How do I force a link to open in a new tab?.
Most links on websites open in the same browser tab. You probably don’t mind too much. However, if you are not done with the current web page yet, prefer to navigate to linked pages later, or want to compare data, you should start them in separate tabs. However, reusing the Open Link in New Tab context menu item is too slow and quickly becomes tedious.
Luckily, you can force your browser to open any link in a new tab using just your keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. Some browsers also support extensions that do this automatically.
Open Link in New Tab Using Keyboard and Mouse/Trackpad
On both PC and Mac, selecting links in combination with a specific key or keys on your keyboard forces the browser to open the link in a new tab. This works in any browser, be it Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Opera. Alternatively, you can only use your mouse or trackpad to download links in new browser tabs.
Using the keyboard with mouse / trackpad
You can load any link into a new browser tab by Control-clicking (Windows) or Command-clicking (Mac) on it. Each tab loads in the background, so this is the perfect way to open multiple links as you move around a web page.
Alternatively, you can Shift + Ctrl (PC) or Shift + Command (Mac) click a link. In this case, the link should open not only in a new tab but also move to it.
Use mouse or trackpad only
If you are using a mouse, a simple middle-click on the link will immediately open it in a new browser tab! Holding down the Shift key while pressing the middle button also helps to automatically switch to the tab.
On trackpads on Windows laptops, links can also be opened in new tabs. To do this, you have to simulate a middle-click by clicking or tapping with three fingers. You can customize the middle click by going to Settings> Devices> Touchpad.
How to Use Extensions to Force-Open Links in New Tabs
If you don’t like using your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad in unusual ways to open links in new tabs, or if you are at a physical disadvantage, then browser extensions can help. Some browsers also have the ability to open links in new tabs rather than new windows.
Let’s say you’re using Google Chrome, go to the Chrome Web Store and look for open links in new tabs. You should be able to find several extensions that offer a force link download feature on new browser tabs.
For example, the Open in New Tab extension makes it easy to open links in the background. Once added to Chrome, simply select the extension from the browser menu and turn on the toggle to activate it for the site you’re viewing.
Another extension, called Right Click Opens Link in New Tab, lets you customize the right mouse button or trackpad gesture to open links in the background or foreground.
If you’d like to extend support for your preferred extension to enable incognito windows in Chrome, open the Extensions menu and choose Manage Extensions> Details. Then turn on the toggle next to Allow in incognito mode.
The Firefox add-on store also contains several extensions that can open links in new tabs. An example is “Open Link with New Tab“. Just install it and every link you come across should open in a new tab. To manage how the extension works, go to Add-Ins and Themes> Extensions.
In addition, Firefox provides a built-in option that allows you to force links to load in tabs rather than new windows. To activate it, open the Options page in Firefox, select the General tab, and select the Open links in tabs instead of the new windows check box.
Safari has no extensions (at the time of writing) that can automatically open links in new tabs, so you have no choice but to rely solely on your keyboard and mouse / trackpad.
However, it does provide control over links that open in new windows. Go to Safari> Preferences> Tabs and set Open pages in tabs instead of windows to Automatic. This should encourage such links to only open as tabs.
Chromium-based browsers (Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi)
Unlike Google Chrome, Chromium-based browsers like Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi lack special extensions that can help force links to open on new tabs. However, they use the same engine as Google Chrome. This means you can install Chrome extensions, for example, right-clicking opens a link in a new tab to get similar functionality.
Microsoft Edge: Go to the Microsoft Edge extensions page and turn on the toggle next to Allow extensions from other stores. Then visit the Chrome Web Store and install the extension you want.
Vivaldi: You don’t have to do anything! Just go to the Chrome Web Store and add the extension you want.
Open Links in New Tabs: Choose Your Method
As you just saw, you have several ways to open links in new browser tabs. It’s easy to get used to using your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. But if this isn’t your cup of tea, a browser extension is all you need. Sorry Safari lovers!
Now that this is solved, learn how easy it is to switch between tabs in any browser.
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