How to Enable Backspace in Firefox: To Go Back to Previous Web Page With Backspace Key

Remember the last time you used backspace key to go back to previous web page while browsing in Mozilla Firefox? It was probably when you were in Windows.

Firefox is the default web browser in many a Linux distributions including Ubuntu. And in here, the backspace key to go back to previous web page doesn’t work, by default.

The Firefox keyboard shortcut to go back is pressing Alt+Left Arrow key. This can be changed easily by altering the configuration.

In this quick post, we shall see how to enable backspace action in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. This will work on any operating system using Firefox.

Enable backspace action in Firefox

Enable Backspace In Firefox

Just follow the below steps:

Step 1

Open Firefox and enter about:config in the address bar. It’s just a way of opening Firefox preferences setting.

A warning from Firefox will be displayed that your warranty will be void (as if there is one). You can ‘pinky’ promise to be careful and click on “Accept the Risk and Continue”.

Firefox Aboutconfig Screen
Firefox Aboutconfig Screen

Step 2

Here search for browser.backspace_action. Note that copy-pasting this value will yield no results. Since the entries are in alphabetical order, you can easily look for it.

When you find it, double-click on it and change its value to 0.

Firefox Aboutconfig Screen Backspace Setting
Firefox Aboutconfig Screen Backspace Setting

That’s it. Now if you hit backspace, it will take you to the previous web page.

Disable backspace action in Firefox

If you change the same with value 1, the backspace key will work for scrolling page up (going upside of the page).

In future if you want to disable it, you can change it back to 2 or just click the reset button, it will load its default value.

By the way, there is another Firefox keyboard shortcut. If you press shift+backspace keys, it will take you forward.

Enjoy Firefox the way you want :)

Become a Better Linux User

With the FOSS Weekly Newsletter, you learn useful Linux tips, discover applications, explore new distros and stay updated with the latest from Linux world


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.