History API

The DOM Window object provides access to the browser's session history (not to be confused for WebExtensions history) through the history object. It exposes useful methods and properties that let you navigate back and forth through the user's history, and manipulate the contents of the history stack.

Concepts and usage

Moving backward and forward through the user's history is done using the back(), forward(), and go() methods.

Moving forward and backward

To move backward through history:

window.history.back()

This acts exactly as if the user clicked on the Back button in their browser toolbar.

Similarly, you can move forward (as if the user clicked the Forward button), like this:

window.history.forward()

Moving to a specific point in history

You can use the go() method to load a specific page from session history, identified by its relative position to the current page. (The current page's relative position is 0.)

To move back one page (the equivalent of calling back()):

window.history.go(-1)

To move forward a page, just like calling forward():

window.history.go(1)

Similarly, you can move forward 2 pages by passing 2, and so forth.

Another use for the go() method is to refresh the current page by either passing 0, or by invoking it without an argument:

// The following statements
// both have the effect of
// refreshing the page
window.history.go(0)
window.history.go()

You can determine the number of pages in the history stack by looking at the value of the length property:

let numberOfEntries = window.history.length

Interfaces

History
Allows manipulation of the browser session history (that is, the pages visited in the tab or frame that the current page is loaded in).

Examples

The following example assigns a listener to the onpopstate property. And then illustrates some of the methods of the history object to add, replace, and move within the browser history for the current tab.

window.onpopstate = function(event) {
  alert(`location: ${document.location}, state: ${JSON.stringify(event.state)}`)
}

history.pushState({page: 1}, "title 1", "?page=1")
history.pushState({page: 2}, "title 2", "?page=2")
history.replaceState({page: 3}, "title 3", "?page=3")
history.back() // alerts "location: http://example.com/example.html?page=1, state: {"page":1}"
history.back() // alerts "location: http://example.com/example.html, state: null"
history.go(2)  // alerts "location: http://example.com/example.html?page=3, state: {"page":3}"

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'History' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from HTML5.
HTML5
The definition of 'History' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
HistoryChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 10Opera Full support 3Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10.1Safari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0
backChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 12Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
forwardChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 12Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
goChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 12Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
lengthChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 12Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
pushStateChrome Full support 5Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes Until Firefox 5, the passed object is serialized using JSON. Starting in Firefox 6, the object is serialized using the structured clone algorithm. This allows a wider variety of objects to be safely passed.
IE Full support 10Opera Full support 11.5Safari Full support 5WebView Android Full support ≤37Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes Until Firefox 5, the passed object is serialized using JSON. Starting in Firefox 6, the object is serialized using the structured clone algorithm. This allows a wider variety of objects to be safely passed.
Opera Android Full support 11.5Safari iOS Full support 4.3Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0
replaceStateChrome Full support 5Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes Until Firefox 5, the passed object is serialized using JSON. Starting in Firefox 6, the object is serialized using the structured clone algorithm. This allows a wider variety of objects to be safely passed.
IE Full support 10Opera Full support 11.5Safari Full support 5WebView Android Full support ≤37Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes Until Firefox 5, the passed object is serialized using JSON. Starting in Firefox 6, the object is serialized using the structured clone algorithm. This allows a wider variety of objects to be safely passed.
Opera Android Full support 11.5Safari iOS Full support 4.3Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0
scrollRestorationChrome Full support 46Edge Full support 79Firefox Full support 46IE No support NoOpera Full support 33Safari Full support YesWebView Android No support NoChrome Android Full support 46Firefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support 5.0
stateChrome Full support YesEdge Full support 12Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.

See also

References

Guides