Google is experimenting with a version of Chrome that does not include a backspace navigation shortcut. The move prevents users from going backwards accidentally when typing, but there’s no guarantee it will come to public Chrome releases just yet.
The backspace navigation shortcut, which allows you to return to the previous page by hitting the backspace key on your keyboard, isn’t just found in Chrome — you’ll see it in most web browsers. And these days, it seems equally loved and despised.
There are those who have gotten so used to using it over the years that they simply couldn’t live without it now, and there are those who never use it, and only realize it’s there when they hit it accidentally — usually when filling in a form — and unexpectedly return to the previous page.
Google is now looking to please the latter by removing the shortcut completely. According to Engadget, hitting backspace in the latest Chrome Canary preview on Mac simply does nothing.
“Years of user complaints have been enough that we think it’s the right choice to change this given the degree of pain users feel by losing their data, and because every platform has another keyboard combination that navigates back,” Google said.
Some users on the Chromium bug tracker forum aren’t pleased with the move, but it’s important to remember Google hasn’t implemented it in public Chrome releases yet. The fact that the change is only seen in previews means it’s not final yet, and could still be dropped.
Personally, I’d love to see the shortcut go. I never use it, but I do get incredibly frustrated when I hit backspace accidentally and end up losing a form I was halfway through filling in. However, I can understand why some Chrome users would prefer to keep it.
Do you still use the backspace shortcut in your browser, or would you be happy for it to be dropped?