I noticed in SharePoint 2010 publishing pages that the page content is being saved if user clicks the browser back button or closes browser tab without warning him if he needs to save content or not? The only warning that comes in this case if page has validation warnings (e.g. if there are any required fields). I and my colleagues found that behavior strange and debatable.

I'm wondering if that behavior is a standard in any other popular CMS? I'm also wondering about what should be done if user clicks the back button/F5/closes browser tab especially for web applications from user experience and usability point of view.

P.S. If there are any documents/links that describes this behavior; user leaves page either by clicking back button, closing tab or F5 and what actions we should do, please post it.

P.S. If there any reference you have for SharePoint publishing page behavior if users clicks the browser back button or closes browser tab or if it is there anywhere in other CMS, please post it.

2 Answers 2


https://i.stack.imgur.com/eaeSB.png :

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  • Wow! It's the first time to notice this. It's not working in Opera :( and that's why I didn't notice it earlier. It's working in Chrome and Firefox.
    – Ahmed Atia
    May 30, 2012 at 13:32
  • do you think that functionality is required for web forms. Any references that mention that behavior from users?
    – Ahmed Atia
    May 30, 2012 at 13:35
  • @Ahmed - it depends on the form and the costs of leaving. SE does this because the potential cost of discarding a post is very high. A short web form? I don't think it's necessary, and I think the costs of harming users who want to leave would outweigh the potential labour savings in that case. May 30, 2012 at 14:46

It's quite common to have the user confirm closing the page and losing data with a JavaScript confirmation dialog.

This makes sense as users might mistakenly expect the web application to conserve their state as desktop applications would.

Technical details are explained in the this question on StackOverflow.

  • I know about the technical solution for this but is it common to have such confirmation in each and every web form? What about other CMS other than SharePoint? And standards here?
    – Ahmed Atia
    May 30, 2012 at 12:31
  • I'm also wondering about the back button and tab closing behavior in SharePoint publishing pages, is that a standard anywhere?
    – Ahmed Atia
    May 30, 2012 at 12:33

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