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Dave's Beginners Guide to the Internet

Browser Basics

Part II

Using the Back, Forward, and Stop buttons

The most important buttons of your web browser are back, forward, and stop.

If you click the back button right now, it will probably take you to Browser Basics, Part I (or whatever web page brought you here). Your web browser remembers the last few pages you have been at, so if you press it more than once, it will take you back to the pages you've just visited before this one.

For example, if you came to this page from "Course Index - Dave's Beginners Guide to the Internet" and you clicked "Browser Basics Part I" then "Browser Basics Part II" one click now on the back button will take you to "Browser Basics - Part I," and a second click on the browser button will take you back to "Course Index."

back diagram

Once you click the back button, your browser remembers the page you were viewing when you clicked the back button. This can be useful if you clicked the back button by mistake. If you clicked it by mistake, just click the forward button, and you'll be where you want to be. You can try out the back and forward buttons now if you'd like, then we'll continue with the stop button.

The stop button stops the current page from loading any more than it already has. Once you click the stop button, sometimes a quarter, fifty percent, or even the full page may be displayed. Sometimes nothing will be displayed at all, it's kind of unpredictable.

If the page you are trying to visit is taking too long to load, you may wish to click the back button to return to the page you came from.

Note: The reload button is pretty much self-explanatory. If you click it, it will reload the current page. If the page was updated, it will display the new information. If nothing was updated, it will display the same thing you had before you clicked reload.

Tip: In today's web browsers, you can have more than one web page open at the same time (in separate windows.) To open another web browser window, Click the (F)ile menu above the back and forward buttons, then choose "New -> Window." It may read a little bit differently depending on which browser you are using.

Tip: What should you do if you see a link you want to click but you want to stay at the page you are visiting? Click the right-side-mouse button once and select "Open (Link) in New Window." Then you can have both pages open at the same time!

Next Chapter: What is the Internet?