How-To

How to Open a Link in a New Tab in Firefox

open link new tab firefox - hero

By default, links in Firefox will open in the same tab that you’re already using. Learn how to open a link in a new tab in Firefox instead using this guide.

It’s a common misconception that Firefox was the first browser to introduce tabs. While it’s true that Firefox adding tabs in 2001 was the catalyst for tab browsing to reach the mainstream, the first browser with tabs was InternetWorks back in 1994.

Tabs make browsing much simpler because you can open an entire new webpage without having to open an entire new browser window. And while too many tabs can bring your computer to a grinding halt (Chrome, we’re looking at you here), there are a lot of advantages to opening links in new tabs instead.

By default, however, most links in Firefox will open in the same tab. The good news is that there are a number of ways to force links to open in new tabs instead of in place. Here’s how to open a link in a new tab in Firefox.

How to Open a Link in a New Tab in Firefox Using the Keyboard

One of the simplest ways to open a link in a new tab is to use your keyboard at the same time as your mouse. By holding down the relevant key, any link you click will open in a new tab instead of the current tab.

This means that you can decide whether to open links in place or in new tabs, depending on whether you’re holding down the key when you click.

To open a link in a new tab in Firefox using the keyboard:

  1. Find the link that you want to open.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key on Windows or Cmd on Mac.
  3. Click the link as usual.
  4. The link will open in a new tab.
  5. To open the link in the current tab, click the link as usual without holding down any keys.

How to Open a Link in a New Tab in Firefox Using Your Mouse

If you have a compatible mouse, it’s also possible to open a link in a new tab in Firefox by using the appropriate mouse button. Once again, you can choose whether to open a link in place or in a new tab by selecting which mouse button to use.

To open a link in a new tab in Firefox using your mouse:

  1. Find the link that you want to open in Firefox.
  2. To open it in a new tab, click the link using the middle button of your mouse (if you have one).
  3. To open the link in the current tab, click the link using the left button of your mouse.
  4. If you don’t have a middle button on your mouse, right-click the link and select Open Link in New Tab.

How to Change the Firefox Settings to Open a Link in a New Tab

It’s also possible to change the default settings in Firefox so that some links open in a new tab. However, it’s important to note that this only works for links that have been created that include a HTML snippet that causes them to open in a new tab or a new window (rather than in place).

The majority of links without this code will still open in the current tab, even if you change the Firefox settings.

To change how Firefox handles link clicking:

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click the three lines icon in the top right corner.
    firefox three line menu
  3. Select Settings.
    firefox settings
  4. Under General settings, check Open Links in Tabs Instead of New Windows.
    firefox open links in tabs instead of new windows
  5. Now any link that is intended to open in a new window or tab will always open in a new tab.

How to Use an Extension to Open a Link in a New Tab in Firefox

If you want every link you click to open in a new tab, it’s not possible by changing the Firefox settings. To make it happen, you’ll need to use a Firefox add-on.

There are several add-ons available that are intended to make links open in a new tab. In this example, we’ll be using Tab Mix – Links.

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click the three lines icon.
    firefox three line menu
  3. Select Add-ons and Themes.
    firefox add ons and themes
  4. Click in the search field and search for Tab Max – Links.
    firefox add-ons search field
  5. Select Tab Mix – Links from the search results.
    firefox tab mix - links add on
  6. Click the Add to Firefox button and click Add to confirm your decision.
    firefox add to firefox button
  7. Click the Extensions icon in the toolbar.
    firefox add-ons icon
  8. Select Manage Extensions.
    firefox manage extensions
  9. Click the Three Dots icon.
    firefox three dots icon
  10. Select Preferences.
    firefox preferences
  11. Scroll down and check Force to Open in New Tab and ensure that All Links is selected.
    firefox force top open in new tab
  12. Now any link that you click should open in a new tab.
  13. To stop links from opening in a new tab, click the Add-ons icon and select Manage Extensions.
    firefox manage extensions
  14. Toggle Tab Mix – Links off.
    firefox add-on toggle
  15. Links will now open in the same window. You can turn the feature back on by repeating step 13 and toggling Tab Mix – Links back on.

Managing Tabs in Firefox

Knowing how to open a link in a new tab in Firefox allows you to take more control of your browsing. It means you can open a link without having to lose the page you’re currently on; you can immediately return to that tab to carry on from where you left off.

There are plenty of other ways you can take more control of Firefox. You can learn how to add and remove permissions in Firefox if you want to block sites from accessing your webcam or location. You can learn how to change the Firefox default download folder if you want to save files to a different location. And if Firefox is filling forms with out-of-date information, you might want to learn how to delete autofill entries in Firefox.

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