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New Microsoft Edge gets option to navigate back and forward using Backspace
[Image: microsoft-edge-backspace-navigate.png]

All modern web browsers keep track of a tab's history so that users may go back or forward in history easily. A click on the back or forward button opens the previous page or the next page that was open in the browser. Some browsers support additional functionality, e.g. a right-click feature to display the entire tab history in a menu to make jumping to a particular page more convenient.

Google changed the behavior of Chromium's back and forward behavior several times in recent years. The company has started to make use of caching to make the switching near instant, and it also removed the handy Backspace keyboard shortcut to load the previous page of a tab.

Users of the new Microsoft Edge web browser may soon be able to use the Backspace key for forward and backward navigation in the browser. Microsoft launched a new experimental flag in the Canary version of the browser which, when activated, enables the functionality in the browser.

Microsoft Edge Canary is the cutting edge version of the Edge browser; it is the least stable but gets features first. Most features introduced in Canary land in Edge Stable eventually; it is not clear if the feature will be enabled by default or if users need to enable it explicitly.

Here is how you enable the backspace shortcut in Microsoft Edge currently:
  1. Load edge://flags in the browser's address bar.
  2. Search for Backspace, the full title of the flag is Assigns the Backspace key to go back a page.
  3. Set the flag to enabled.
  4. Restart the web browser.
You may now use the Backspace key to go back in history or Shift-Backspace to go forward. The shortcut affects the active tab only, and works only if no form element is active on the page.

There is no option to go back or forward multiple pages at a time, but you can hit the Backspace key multiple times to achieve that. Edge users who prefer to use the keyboard whenever possible may find the new shortcut useful. It is unclear if this will land in Google Chrome or other Chromium-based browsers as well in the future.

Now You: How do you go back and forward in your browser of choice?
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