For decades, the backspace key has been used in a web browser for going back in the history one step. For example, if you visited Google and then clicked on one the of search links to visit a website, then the backspace key would take you back to Google search results. This was the normal behavior of the backspace key since the early 90s for all the mainstream browsers.
But starting with the version 87 of the Firefox web browser, Mozilla has disabled the normal backspace key action for the web browser. The reason behind this is that when a user is entering data on a webpage and accidentally presses the backspace key when editing some text, it might take the user back to the previous webpage. Even though web developers add code to warn the user from leaving the page, sometimes that code is not enough. If you do not like this change in Firefox 87, then you can still restore the original action for backspace key.
Here is a simple way to restore the old backspace key action in Firefox 87:
- Launch Firefox web browser, enter about:config in the address bar and click on the Accept the Risk and Continue button.
- In the search text box, type backspace and locate the setting browser.backspace_action. In the version 87 of Firefox, it is assigned a default value of 2 which disables it.
- Click on the edit icon next to browser.backspace_action and change its value to 0. This value restores the “go back” action for the backspace key.
The value of 0 makes backspace key go back and Shift + Backspace go forward. This setting can also have a value of 1 which will assign the backspace key action for scrolling up and down. The value of 2 disables the backspace key for any browser window, but it still works for text editing.
Now Mozilla is promoting the Alt + ← key combination to go back one step and Alt + → to go forward in the browsing history. As time passes, this is going to become the new normal standard. So even if you change the backspace key’s original action, you should still consider adopting the new methods and key combinations for future.