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bogdanw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 10, 2009
1,109
584
After updating to macOS 10.14.4 with Safari 12.1, the backspace key doesn't seem to work as back button anymore. I have tried with defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2BackspaceKeyNavigationEnabled -bool YES and Onyx/Deeper, but with no luck. If anyone finds a solution, please share it.
 

chabig

macrumors G3
Sep 6, 2002
8,771
6,049
Backspace deletes text. To my knowledge it has never served as a back button in a web browser. That would be very confusing.

Edit: Wow. Apparently some browsers used that. It seems they are getting wiser, though, and removing the "feature". Did you use a Safari extension to get that behavior? You may have also changed the key behavior in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.
 
Last edited:

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
8,014
1,521
Baltimore, Maryland
Backspace deletes text. To my knowledge it has never served as a back button in a web browser. That would be very confusing.

Edit: Wow. Apparently some browsers used that. It seems they are getting wiser, though, and removing the "feature". Did you use a Safari extension to get that behavior?

Long ago (prior to 2012?) I believe Safari exhibited this behavior.
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,752
1,909
Charlotte, NC
Backspace deletes text. To my knowledge it has never served as a back button in a web browser. That would be very confusing.

Edit: Wow. Apparently some browsers used that. It seems they are getting wiser, though, and removing the "feature". Did you use a Safari extension to get that behavior?

It's actually quite common on other OS's. I've used it for years with the FireFox browser. When in use, if you have an open browser, with no text fields selected, it serves as a quick back button. Safari might be configurable for this, I don't know, I've never tired and don't use it anymore since switching exclusively to macOS for browsing.
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,102
2,740
Silicon Valley
You can use keymapping programs like Keyboard Maestro to remap keys as you wish even from one program to another, but I'd have to agree with others who are horrified at the idea of a destructive backspace being used as a "go back" key. It just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Like let's say you're typing in a reply on MacRumors and you mean to delete the last word you typed, but you accidentally unselected the text box... ooops, goodbye message.

I have other keys mapped in ways to allow me to go back with just my left hand on the keyboard. I use CTRL-A with the Caps Lock key mapped to the CTRL key.
 

bogdanw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 10, 2009
1,109
584
Old solution works
Code:
defaults write com.apple.Safari NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add Back "\U232b"
If primary language of macOS is other than English, the text Back has to be replaced with the translated one from Safari.
 
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posguy99

macrumors 68020
Nov 3, 2004
2,033
1,208
Old solution works
Code:
defaults write com.apple.Safari NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add Back "\U232b"
If primary language of macOS is other than English, the text Back has to be replaced with the translated one from Safari.

Pointing out that doing it THAT way removes ⌘[ and replaces it with ⌫. That may be acceptable for you, or it may not.
 
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Paul Franklin

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2020
10
1
Catalina seems to have stopped this working for me.
Anybody any ideas? I HATE using ⌘[....
thanks.
 

bogdanw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 10, 2009
1,109
584
Catalina seems to have stopped this working for me.
Anybody any ideas? I HATE using ⌘[....
thanks.
This solution is still working for me in 10.15.4
Code:
defaults write com.apple.Safari NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add Back "\U232b"
 

Paul Franklin

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2020
10
1
Weird, I can't get it to work. Have also got 10.15.4.
Pasted it in Terminal, hit enter...
Screenshot 2020-04-07 17.02.44.png


Restarted Safari etc... Have I missed something?
cheers
 

Paul Franklin

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2020
10
1
I've never used the Develop menu. Doesn't seem to help!
How annoying. Rebooted, nothing is working... *Cries*
 

bogdanw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 10, 2009
1,109
584
I've never used the Develop menu. Doesn't seem to help!
How annoying. Rebooted, nothing is working... *Cries*
I've just tested on a new Catalina installation and you are right, it doesn't work only with that command. You have to modify another file too. So, the new solution is
Code:
defaults write com.apple.Safari NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add Back "\U232b"
defaults write ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add Back "\U232b"
 

Paul Franklin

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2020
10
1
Hmmm:
"Could not write domain /Users/paulwfranklin/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist; exiting"

Am I missing a folder?
 

Paul Franklin

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2020
10
1
Nope, it's still saying 'Could not write domain...'

It was working fine before upgrade. Don't think I've changed anything major since. Hmmf!
 

bogdanw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 10, 2009
1,109
584
Nope, it's still saying 'Could not write domain...'
It was working fine before upgrade. Don't think I've changed anything major since. Hmmf!
One more try... back-up then delete ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist
run defaults write ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add Back "\U232b"
to force it to be recreated with that value inside.
If this doesn't work, I'm out of ideas :)
 

bogdanw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 10, 2009
1,109
584
Just to be clear, when you say 'back-up then delete...' ?
Save a copy on your Dektop, just in case
Code:
cp ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist ~/Desktop/com.apple.Safari.plist
then delete it
Code:
rm ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist
and recreate it
Code:
defaults write ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add Back "\U232b"
 
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