In every single browser on every single OS (with a keyboard) I've used, backspace would go (history.)back to the previous visited page in that tab. For some reason this doesn't work for me on my new MacBook with OSX Yosemite 10.10.1 in Safari 8.0.2. Is this normal behaviour (seriously, why?) or can I somehow enable it? It does work in Chrome and Firefox on my MacBook.

I'm new to Mac and still need to get used to the multi-finger swipe on the trackpad, but I am aware that is another way to do this. Just want my old trusted backspace behaviour back. ;)

  • 2
    Backspace works unless your cursor is in a text area. If it is, you need Cmd [ instead
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 9:47
  • Apparently in older versions of Safari backspace worked, but not anymore. :-o Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 10:58
  • Apparently, up to Safari 5 - seems it was hidden from v6.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


Not sure if you are asking what they are in Safari.

CMD + [ Go back (or cmd+alt+5)

CMD + ] Go forward (or cmd+alt+6)

But you can make it work using Terminal with following (Thanks to @Tetsujin research)

Terminal command to re-enable Backspace/Delete as "Back-Button":

defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2BackspaceKeyNavigationEnabled -bool YES

Quit Safari, then copy & paste the command in a Terminal window (Applications → Utilities) and hit enter. Quit Terminal and restart Safari.

Terminal command to undo the set preference:

defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2BackspaceKeyNavigationEnabled -bool NO
  • Backspace works fine here, so long as I'm not in any text area.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 9:52
  • @Tetsujin it does nothing on Safari 7 ! maybe that is the reason ? I really do not use Safari so it is not up to date.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 9:54
  • Safari 8.0.2 here, on Yosemite - but it's always worked for me. Wonder whether it's a hidden function, let me have a dig around...
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 9:55
  • Thanks for the shortcut, that indeed does work. Was hoping that backspace would also work as it does in other browsers... so if someone has a way to enable that I would be happy! Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 9:56
  • 3
    Cool. Makes this a good Question and Answer now. If it earns a million rep, you owe me a beer :P
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 10:14

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