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. – Tyler Carter Jan 14 '10 at 23:01
  • What about links that are on the same site vs. an outside site? – Jon Seigel Jan 14 '10 at 23:02
  • 9
    Learn how to use a browser. I suggest SuperUser for your question. – Ladybug Killer Jan 14 '10 at 23:05
  • similar question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2275/… – Jason Jan 15 '10 at 0:33
  • 9
    Ask a 3 button mouse for your birthday ;-) – fretje Jan 15 '10 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 '11 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 '13 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 – almaceleste Mar 7 '18 at 18:52

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. – harperville Apr 2 '20 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. – Lance Roberts Jan 14 '10 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 '10 at 23:02
  • @mmyers, on my laptop if I click both buttons at the same time it behaves the same as a middle click. – Timothy Carter Jan 14 '10 at 23:07
  • 2
    I'm a ctrl+click kinda guy, but each to their own. – Marc Gravell Jan 14 '10 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 '10 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...)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .