How to Leave a Website That Has a Disabled Back Button

It’s a typical day: you fire up the search engine of your choice, type in your query, then click on a promising link. It’s not really all that useful, so you hit the back button to see other search results. Except that the back button does nothing. You try again: nothing. This website traps you, inexplicably forcing you to stay on the page or close the tab entirely. However, you are not actually trapped – you have the opportunity to escape.



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Although the internet is no longer the Wild West it used to be, there are still plenty of dubious websites out there that use scam tactics to get you interested in their content. “Trapping” is one of the most invasive strategies you’ll come across, a practice that Google calls ” history manipulation “: The website in question will spam your search history with links redirecting back to their page, which makes the back button useless. For you, the last site visited should be the results of a search, say Google or Ecosia . However, due to history manipulation, your web browser thinks it should return to the page you are already on.

While the natural instinct here is to simply close the tab or browser window, this is annoying. You shouldn’t be forced to open a whole new window and type in the same search as before, all because some vulture wants to keep you on their site a second longer than usual. Luckily, you don’t have to do this at all: instead of needlessly pressing the back button, you should just hold down the button.

Whether you’re using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox on your smartphone or computer, holding the back button opens that tab’s or window’s specific search history. You can select any link in the list to return to this site, even if it was not the last visited site in this window. If you find yourself on a site that implements history manipulation, you may see some intimidating links here, or you may see the website in question listed over and over again.

Please browse or scroll through these options until you find a search results page or any page you would like to visit, select it and you will escape your internet captor in no time. Make a note to yourself never to visit their site again, and feel free to warn others not to visit this waste of digital space.

Supposedly, Google has been working on a fix for this problem for some time now, but apparently the problem still exists. However, if you use Chrome on your desktop, you will never have to fall into the trap of any of these scam websites. Instead of using the browser as is, you should enable its hidden search bar, which will allow you to view search results without even leaving the original search page. Check out our full guide to learn more .


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