Browser Windows

Why… on earth… did anybody think it was ever a good idea to give other applications control of existing browser windows. In fact, it seems that the default behavior is often just to junk what you were working on and load a new page in the last window you were using. If it was the window I was using last, who the hell told the computer I stopped using it!?

What I’m referring to is the tendency of other applications (AIM, Trillian, G-Mail Checker, Various Installers, etc.) to load links in an existing browser window. If I still have that window open, that means I’m using it!


I’ve lost so much time this way it’s not even funny.

So right click and choose open in a new window.

There. Problem solved.

As a matter of fact that feature is only available in some applications. I’m not talking about browsing, I’m talking about other applications hijacking my existing bank sessions! For example, G-Mail notifier doesn’t have such functionality. So I always have to open a new blank window, focus on it, then click “Check Mail”. And even that sometimes doesn’t register with it and it opens in something I was reading.

IE 6.0 does have a setting to disallow this sort of thing, but I forget where it is.

Is it TOOLS - INTERNET OPTIONS - ADVANCED - uncheck “reuse windows for launching shortcuts”?

Trillian - at least the latest version - does have a setting in prefs/options for always opening links in a new window. And you can also right-click to choose like Xploder said.

In Firefox, it’s Tools->Options, then click on “Advanced” and go to the “Tabbed Browsing” section.

You can choose to have links from other programs open in the most recent tab/window, in a new tab in the most recent window, or a whole new window.

Hm…you sure it’s not your browser settings? My Gmail notifier always opens in a new window. I just double left-click the little envelope in my toolbar, and it opens a new window for it.

[gasp!] It is. Gosh, thanks. That has also annoyed me indefinitely.

Seems to me that anything opened by another application, and anything that would otherwise open in a new window (target=_blank… like on FARK and links on this board) should open in a new tab by default everywhere. I really do wonder why that’s not just a given.

It could be that most users (or most inexperienced users, which is the population that default behaviour should be tailored to) prefer not to have a large number windows to manage, so replacing the page that they’re currently browsing is better than opening a new window.

Have you tried Firefox? You can set it to always have external applications open links in either new windows or new tabs. In fact, the multiple tabs (pages) in one window was the main reason I switched to Firefox. It’s 100%, so it’s worth at least a try. If you don’t like it, go back to IE.

I am using Firefox exclusively and it seems that even the apps that usually open new IE windows re-use Firefox windows, and I looked for a setting in the gui ANd about:config and couldn’t find it. Where is it!?


Right here:

Well, I’m kinda screwed ther, because IT forces IE to be the default browser. But within Firefox, is there a way to click, say, this link and have it automatically open in a new tab, instead of a new window like it normally would?

Probably not, cuz the HTML for the link explicitly specifies that it should open in a new window.

Apparently the “Tabbrowser Extension” (
allows very fine control over tabs and allows what you want to accomplish.

Acutally yes: right click on the link, and select ‘Open link in new tab’, and instead of the link forcing a new window, it’ll pop open a new tab.

Or at least, that’s how it works for me. (Firefox 1.0.6, no tab-related extensions installed.)

<< Never do anything you wouldn’t want to have to explain to the paramedics. :wink: >>

Um, that linked opened in a new tab for me simply by clicking on it. Might be because I’m using the Tabbrowser Preferences extension, not sure. But I don’t experience any of these issues. As a general rule, applications always open links in a new tab, and when you’re on a particular site, external links open in a new tab.

Love it. Absolutely love tabbed browsing.

Of course, there are times when I end up with 20 or more tabs going, but who cares? :slight_smile:


Tabbed browsing.

I don’t know how I lived without it.

Personally, I hate tabbed browsing. I can manage all my browser windows fine, thank you. But, to each their own.

However, clicking on an external link and having it open in an existing browser window, per the OP, was really annoying. Thanks again to ZipperJJ