Edge Canary brings 'backspace to go back' shortcut through a hidden flag

Microsoft’s Edge Canary is letting users enable an experimental flag that brings the ability to navigate to the previous and next pages using the backspace and shift+backspace key combination, respectively (spotted by WindowsLatest). The behavior was present in the Chrome browser and was removed with version 52.

The shortcut was a famous one and was replaced with the Alt + Forward or Backward keys to navigate between the previous and next pages. The company’s explanation for the change was that it wanted to prevent users from accidentally hitting backspace and losing progress on their work. However, for those that were too used to the feature, the search giant released a Chrome extension named ‘Go back with backspace’ that brought back the feature.

The shortcut can now be enabled in the Canary version of the Edge browser by enabling the “#edge-backspace-key-navigate-page-back” flag. To do so, head to “edge://flags” and search for the flag name mentioned earlier or type in “Assigns the Backspace key to go back a page” and enable the feature. Enabling the feature does not disable the Alt + Forward/Backward key combination.

It is likely that the Redmond giant will bring the feature to the stable version eventually. It is also possible that the shortcut will be opt-in only from the settings, considering that the original feature was removed from Chrome in 2016 and most users might unexpectedly hit the backspace key when not in a text field and inadvertently navigate to the previous page.

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