) – dertoni Sep 14 '09 at 13:12
Did you try Cmd-Left in Chrome? (Dangerous as well though; I'd disable that key for navigation in Firefox, but never had trouble in Safari though.) – Arjan Sep 14 '09 at 13:20

I use the gestures with Chrome and those seem to work. Use three fingers and swipe to the left. This will take you back to the last page. Obviously doesn't work well with a mouse, but nice that the Chrome team has it implemented.

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An extension for Chrome that brings back Backspace-Keybinding for history navigation (at least on Linux)

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Using backspace as a back button is stupid, especially on a Mac where it's a delete key. A fix for this is:


A sensible extension for Google Chrome.
Prevents the Backspace key from triggering the browser Back action.

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The Linux version of Chromium has the same issue, but you can always use Alt+ to go back and Alt+ to move forward in the navigation history.

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