Google is Working on a New Feature for Chrome that Speeds Up the Back Button

A new tool in development for the Chrome browser, called “bfcache,” will substantially speed up the back button, something already built into rivals…

Back-and-forth navigation is quite a common behavior when people surf the web. In fact, it accounts for 19 percent of page views on Chrome for Android, as well as 10 percent on Chrome for desktop. So, it’s significant enough to improve UX or user experience here.

Chrome BFCache Tool Speeds Up the Browser Back Button

Google is now working on a new tool which immediately brings page back up as quickly as it does loading a new page. It will work for the back and forward button, alike. 

Although this won’t cause new sites to load any faster, it will address a common, albeit mundane problem. After all, it makes sense to reload pages already visited as fast as possible.

However, this doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. For instance, the bfcache tool would have to ensure the page does not run JavaScript.

Also, it presents the problem of memory load. Even though a suspended page takes less to reload than rebuild, it will nevertheless hog memory resources. (Something Chrome has long had a problem with.)

Google state it aims to release the tool in 2020, after testing it out this year. Rivals Safari and Firefox already have such systems in-place, existing since 2002 and 2005, respectively.

Bill Boyles

Bill is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including apps, social media, and search.