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The latest change in Google’s Chrome browser is infuriating, but we’ll show you how to undo it

Zach Epstein
August 23rd, 2016 at 5:35 PM
Chrome Web Store Apps

Google’s Chrome web browser is a resource hog. Because of that, it’s also often a battery hog. It doesn’t have a few of the cool new features rival browsers have such as built-in free VPN, and it doesn’t look quite as sleek as other options out there like Safari. But Chrome is lightning-fast and its user interface is slick and minimalistic. It also offers fantastic tie-ins with other Google services and a catalog of third-party extensions that no other browser can touch. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the most popular web browser in the world, and why I have no plans to switch away from it despite the fact that one of Google’s changes in the latest Chrome update is driving me insane.

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According to Google, 0.04% of page views served up by its Chrome web browser come as a result of users hitting the backspace key to go back one page. That number seems minuscule but if you stop to consider how many pages Chrome serves up, that number is much bigger than you might have thought. If you search around social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or around tech forums, you’ll see that users have been outraged ever since Google eliminated the backspace-to-go-back feature in its latest major update, Chrome 52.

But don’t worry, undoing the damage is beyond easy.

Google initially downplayed how widely the backspace key is used to go back a page, but the company saw the user outcry and was quick to respond. No, it didn’t add the functionality back to Chrome, but it did do the next best thing: Google released an official Chrome extension that re-maps the backspace key to its old function.

Google’s “Go Back With Backspace” extension is completely free and available for download in the Chrome Web Store.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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