General Question

flo's avatar

What makes the back arrow not take you to where you started, no matter what?

Asked by flo (10593points) February 11th, 2014

Mostly no problem, when I’m on a website, the back arrow takes me to Google or wherever I was originally, and sometimes no way, no matter how many times I try. Is there a trick to make it stop refusing?

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14 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Try the house (home) button… it will take you to the start page.

flo's avatar

No, I would start at Google and then find the different site and then to get back to google, ...

talljasperman's avatar

@flo I don’t understand, maybe @Jerv can help you he is one of our local tech experts.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Try right clicking on the back button. Sometimes a site will slip an app in to point back at itself. If so if you right click you can go to the menu and select the point you want to go back to.

gorillapaws's avatar

Some sites have dynamic content that don’t play nicely with the back button.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Not an answer, but have you recently updated or changed browser?? May need to check default settings.
Also I sometimes use Safari and it doesn’t go “back one” with the delete button.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Turn off JavaScript. That stops the sites that stop you, so to speak.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

As other have pointed out, it’s because web developers are jerks who add code to their sites to interfere with the way your browser is supposed to work.

2davidc8's avatar

@rexacoracofalipitorius is correct. Programmers can add code to a web page to change the behavior of the back button, even disable it if that suits their purpose.

Adagio's avatar

@flo that happens to me sometimes too and I’ve always wondered why but figured the website developers had done something tricky, so thank you for asking this question stop

glacial's avatar

@rexacoracofalipitorius is correct about why this happens. The site forces your back button to refresh the current page instead. The more clicks their site gets, the better for their business.

I’ve more or less trained myself (on websites I’m not familiar with anyway) to not hit the back button at all, but instead either right-click, as @WestRiverrat suggested, or click and hold the back button (depending on your browser), until you can see the list of sites you’ve clicked on previously. Then move your mouse past all the “current page” or “adclick” or whatever addresses, to the one you want to go to. That gives you more control over your browsing.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

I recommend the use of NoScript or similar script-blocker. Abuse of client-side scripting on Web pages is at ridiculous levels, and is a common attack vector (aka XSS attack). NoScript has the side-effect of allowing you to verify that the scripts running on a site actually come from there; when you run into offensive, workflow-breaking scripts like this I encourage you to complain frequently and loudly to the webmaster or site administrator. This goes double for my own sites.

Stinley's avatar

Say you click a link to my website I have set up a new site called and directed all traffic to that site that lands on By this method you find yourself on and click on the back button, it takes you to which immediately takes you back to An endless loop UNLESS you double click fast on the back button to skip past and back to the previous site you were on.

flo's avatar

Thank you all. I will report back, I’m sure it will happen not that often fortunately.

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