Why does my Internet back button sometimes not work?

A new window or tab was opened

When browsing the Internet, some pages may open a link to a new window or tab. When this occurs, all your previous search history will not move over to the new window. You can determine if this is the cause of your issue by looking at the color of your back button. If the back button is gray or not highlighted, it's more than likely that you're in a new window. To get back to your previous window, close the browser window you're currently in.

Test this now by clicking here to open Computer Hope in a new tab or window.

A web page automatically forwarded you to an alternate page

Often, this issue is caused when the web page you're visiting has automatically forwarded you to a different page or new page. When this occurs, if you press the back button, you're sent back to the page that re-directed you to the new page that forwards you back to where you just came from.

To resolve this issue, you can try one or more of the below solutions.

  1. Press and hold down the mouse button on the back button.
  2. Press the back button two or more times quickly, this will almost always get you back to a previous page. If this makes you go back too far, go forward.
  3. Most new browsers have a small down arrow next to the back button (as shown below). Pressing this button displays the last few pages you have recently visited. Once this list is displayed, you can select the page you want to go back to.

Back button

Other script preventing you from going back

There are scripts that can be used maliciously to prevent you from going back; when these pages are encountered, usually one of the above two recommendations allow you to get back. However, if you find neither of these solutions allowing you to get back, we suggest you close all your browser windows and start over.

Additional information

  • See our back button definition for further information and related links on this term.