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Browser Back Button Issue after Logout

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20 Feb 2013CPOL2 min read 553.4K   75   53
How to stop user from accessing the previous pages once he/she logs out and presses browser back button
In this tip, you will find a resolution to handle browser's back button once a user has logged out.


Well, I found a lot of people asking for a resolution to handle the browser's back button once user has logged out.

Typically, users report something like:

I am facing issue in my application's logout scenario. After the user login into website, he/she uses it(website) and when done, they do a logout, which leads them back to login page. But the problem is now, from this login page, if I click the browser back button then it again takes the user back to the previous visited page as if logged in. How can I stop user from viewing the previous page once logged out?

The browser Back button is an option to go back to previously visited pages. The back button can be considered as a pointer that is linked to the page previously visited by the user. Browser keeps a stack of the web pages visited as a doubly-linked list.

The back button works by stepping through the history of HTTP requests which is maintained by the browser itself. This history is stored in browsers cache that consists of the entire page content with resources like image and scripts. This enables browser to navigate backwards and forwards through the browser history and have each page displayed instantly from cache without the delay of having it retransmitted over the internet from the server.

Just to handle the scenario of getting page content from server, browsers have a Refresh button that transmits the request to web server and get back the fresh copy of entire page. Internally, this also replaces the copy of the page in the browser's cache.

So, what's the basic reason behind it? It's, browser's Cache!
Now, what can be done to handle the scenario? Surely, on logout event, one does clear the session. Post which, browsers cache needs to be handled such that browser has no history (this will make back/forward button in browser grayed out disabled.) Here are various ways of how one can do it.

Option #1

Set Response Cache settings in code-behind file for a page:

// Code disables caching by browser.

Option #2

Set META tag for HTTP cache settings in your ASPX page header:

<META Http-Equiv="Cache-Control" Content="no-cache"/>
<META Http-Equiv="Pragma" Content="no-cache"/>
<META Http-Equiv="Expires" Content="0"/>

Option #3

Clear browser's history through JavaScript using script tag:

//clears browser history and redirects url
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="javascript">
function ClearHistory()
     var backlen = history.length;
     window.location.href = loggedOutPageUrl

Option #4

Clear browser's history through JavaScript injecting through code-behind file via Response:

protected void LogOut()
     string loggedOutPageUrl = "Logout.aspx";
     Response.Write("<script language="'javascript'">");
     Response.Write("function ClearHistory()");
     Response.Write(" var backlen=history.length;");
     Response.Write(" history.go(-backlen);");
     Response.Write(" window.location.href='" + loggedOutPageUrl + "'; ");

Option #5

Clear browser's history through JavaScript injecting through code-behind file via Page.ClientScript:



As Chris[^] suggested, I would like to add here itself as a part of the Tip/Trick that I would not suggest to use it and mess with browser's history as this is a bad, bad thing.
One should implement it, only if they really need it and are prepared to accept that it is not a good practice.

Lastly, this would not work if one disables JavaScript.


  • 9th December, 2010: Initial version


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Architect Intuit India
India India

A software professional for more than 17+ years building solutions for Web and Desktop applications.

Currently working at Intuit India.

Website: Learn By Insight
Github: Sandeep Mewara
LinkedIn: Sandeep Mewara

Strongly believe in learning and sharing knowledge.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionDon't touch browser history! - vote 1 Pin
Sinisa Hajnal5-Mar-15 0:15
professionalSinisa Hajnal5-Mar-15 0:15 
QuestionWhere to add the ClearHistory function as suggested in JS based solution? Pin
VICK1-Nov-13 0:41
professional VICK1-Nov-13 0:41 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
saguptamca16-Jun-13 23:03
professionalsaguptamca16-Jun-13 23:03 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
grijesh__mnit25-Mar-13 3:43
grijesh__mnit25-Mar-13 3:43 
GeneralMy vote of 3 Pin
grijesh__mnit25-Mar-13 3:14
grijesh__mnit25-Mar-13 3:14 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 Pin
Sandeep Mewara25-Mar-13 3:23
mveSandeep Mewara25-Mar-13 3:23 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 Pin
grijesh__mnit25-Mar-13 3:46
grijesh__mnit25-Mar-13 3:46 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Renju Vinod28-Feb-13 0:56
professionalRenju Vinod28-Feb-13 0:56 
QuestionFirefox Pin
Claes Andskär22-Feb-13 22:26
Claes Andskär22-Feb-13 22:26 
QuestionThanks Pin
db7uk21-Feb-13 9:20
db7uk21-Feb-13 9:20 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Sukh Veer Singh29-Jan-13 22:13
Sukh Veer Singh29-Jan-13 22:13 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
Sandeep Mewara29-Jan-13 23:05
mveSandeep Mewara29-Jan-13 23:05 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
Sukh Veer Singh30-Jan-13 1:59
Sukh Veer Singh30-Jan-13 1:59 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
Arun Selva Kumar B27-Jan-13 20:16
Arun Selva Kumar B27-Jan-13 20:16 
GeneralA syntax error Pin
Thomas Daniels5-Jan-13 6:04
mentorThomas Daniels5-Jan-13 6:04 
GeneralRe: A syntax error Pin
Sandeep Mewara26-Jan-13 20:08
mveSandeep Mewara26-Jan-13 20:08 
GeneralRe: Thanks....i have been clear now...... Pin
Pritesh Aryan29-Apr-11 23:25
Pritesh Aryan29-Apr-11 23:25 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 good article to understand caching s... Pin
Nikhil_S8-Feb-12 18:52
professionalNikhil_S8-Feb-12 18:52 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 very helping article Pin
ManojDhobale9-Jan-12 17:51
ManojDhobale9-Jan-12 17:51 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Nice tip Pin
nagendrathecoder28-Dec-11 19:49
nagendrathecoder28-Dec-11 19:49 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 good one Pin
Prince Antony G13-Dec-11 1:14
Prince Antony G13-Dec-11 1:14 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Nice.. My 5 Pin
Tejas Vaishnav10-Nov-11 19:15
professionalTejas Vaishnav10-Nov-11 19:15 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 dfdgdfg Pin
member6024-Oct-11 18:08
member6024-Oct-11 18:08 
GeneralIf your deleting all of the browser session history, then it... Pin
zenwalker19857-Oct-11 4:39
zenwalker19857-Oct-11 4:39 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Good tip Pin
Sandesh M Patil29-Jun-11 1:33
Sandesh M Patil29-Jun-11 1:33 

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