Back Button (Also known as 'Back Arrow')

The Back Button allows you to go back to previous web pages you have visited during your current session of web browsing. The Back Button is found in the upper left corner of your web browser. It is the arrow pointing to the Left, hence the Back Arrow, like you see in the image below.

Image of Back Arrow

Left click on the Back Arrow once and you'll go back one page. Left click multiple times and you can go back multiple pages. After you have gone back a few pages, you may want to go forward a few pages. To do this, click on the Forward Button (the arrow pointing to the Right).

You will also see a Drop Down Arrow (the arrow pointing down, which is to the right of the Forward Arrow in the image above). Click on this drop down arrow to see a list of recently visited web pages. Then, click on the page you would like to revisit and it will open up in your current Web Browser window.

We write 'current web browser window' in the previous sentence to distinguish it from a 'new web browser window'. When you click on a hyperlink, the new web page will sometimes open in the current browser window and replace the page where you just clicked the link. In this case, you can click the Back Arrow to return to the original page. Try this now by clicking on the following link Drop Down Arrow to see that web page and then click the Back Arrow to return to this page.

Great, you have just opened a new web page in the current web browser window and returned to the original page. Now, you must learn that some links open a new web browser window in front of the current web browser window. Instead of replacing the current window like we did in the previous example, you have opened a 2nd window. In this case, you can not use the Back Arrow to return to the original page. Let's practice this now.

Click on the hyperlink for one of our merchants, Lamps Plus. You will see a 2nd browser window open up. Close button for Internet Explorer Close this new window by clicking the 'X' button in the top right corner of the browser like you see in the adjacent image. This is one method to return to this original page. The other way is to select this original page from the task bar at the bottom of your computer screen.

Instead of closing the new window like we did in the previous step, you will be selecting to bring this original window in front of the Lamps Plus window. Read the rest of this paragraph before trying the exercise. You will open a new browser window by clicking on the Lamps Plus link. Look at your task bar at the bottom of the computer screen. You will see two web browser tabs like you see in the image below. Windows Task bar showing the Start button and two web browser tabs This original page is named 'Shop With Trust' and the second tab says 'Home Lighting'. Click the 'Shop With Trust' tab to view this original page. You can then return to the Lamps Plus page by clicking on the other tab called 'Home Lighting'.

Generally, links to web pages on the current web site you are visiting will open in the same window. However, when you click on links to web pages on different web sites, most times a new window will open. So, in the examples above, when you selected our article about using the Drop Down Arrow, it opened in the current window. However, when you left our web site to visit the web site for Lamps Plus, a separate window opened. If you are still a little confused, lesson 7, which teaches the difference between web pages and web sites, should help clarify these concepts.

That ends this lesson on using the Back Button. Now you know how to return to the previous web page. If you run into any trouble using the Back Arrow, you can always come back to this article by using our 'Quick Access for Beginners' drop-down list in the right column of each page. The drop-down list provides a link to all of the Beginners Lessons. Javascript required.

More Lessons on Internet Help for Beginners
See also Internet Security for Beginners and Email for Beginners

  • Lesson 1: Computer Mouse - How to use it and when to push the buttons
  • Lesson 2: Hyperlinks - How to open a new web page
  • Current : Back Button - How to return to the previous web page
  • Lesson 4: Windows - How to manage windows on your screen
  • Lesson 5: Web Browser - What are Internet Explorer, Firefox & Safari?
  • Lesson 6: Address Bar - How to enter a web address
  • Lesson 7: Web Page vs. Web Site - Learn the difference between the two
  • Lesson 8: Menu Bar - Access to everything you need
  • Lesson 9: Bookmark Favorites - Save your favorite web sites
  • Lesson 10: Drop-Down-Lists - How to make selections on web sites
  • Lesson 11: Javascript - Why some web sites do not work for you
  • Lesson 12: Web-Accessibility - Problems reading web sites

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Our goal is to make you comfortable using the ever expanding internet. We especially want to reach out to online beginners and let them know it is not too late to get started. As more services, especially free ones, move online, we believe it is important that everyone learn the basics for navigating the internet. Think of a family member or friend who may find this web site helpful and forward it to them today. We wish you Good Luck and an Enjoyable Journey on the Internet. also provides easy access to trusted retailers. We keep things simple for you by only listing stores with a long history of name recognition. We would like to be your one stop source for online shopping with stores like Macy's, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. Thank You and Best Wishes.

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