I was wondering if it were feasible for links posted by users to open in new windows automatically instead of diverting traffic away from the site?

I know for me, when I visit a link someone has posted I hate to leave the question I was on, especially if it's rather engaging.

  • I to find this annoying sometimes, I often use right-click 'Open link in new tab' or similar for non-chrome browsers which is a simple enough workaround that it doesn't matter much to me. That said, not everyone is that tech-savvy and they may not know about the right click option, so it's officially a pickle. :)
    – Dom
    Sep 3, 2013 at 21:03
  • 2
    @Dominic in most browsers you can use Ctrl + Click or click with Mouse3, in case you didn't already know. Much faster than right clicking!
    – JohnB
    Sep 3, 2013 at 21:05
  • Yeah, I use Ctrl (or CMD on my Mac) + Click most of the time. But, I tend to forget more often than not.
    – ckpepper02
    Sep 3, 2013 at 21:06
  • @JohnB That's even better, it still stands that many may not know that though. Maybe a little tool tip would benefit first time visitors. Is Mouse3 a 3 button mouse?
    – Dom
    Sep 4, 2013 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


I disagree with this because you should let the user choose what they want to do.

If all external links are to be opened in a new window by default, then the user has no say in the matter. Sometimes I don't want to open external links in a new window. The way it is now, you can open the links however you want, I'm sure whatever user agent being used will have a keyboard or mouse shortcut to do so

I feel this way about any site, not just SE. In 99.99% of cases, the link behavior should not be dictated by the site. Power to the people!

Here's a good discussion on the matter over at UX: Opening website external links in new window — published usability tests

And here is a discussion with arguments in favor of both ways over at MSO: make links posted by users open in a new window

  • I can see your point.
    – ckpepper02
    Sep 3, 2013 at 21:01

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