Back Button

What Does Back Button Mean?

A back button is a basic control used by a variety of technologies. In a Web browser, a back button allows an end user to navigate to a previously viewed Web page. A back button also is a feature of smartphone software and other consumer oriented technologies.


Techopedia Explains Back Button

Considering the role of object-oriented design (OOD) in modern programming is helpful when trying to understand back button functionality. Often represented by a set of generic visual icons, a back button is a control object that programmers code into applications. In alternative technologies like the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers, a back button is represented by code linked to a physical button on a device shell, versus a coded object and icon.

A back button also represents the principle of successive pages as a key Web design component. This is a technology principle utilized by many areas of IT, such as Apple’s early HyperCard program. In these and similar technologies, a complete application is developed and presented to end users as a set of pages or cards, and a back button that is used a critical navigation tool.

It is likely that the back button will continue to be a popular device and application control, as most end users are familiar with the concept of linked pages.


Related Terms

Latest Software Development Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…