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Fix for Firefox 2.0 backspace action (Linux)

If you’re using the new Firefox 2.0 on Linux and you’re wondering where the backspace functionality to go back one page went, well, apparently they changed it to fit with other Linux conventions.

If you want the old backspace goes back a page feature (I like it this way), then there’s thankfully a really easy fix!

Browse to about:config. Search for browser.backspace_action and change the value to 0.


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  1. Deathnuke wrote:


    Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 13:14 | Permalink |
  2. Jonara wrote:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 12:42 | Permalink |
  3. Henk wrote:

    Phew – for a minute I thought I had to change browsers…

    Friday, November 3, 2006 at 07:29 | Permalink |
  4. David wrote:

    THANKS! Dugg!!

    Saturday, November 4, 2006 at 16:49 | Permalink |
  5. Deathnuke wrote:

    Firefox 2 pwns all other browsers we love you firefox 😀

    does everyone agree with me????

    Monday, November 6, 2006 at 12:12 | Permalink |
  6. Joe wrote:

    Awesome! Thank you!!!!

    Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 02:29 | Permalink |
  7. Aigarius wrote:

    Thank you for the tip, it is very useful.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 22:16 | Permalink |
  8. Jon Emerson wrote:

    Awesome!! Thanks for the instructions.

    But I don’t agree with the Firefox dev’s decision to use Linux backspace conventions over *browser* backspace conventions. When does backspace page-up in a regular application?? How is that useful? Doesn’t the fact that a browser has a BACK button mean that BACKspace can work a little differently??

    I know it wasn’t your decision, but thanks for letting me vent on your page :).

    Monday, December 4, 2006 at 19:48 | Permalink |
  9. Peter wrote:

    Jon – I appreciate the irritation it caused – I was kicking myself everytime I pressed backspace for a long time until I discovered this hack, but I suppose it’s equally annoying if you’ve learned keyboard shortcuts elsewhere and you come to Firefox and they don’t do what you expect them to.

    To be honest, I haven’t come across any apps that use backspace like that, so I would have preferred if they used the browser convention and offered a GUI-configurable change to the Unix conventions.

    Ooh – and I could get started on the little UI changes in Firefox 2 that irritate me (like the removal of third-party cookie policies via the GUI), but I won’t.

    All in all, I love Firefox 2 though. The spell checking, new icons and most UI changes and cross-platform-ness rule. 😀

    Firefox 2 FTW!

    Monday, December 4, 2006 at 20:06 | Permalink |
  10. Ben wrote:

    Great! I was looking for this one for a few weeks and now I stumbled across this page!
    I immediately changed the entry and feel much better now! 🙂

    Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 12:34 | Permalink |
  11. Iri wrote:

    Very nice – why do they keep changing settings like this – to annoy people who got used to it?

    The browser will never behave how people switching to it will expect it to do – but it should damn well stick to the same behavior if there is no *real good* reason to change it between versions.

    My .gtkrc-2.0 already contains ‘gtk-key-theme-name = “Emacs”‘ to get the old editing behavior (Ctrl-U for erase line, Ctrl-K for kill-line, Ctral-A for begin of line etc. etc. etc.) and now I also have to change this in preferences :-/

    Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 21:44 | Permalink |
  12. metjay wrote:

    you just saved my life

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 21:01 | Permalink |
  13. Simon wrote:


    Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 23:45 | Permalink |
  14. Marco wrote:

    Thanks a lot, this one was really a showstopper

    Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 13:08 | Permalink |
  15. Pedro wrote:

    Thank You!

    Friday, May 4, 2007 at 13:26 | Permalink |
  16. rymo wrote:

    Coming from Windows to my first personal Linux install, having backspace do unexpected things in Firefox was not the “welcome” I expected. Thanks so much for the hint!

    Monday, May 21, 2007 at 04:45 | Permalink |
  17. andres fang wrote:

    Thanks!! i tried with -1 hehe but it didn’t work…. but now my firefox is complete (my firefox, my pc, my documents haha)

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 04:15 | Permalink |
  18. lb wrote:

    I discovered this a while ago.
    But, I change back and forth from Windows to Linux in college and at home, too and use the same profile for both OS.

    Everytime I return to a Linux system, that backspace option is reset to 2. Is there a workaround (except using only Linux in the future), maybe another variable on the about:config page I have to change?

    Friday, September 26, 2008 at 10:20 | Permalink |
  19. Peter wrote:

    Sorry, I’m not aware of a way to force it to not be changed automatically.

    I guess you could manually patch prefs.js every time you move the profile back to Linux, but it seems more trouble than it’s worth.

    Sorry, I’m not much help here.

    Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 20:16 | Permalink |

19 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blog » Firefox 2.0 / Alle Linux Distributionen on Saturday, December 9, 2006 at 16:53

    […] Firefox 2.0 unter Linux hat den Bug das Feature, dass die Zurück/Backspace Taste den User nur zum Seitenanfang hochschiebt. Wie man das behebt, und wieder die Zurück-Funktion aktiviert, steht hier: […]

  2. Triplog » Ubuntu 9.04 auf dem HP Mini 2133 on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 13:02

    […] aktiviere Backspace in Firefox […]

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