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How to create an HTML back button

You can add a back button to your web page. When a visitor to your page clicks the button, they're taken to the last page they visited, as if they clicked the back button in their browser.

You can accomplish this by editing the HTML of your page, and adding a little JavaScript.


These buttons won't work if the user has no browsing history. For example, if the user opens your page in a new browser tab or window, nothing will happen when they click the button.

Using history.back

In a web browser, the built-in JavaScript object window has an object called history containing the URLs a user has visited in their current browser window. You can use the history.back() method to tell the browser to go back to the user's previous page.

One way to use this JavaScript is to add it to the onclick event attribute of a button. Here, we create the button using a <form> element, containing an <input> element of the button type.

Insert the following HTML into your web page:

Expand|Select|Wrap|Line Numbers
  1. <form>
  2. <input type="button" value="Go back!" onclick="history.back()">
  3. </form>
The result looks like the button below. If you click it, you'll go back to the previous page in your history.

Using history.go

The history.go() method tells the browser to go to a specific page in the user's browsing history. You can specify which history item by putting a number inside the parentheses. With computer programming, this is called an argument.

If you specify the number -1 as your argument, the browser goes back one page in the browser's history. Here's the same code as above, using history.go(-1) instead of history.back().

Expand|Select|Wrap|Line Numbers
  1. <form>
  2. <input type="button" value="No, really, go back!" onclick="history.go(-1)">
  3. </form>
May 5 '21 #1
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