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Is your Internet Explorer ‘Back’ Button Not Working?

IE back button
Nidhi About Nidhi

is the Gizmo Gal for iYogi. A writer by choice and Gizmo Geek by nature, she brings the hottest and latest happening in the Gadgets’ world. So, when you need a peek inside the tech world, you know where the action is.

What causes the Back button in Internet Explorer to go missing or stop working? How can you fix this issue?

Internet Explorer is a web browser from the house of Microsoft. Available in several versions, the current one available is Internet Explorer version 10. This browser is installed by default in Windows operating systems and you can easily check the version you have by accessing the ‘About Internet Explorer’ option in the Help tab. To facilitate navigating across the websites, the browser is set with a Back and a Forward button, located on the Toolbar. These buttons help you to move back and forth (web pages) while you are browsing. Some facilities that you can enjoy with these buttons are:

1.  Navigate back to a previous web page without typing its address again

2.  Navigate to a previous page by loading the page almost instantly

3.  Return to a page after viewing a previous page

4.  Load pages faster from the web browser’s cache or history

However, many users have complained that they are unable to find these buttons in their browser or even if they can find them, they may not be working. This makes navigation difficult and is certainly annoying for the user. Some common reasons that can be stated responsible for the missing/ malfunctioning buttons are:

  1. Presence of malware
  2. Presence of bugs
  3. Errors in the software
  4. Latest updates not installed
  5. Presence of conflicting add-ons

Here is a detailed description on the causes, effects, and fixes that can help you to get rid of the back button not working issue in your favorite Internet Explorer browser.

  • Why does the back button stop working?

As mentioned above, the Internet Explorer Back and Forward buttons on the toolbar may not function due to multiple reasons. By trying out different fixes you should be able to overcome the issue.

  • How to fix the problem?

Microsoft Windows introduced a patch to resolve this condition after releasing IE 5 (Internet Explorer 5). It is advisable to resolve this issue by downloading Internet Explorer 5 or a later version. To work around this problem, use the History bar to return to a web page that was previously visited. To do this:

  1. Click ‘History’ on the toolbar
  2. Click the site that you want to visit out of the ones displayed in the History bar

To view the history in the order of viewed web pages:

  1. Click the ‘History’ button to open the history facility
  2. In the History Explorer bar, click “By Order Visited Today” on the “View menu”

You can also try to run Internet Explorer in “No Add-On” mode, to identify if an incompatible browser add-on or an extension is causing the problem. To fix this,

  1. Click ‘Start’ then ‘All Programs’ and then ‘Accessories’.
  2. Go to ‘System Tools’, and then click on ‘Internet Explorer’ (No Add ons).

You can use the ‘Manage Add-on feature’ in Internet Explorer for the purpose of picking the particular add-ons that may be causing trouble. To identify the particular one,

  1. Click on ‘Tools’ and then on ‘Internet Options’.
  2. Click the ‘Programs’ tab and then on ‘Manage add-ons’.
  3. Restart Internet Explorer to check if the problem is resolved.


  • Alternative solutions

Here are a few workarounds that you can try out too in order to get the Back and Forward buttons in Internet Explorer in working condition.

  1. Re-install Internet Explorer
  2. Install  the latest updates by visiting the official website of Microsoft
  3. Reset the Internet Explorer settings back to factory default
  4. Run ‘msconfig’ from the ‘Start’ menu
  5. Install  the latest security program and scan your PC for malware and virus

If none of the above work for you, and you still aren’t able to find the Back/ Forward buttons, or the buttons aren’t still working, dial the iYogi toll free number and speak to a technician to get the issue resolved. We are available 24×7 and can help you fix browser issues in no time; call us as per your convenience.

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