I recently ran into a very strange issue on one of my Windows machines where the Back button in Internet Explorer stopped working! I would push back and nothing would happen!
It was the strangest thing in the world, and it happened on a fresh install of Windows 10 with IE 11. I had never encountered this problem before and had to think a bit before I could figure out how to fix it.
In this article, I will share several methods that I have used to try and fix the problem. What worked for me may not work for you, so try all possible solutions. If you still can’t get the Back button in IE to work, leave a comment here and I’ll try to help.
First method – disable add-ons
The first thing to try is to disable all add-ons and see if that fixes the back button issue. The easiest way to start Internet Explorer without add-ons is to click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Internet Explorer (no add-ons).
If you have Windows 8 or Windows 10, you can start IE without add-ons by opening a Command Prompt window and copying / pasting the following:
“% ProgramFiles% Internet Explorer iexplore.exe” -extoff pre>
If the problem goes away, you know that one of the add-ons is causing it. Go ahead and disable add-ons one at a time until you eliminate the culprit. If that doesn’t solve your problem, keep reading for other solutions.
Method 2 – Reset Internet Explorer
You can also try resetting Internet Explorer by clicking the “Tools” button and then “Internet Options”.
Now go to the “Advanced” tab and then click the “Reset” button at the very bottom.
You will now receive a pop-up dialog that describes all the steps the reset process takes, such as disabling toolbars / add-ons, resetting security, privacy, and browsing settings.
You can also remove personal preferences such as home page, search services, accelerators, deletion of temporary Internet files, cookies, browsing history, saved form data, tracking data, and passwords.
I suggest deleting your personal settings if you really don’t need them. After you reset IE, restart your computer and then try browsing and using the Back button again. Hope it works now!
Third method – install the latest updates
Apparently this issue has been around for a while, so go ahead and install the latest Windows updates as one of the released updates may have a fix for it. If you have the latest version installed on your computer, but the problem with the Back button is still not resolved, keep reading.
Fourth method – alternate key and refresh button
Some people have pointed out that this Back button issue occurs with Google Adsense ads or other types of widgets running on a web page. When you click the back button, it does work, but instead of the last webpage you visited, an ad group is displayed.
Several people suggested pressing Alt + back button, or pressing the Refresh button and then pressing back. Give it a try and see if one of the solutions works.
Obviously, this is not a perfect solution, but if you don’t have a problem all the time or only on certain websites, you can use these tricks.
Fifth method – uninstall and reinstall IE
The last thing you can try is uninstall IE completely and then reinstall it. You can do this by going to Control Panel, Programs and Features and clicking Turn Windows features on or off.
Uncheck Internet Explorer 11 and restart your computer.
If you have resolved the issue in a different way not listed here, please leave a comment and let us know. Method 2 is what worked for me. Hope something here solves your problem. Enjoy!