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 examining the back button. If the back button is gray or non-responsive, 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. To see an example of a link that opens a new window, click here.

A web page automatically forwarded you to an alternate page

Sometimes, when you visit a web page, it automatically forwards you to another page. If this occurs and you press the back button, you will immediately be re-forwarded to that same page. To resolve this issue, you can try one or more of the following 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 you go back too may pages, push the forward button.
  3. Most new browsers have a small down arrow Back options next to the back button. Pressing this button displays the last few pages you have visited recently. Once this list is displayed, you can select the page you want to go back to.

Other script preventing you from going back

If neither of the previous sections resolved your issue, you have encountered poor or malicious code. There are scripts that can be loaded into the browser through a web page which prevent the back arrow from functioning properly. To resolve this problem, close and re-open your browser or visit a different site.

Additional information

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