Using the Back Button or Previous Page in the Safari Web Browser on the iPad


A participant in my Master Class recently asked this question:

How do I go “back” in Safari? Sometimes the “back” button works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Here’s my reply:

When you tap on a link on a webpage, one of two things generally happens:
1. The link opens in the same window, replacing the current content. Then the back button in Safari should take you back to the previous page.
2. The website author chose to have the link open in a new window or tab. In that case, your current page remains in one tab and the linked page you tapped opens in a new tab in Safari.

If the Back Button is black then you can use it to return to the previous page. If the button is grayed out, then that function is not available.

If the Back button (previous page) doesn’t seem to be working correctly, try one of these solutions:

Settings > Safari > Clear History

End the Safari app from the Multitasking Bar. This will remove the app from memory (iPad RAM). Then you can restart Safari fresh.


About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, has over 30 years experience in educational technology, including teaching, administration and professional development. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. Andy now runs a professional development business, working on site and online to help others make sense and make use of digital tools. He started this iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale to help others become more comfortable and competent with the iPad, in person and online. Click Here for Video Lessons