In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of sites performing the Back Button Hijacking. The other day, I was browsing a website (let’s tag it Site ‘A’), and from there, I navigated to Site’ B’. Upon reaching the latter site, I pressed Chrome’s back button once.
So I should have been taken back to Site ‘A’. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the documented path, and the browser again took me to Site’ B’s’ home page. This behavior of website ‘B’ breaking the back button functionality is nothing new, and many websites have been practicing this tactic for ages.
From the user’s perspective, this is perhaps the most infuriating browsing experience as it tends to send them into a continuous loop from where there’s no escape. Not to mention the fact that it completely disrupts the user experience as well.
Fortunately, a handy workaround exists to stop this back button redirection in the Chrome browser. But before we check it out, let’s try and understand this issue in detail.
Back button Hijack Works
Note: This section has technical details of the issue; you can skip to the next section if you’re not interested.
Websites generally use the PushState commands or/and the Redirection technique to carry out this task. If we talk about the first procedure, if you go from Site ‘A’ to Site’ B’, the second site would straightaway add a few entries in your browser history via the PushState command.
As a result, if you hit the back button from Site’ B’, you will still be navigated to a page of this site itself rather than being taken to Site ‘A’. Some websites also use redirection to keep users encapsulated within their offering’s ecosystem.
All these results in your few (unintentional) extra seconds of interaction with that site which ultimately translates to an upscale in the trajectory of their income. In this regard, the Chromium developers have rolled out an update that would effectively prevent sites from redirection or the execution of the PushState Command.
It will first check for user involvement before every navigation. If it finds out that the site had carried out that navigation without the user’s consent, it will skip that site altogether, and you will be taken back to the earlier site (in our case, Site ‘A’). However, some sites seem to have found a workaround.
They can bypass the restrictions of the Chromium source code and hence could still hijack the browser’s back button.
On the brighter side, a handy tweak exists to stop this back button’s redirection on the Chrome browser. And in this guide, we will make you aware of just that. So without further ado, let’s check it out.
Stop Back Button Redirection on Chrome
Let’s assume you are currently browsing a website via Chrome that has taken the back button under its control. So what’s the escape route?
Well, all you need to do is perform a long click on the browser’s back arrow button (for around 3-4 seconds).
Chrome will then bring up a list of your recently visited sites. You could then select the desired one from that list, and the browser shall navigate to that site straightaway without any hindrance.
Disable Pop-ups and Redirection
Chrome has a built-in feature that supports enabling or disabling pop-ups and redirection. When you enable the pop-up blockers and stop redirection, the back button hijacking is force stopped.
Here are the steps to disable pop-ups and redirection in Chrome:
- Launch Google Chrome on the computer.
- Click on the More menu for options.
- Select Settings from the list.
- Scroll down to the Privacy and Security section, and select the Site settings from the menu.
- Choose the Pop-ups and redirects option within Site settings.
- Toggle the button to turn it OFF and block the pop-ups and redirection.
It will block the redirection that technically supports button hijacking.
Bottom Line: Back Button Redirection
However, you should use this option cautiously since it might break the website’s core functionality.
So this was the most straightforward approach to stopping the back button redirection in Chrome. While it may not be tagged as the most efficient, it does its job without issues.
I believe the chrome developer will soon add a feature to tackle this annoying back button redirection with a robust option.
What are your views on the back button redirection? Do you know of any other trick that can stop the back button hijacking? Let us know.
Wouldn’t it be possible to have chrome force the website to ask whenever it tries to open a new tab/change websites? Even if you click a button, as long as you didn’t type it into the browser and press enter it won’t move to the next website until you press “allow”?
It still doesn’t work. It only is messed up on the keyboard back button, NOT when I use the mouse and click it.