Force Safari to Open Target Links in New Tab Rather Than Window in Mac OS X

Oct 21, 2009 - 5 Comments

Safari icon

Mac users can issue a defaults command string to force Safari to open targeted new window links into new tabs instead of those new windows. This is handy if you open a lot of links that would usually launch a new window but would rather send them into easily managed tabs instead.

We’ll use a defaults command string to force Safari to open target = “_blank” links into new tabs rather than new windows. To get started, open the Terminal and type the following command:

defaults write TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true

Then restart Safari and from here on anytime you click a link targeted as _blank it will open in a new tab.

You can reverse this behavior and go back to the default new windows instead by typing:

defaults write TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool false

I think opening these links in a tab makes a lot of sense and I’m not sure why Safari defaults to new windows, or has this feature so hidden.

Note that modern versions of Safari have an option to always open new links into tabs by default, so this is really best for the Mac users out there who are running prior releases without such support.


Related articles:

Posted by: David Mendez in How to, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. I am an iPad air2 home user new Jan 2015, and think I’m locked somehow locked into a RSS feed on 2 social media sites, I of which is a Health one. I think I’ve cocked up with them and just want email notifications only to access their sites. My iPad is acting like an iPhone – Apple told me they both operate on different iOS softwRe. If I buy an app I always choose iPad option never iPhone co’s I don’t have an iPhone but since the RSS feed on the social websites which both assured me their OS would work with iPad I don’t think it does! It’s messing up my use of the iPad, I’ve lost some of the original apps, like camera and FaceTime and can’t find any way to replace them. I had a brain haemorrhage and now am not good with technical info but please can you help me?

    • Tony says:

      Shirley, if your iPad software is misbehaving often the best solution is to restore it. In your case, it sounds like you may want to backup your iPad first, and then restore your iPad. Back it up so you don’t lose your stuff. If something is messed up with iOS, a restore often can fix it. You should contact Apple to walk you through the process if you aren’t savvy enough to do it on your own, quite understandable as these are technical tasks, but official Apple Support is built to handle exactly things like this.

      This article is for Safari on Mac OS X and forcing links to open into new tabs rather than windows, it won’t be of much assistance to iPad issues since OS X and iOS are entirely different and the commands do not work across platforms.

  2. […] Force Safari to open target links in new tab rather than window […]

  3. […] trick oczywi┼Ťcie nie jest mojego autorstwa, pochodzi z OS X Daily, ale postanowi┼éem go “przepisa─ç” ze wzgl─Ödu na to, ┼╝e jest to bardzo przydatna […]

  4. Murphy says:

    Nice one. You can also hold command when you click. If you have the status bar displayed at the bottom of Safari you’ll see it change to new tab when you hover with Command pressed.

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