The backspace key was mapped to the browser ‘Back’ function in Mozilla for consistency with Internet Explorer. However, to improve consistency with other applications running on Linux, it was decided that this mapping should be optional—and set based on which platform the browser was running on. As a compromise, this preference was created to allow the backspace key to either go back/forward, scroll up/down a page, or do nothing.
Possible values and their effects
Pressing [Backspace] will go back a page in the session history and [Shift]+[Backspace] will go forward. (Default in Windows)
Pressing [Backspace] will scroll up a page in the current document and [Shift]+[Backspace] will scroll down. (Default in Linux builds before 2006-12-07)
Any other integer value will simply unmap the backspace key. In Linux builds after 2006-12-07, the default is 2.
- Camino does not implement any behavior for the value 1; if the preference is set to that value, the backspace key is unmapped.
First checked in
- Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey
- 2005-01-28 by Chris Thomas
- Mozilla Firefox
- 2005-10-20 by Asaf Romano
- 2006-03-01 by Håkan Waara
Has an effect in
- Firefox (all trunk builds since 2005-10-20; 2.0 and later)
- SeaMonkey (all builds since 2005-01-28)
- Camino (all builds since 2006-03-01)
- Bug 219203 - Add pref for backspace behavior (go back, page up)
- Bug 262905 - Add a way to change the backspace key behavior in the content area
- Bug 301248 - backspace goes back on linux
- Bug 320203 - Respect the Gecko pref for browser.backspace_action
- Bug 325541 - On Linux, backspace should be page up, not history back (platform convention)
- Bug 358764 - On Linux, backspace should go back, not do nothing