Searchers Can't Go Back To Google Due To Bug

May 26, 2010 • 9:10 am | comments (59) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

This morning I spotted dozens of threads in the Google Web Search Help forum from searchers complaining the back button doesn't take them back to Google. In summary, a searcher searches for something on Google, finds a result, clicks on it, and then when dissatisfied they click the back button to go back to the Google search results. The issue is, clicking the back button doesn't take all of these searchers back to Google, instead it takes them back to the page they were just on.

The first report I found came in last night in the Google Web Search Help and said:

When I do a search on google and then click on one of the search results on the results page, my browser goes to a URL like

and then it gets automatically forwarded to the actual result.

Unfortunately, this means that when I try to click "back" to get back to my list of results, I cannot - I keep getting stuck on this forwarding page which keeps forwarding me to the result. This happens no matter what I search for.

Google confirmed this is not a malware issue but rather a test Google is running that has a bug in it. Jaime from Google said:

You may have been randomly selected to be part of one of our many experiments that helps us evaluate our results and test small changes. Clearing your cookies likely removed you from that experiment. However, even in the experiment, the redirect should not have interfered with your browser's Back button.... I'm curious if this is a bug in one of the experiments, simply an anomalous glitch, or some other conflict.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Update: Jaime updated the thread today at 1:30pm (EST):

Update: This is indeed a bug affecting Internet Explorer 8 users. We have a fix and are in the process of rolling it out, so you should have Back button functionality restored later today (within a few hours if all goes well).

Many thanks to those of you who reported this problem -- the details you provide are always helpful in figuring out where the problem lies and whom it's affecting.

My apologies for any confusion or inconvenience.

Thanks again, Jaime

The fix is not yet out, but hopefully soon.

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John Rogers

05/26/2010 03:57 pm

I too am having this problem with the back button, it's only started in the last few days and is most annoying.


05/26/2010 04:38 pm

It is a pain in the * might give one of the other engines a go.

Lynne Gibbons

05/26/2010 06:47 pm

So is there a solution/correction?

Barry Schwartz

05/26/2010 06:52 pm

Lynne, not yet, but hopefully soon.

Claudia Bruemmer

05/27/2010 01:11 am

I suddenly lost the default to my google ig personalized page as homepage. IE8 goes to When I tried to reset homepage by going to tools, internet options, couldn't do it. Click on tools and nothing happens. There's something wrong wrong with the top menu (text superimposed on text). Very strange and that's why I read this post about the back button. Did anyone report losing the default to their homepage? I can get the homepage by typing in but it does not go there when I open and I can't reset from the main google home.


05/27/2010 01:49 am

hmmm... Google bug that only affects IE users. that'd be a great way to make someone switch browsers. But which browser to pick...

Claudia Bruemmer

05/27/2010 04:43 pm

Everything was straightened out today. I get my personal homepage when I open IE8. But that was not the case yesterday when I got Guess it was a temporary glitch.

Tom Holmes

05/27/2010 07:04 pm

I had the same "back button" issue with Google and IE8. I switched to Bing and the problem went away. I've been running clean for three days now....

Chet Gustavson

07/28/2010 08:45 pm

Don't know if this is the same problem you're all talking about, but I've noticed for several months now that when I do a search in google, no matter how many or few pages of search results I look through, when I clidk the drop down button next to the back button, it will only allow me to go back to the first page of search results. If I want to go back to google, I have to click the back button one more time. No this is not life threatening, but it sure is annoying. I use the drop down button instead of the back button specifically because I want to go back to google in one move. I'd like to go straight back to google and skip the search results I've already looked at. It's been like this for several months, so I doubt it's a test. I tried using yahoo again for the first time in several years, and I didn't have this problem there. Google tends to give better search results, but I'll switch to yahoo if this annoying glitch with the back button/drop down button doesn't get sorted out pretty soon.


10/21/2010 02:36 am

It's not just a IE 8. I'm experiencing the same glitch with FF 3.6.


10/21/2010 02:37 am

It's not just IE 8. I'm experiencing the same glitch with FF 3.6.


12/20/2010 11:29 am

I'm using opera 10. sometin, and i still have the bug...

Dan Costantino

03/29/2011 03:26 pm

I'm having this problem with Google Chrom 11.0.696.25 beta running on Mac OS 10.5.8 ....


06/04/2011 07:56 pm

Me too! Chrome and Mac OS. Just started today. Driving me crazy.


06/05/2011 11:35 pm

It's not just IE!  It is happening on Google Chrome and Safari on my Mac as well. 

Jaime's Mom

09/18/2011 10:04 am

Not just IE8 -- it happens in IE9, too. Sounds like Jaime is pissing on us and saying it's raining.


09/29/2011 01:43 pm

Having this problem too. Obviously google dislike IE, but causing this kind of crap for us IE-users doesn't make me more motiviated to change to Chrome. It just makes me pissed of on google.


10/01/2011 03:15 pm

Ha!  It is now October 1, 2011 and the "bug" is still in full force.  Face it.  Google programmers have finally accomplished the impossible ... they have reached the bottom of the barrel.  Better hope that barrel doesn't break.


10/23/2011 07:36 am

And it's not out yet either. Still happening in now in Chrome ver 14.


11/07/2011 04:50 pm

They finally fixed it with the new version!!  It's called "YAHOO" !!!


12/06/2011 09:06 pm

I honestly don't understand why they can't fix this! I see how selling out to instant search could line Google's pockets, but how does their program not working help anyone?


01/20/2012 04:33 pm

This problem with the back button (I'm experiencing it too) not working on IE8 is just one of very many problems/annoyances with google products. These guys are just getting too big and don't test their code/updates before releasing.  They would rather put out half tested code and let their users suffer and find the problems for them. Just take what has happened with Youtube since they purchased it, pure crap because of constant bugs  in their updates.  Far cry from the Google that customers grew to respect when they first introduce the Google search engine. Back then they were admired for their designs/quality. Now they are becoming more like arrogant Microsoft and constantly releasing buggy/poorly designed code/products. I've worked for 30 years as a systems programmer/engineer and understand very well what happens when a company  puts quality, customer concern & costomer service on the back burner. Soon they will understand also if they don't discontinue this practice.


03/22/2012 10:15 pm

This is so annoying! I hate how Google has it redirect to something like I mean, seriously. What's the point of this. Why don't they just send an AJAX request when a link is clicked to let their system know that we're clicking on that link instead of going to /url because this breaks the back button functionality because when you go back, it is going back to the redirect page so it won't allow you to go back. Seriously Google, fix this!! I have to hold down my back button and then click the search results page because the url redirect is stuck in my history as well. 


04/26/2012 09:23 am

I cannot use my back button on the majority of sites reached via Google.  This has now been going on for a week and I'm fed up with it!


04/30/2012 10:00 am

This has just this minute happened to me and is really affecting my work. Is there now a fix for this problem?


05/07/2012 05:44 pm

when will this be fixed


06/05/2012 06:46 pm

Shame on google. I dont like the way the play with my browser in order to force me to use their crap. I dont like how they make me loose my precious time only for their owm interrests. I dont want to use a browser developped by "amateur" programmers who dont even care about 28,8 % of their users (IE) and who can introduce **major** bug like this in the field.. I think people should uninstall google chrome to protest against their lack of respect and professionalism. Shame on google.


06/05/2012 07:03 pm

PROCEDURE TO FIX THE BACK BUTTON PROBLEM I'm experiencing the same probleme with the Back button. I spoke with google supoprt about this problem and here is how to FIX the problem - Remove Google Chrome with the Add remove programs Results : Internet explorer now works pefectly, the behavior of the back button is like before


06/06/2012 12:51 am

Still not fixed . . . . very annoying and makse other search engines appear more attractive !!!! you guys had better fix it now !


08/09/2012 12:34 pm

I'm experiencing this issue in Firefox(havn't tested IE or Chrome, installed but *rarely* use), definately sounds like the exact issue i'm having and it's not a browser problem. The issue is with the search results having some new onmousedown event handler which passes you onto some redirect procedure. I didn't spend long working out the exact cause, instead i wrote myself a simple Greasemonkey script to strip all the search results of the "onmousedown" attribute, and the links all work as they use to, i can click back... var searchresultlinks = document.body.querySelectorAll("a.l"); for( var index = 0, linkleg = searchresultlinks.length; index < linkleg; index++ ) searchresultlinks[index].onmousedown = null;

Sergio Caponi

09/02/2012 03:39 pm

For google chrome its fixed, but youtube still doesn't work, unless you unintstall the youtube app from the chrome web store :/


09/02/2012 10:37 pm

Yep, no doubt about it......REMOVING GOOGLE CHROME WORKS !!! I have IE9 and and I wonder if anyone has a patch for IE yet?


10/17/2012 09:28 pm

Having the same issue.


10/17/2012 09:29 pm

Don't have Chrome though.

craig goslan

12/08/2012 03:00 pm

A solution would be for Google to revert back to a working version, or, to use another search engine. I'd go for the second option.


02/22/2013 08:43 pm

FF 18.0.2 does it


07/14/2013 06:36 am

I'm using IE 10 and it happens frequently, but not always. My solution is to place cursor on the back arrow top left corner of the IE screen, and hold the mouse button down. The last 9 visits show, and you scroll past the Google redirect script to where you want.


07/27/2013 05:34 pm

I'm using the latest version of Maxthon (mx4.1.0.4000) and I ALSO have been experiencing this EXACT issue for about 2-3 years. I also had Chrome, but when I uninstalled it, I continue to have this issue with Maxthon! WTF. I changed my default search engine to BING, and everything works GREAT!! Google, get your stuff together; you're starting to die. A total destruction of Youtube, a force feeding of Google+, and Google is the lousiest search engine. To name a few. Gosh.


09/12/2013 06:05 pm

I have had this problem for months and it's getting pretty freaking annoying not to just be able to click back and go back to the search results. I'm using IE10 and I have to hit the drop down key to be shown the immediate browser history, so I can directly choose to go back two pages worth and skip over the link that bounces me back to the page I was just on; double clicking the back button no longer seems to be effective; nor is it something I'd want to get into the habit of while on a page that I didn't arrive on from google....


09/13/2013 01:26 am

I have IE 10 and became so frustrated with the google search back button not taking me back to the Google search page I finally looked for a solution. I uninstalled Google Chrome as suggested further down in these comments (was the easiest solution :) ) and IT WORKED! No more wasting time hitting the back button!


09/15/2013 06:20 am

This is happening with the latest version of the Opera browser in September, 2013.


10/01/2013 04:25 am

I have Win8 64-bit and ie10 and this is still happening. Sometimes I can beat it by clicking on the back browser really really really really fast like beating a timer that makes it act like a refresh button instead of the back button...very annoying yup


10/17/2013 01:34 pm

this is still happening with chrome.

Maxis Veritas

10/17/2013 06:21 pm

LOL at the guy deflecting blame on IE8. Typically PR BS. It is *NOT* related to IE8. It happens on non IE8 machines. It's Google's fault and this guy has the *NERVE* to try to pin the blame on IE8.

Maxis Veritas

10/17/2013 06:24 pm

WTH I just noticed the date of this post. This was 3 years ago and the bug I am experiencing is only a month or two old. GAH!!!


10/20/2013 08:40 pm

This problem isn't happening with Better fix it soon google. We'll all start using bing.


10/22/2013 06:13 pm

This is happening to me and it seems Google v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y fixing it if it started 3 years ago! Here is a workaround. Alongside the "Back" button should be a small down pointing arrow head. Click on this and choose the Google Search line to go back to there. It works but is a nuisance if you are doing a lot of research.


10/23/2013 10:05 pm

Having the click back button twice issue as well on google since Win 8.1/IE 11 update :(


10/28/2013 04:12 pm

I tried uninstalling Chrome and it seemed to work at first, but then started again within a couple of days....


11/04/2013 02:04 am

Ummm, no we won't.


11/23/2013 12:25 pm

IE8 means Internet Explorer 8. Not Windows 8.

Sheila Moore

12/19/2013 02:25 am

Same thing happening to me now in IE10. Very frustrating.


12/27/2013 06:44 am

some of us will, in fact bing brought me here, google didn't


12/28/2013 05:00 pm

This still happens and it is now three years later. It's in Firefox, too.

Kathy Rodgers

01/07/2014 03:22 pm

I did a system restore. That worked for a few search returns then started back up again. This is causing serious time delays in research efforts.


01/16/2014 08:01 pm

I have been waiting for the solution from the Google for about a year. I don't think it's a bug. It's just Google. I am changing to Bing as my default engine. Had enough with this S***!

william sullivan

02/28/2014 06:19 am

bye bye google not happy


03/30/2014 04:02 pm

I have this problem too and resolve it by clicking the back button twice in quick succession.


06/07/2014 06:51 pm

To resolve the issue, turn off Google's Web History tracking. 1. Goto the google search page. Click on "Settings" and in that dropdown, click "Web History". You may have to log in to your Google account. 2. On the Web History page click the gear shaped icon and select "Settings" from the dropdown. 3. On the Web History Settings page, click the button "Turn Off" to turn off Google's web history.

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