Possible Duplicate:
make links posted by users open in a new window

When I follow a link in a question on any question/answer on S[OUF] it doesn't open in a new tab. I think it should. I'm not a big fan of having to use the back button and wait for a page to load all over again.

Why don't all links open in a new tab anyway?

  • 6
    Because generally when people click on links, they don't want to open a new page, they want to move to a new location. Jan 14, 2010 at 23:01
  • What about links that are on the same site vs. an outside site?
    – Jon Seigel
    Jan 14, 2010 at 23:02
  • 9
    Learn how to use a browser. I suggest SuperUser for your question. Jan 14, 2010 at 23:05
  • similar question: Make links posted by users open in a new window
    – Jason
    Jan 15, 2010 at 0:33
  • 9
    Ask a 3 button mouse for your birthday ;-)
    – fretje
    Jan 15, 2010 at 10:38
  • 2
    In the very least this should be considered as a user option somewhere, methinks. I'd like it. Clearly some other people want this functionality too, and it is seen on many other sites. I think these days (as the internet and browsers have evolved with tabs etc) that an external link usually opens a new tab.
    – noelicus
    Nov 30, 2011 at 12:10
  • This feature makes way too much sense to be popular here. For those that want it and use chrome, install the tampermonkey extension and this script: pastebin.com/0rAKbHZu
    – Jonah
    Apr 23, 2013 at 12:44
  • I wrote my own script to open links in new tab and have putted it on stackapps. you could get it here Mar 7, 2018 at 18:52

5 Answers 5


Have all links open in a new tab?


  • Came here to try to figure out the argument against having all [external] links open in new tab. I was "taught" years ago that it was a "best practice". I have since read many arguments against it, primarily, "let the user decide". After reading the answer posted by @timothy-carter it makes more sense and I'm ready to make the shift. A simple "No" doesn't contribute to the discussion so I down-voted it and was then informed by a pop-up that I ought to add a comment as to why. So, here I am. Anyway, the question was closed 10 years ago so I'm surprised I even could down vote it. Apr 2, 2020 at 16:33

While I typically open question in a new tab, I believe making this the default behavior would be unconventional, and remove the user's option to open things as they desire. Additionally, modern browsers/operating systems typically provide you with many mechanisms to achieve this goal. Personally, I'm a fan of the center/wheel click to open things in a new tab.

  • Thanks, didn't know about that trick. Jan 14, 2010 at 23:08

You could right-click and use the context menu to open the link in a new tab.

  • 3
    Or middle-click. I think that works in most browsers (but not on most laptops).
    – mmyers
    Jan 14, 2010 at 23:02
  • @mmyers, on my laptop if I click both buttons at the same time it behaves the same as a middle click. Jan 14, 2010 at 23:07
  • 2
    I'm a ctrl+click kinda guy, but each to their own. Jan 14, 2010 at 23:10
  • Really? I don't think I've tried clicking both at once. I operate the touchpad with my forefinger while resting my thumb on the button, so clicking both at once is somewhat awkward.
    – mmyers
    Jan 14, 2010 at 23:11

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... If you do this, it means that people who just want to browse around the site in one window can't do it.


Even when you forget to use some modifier key or middle-click to open a link in a new tab or window: most browsers allow you to click the back button using the same modifier key. That will then open the previous page in a new tab or window.

(Like in Safari and Firefox on OS X: Command-click a link to open that link in a new tab, or Command-click the Back button to open the previous page in a new tab. This also works for pages further down in the history, like the list shown in Safari when keeping the back button pressed for a second. In Safari and Firefox the new tab will not have any history though; one cannot go back any further from that new tab.)

(Hence: no, please do not open all links in a new tab...)

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