Open New Windows in Tabs with IE9, IE8, and IE7

   Posted by David Kirk in Windows

Either you use tabs or you do not. If you prefer to use tabs when you browse the Internet, you will naturally want all your new windows and pop-ups to open in tabs. Right? Read on to find out how this can be done.

I believe there are two type of browser users. Either you have multiple browser windows open at once, or you would rather have multiple browser tabs open at once. Previously, only Firefox users had the option to use tabs. Modern versions of Internet Explore have this ability as well.

By default in IE, tabs are enabled. However, a request for a new browser session opens a new window instead. Why is this?

If you hit CTRL and a link, you should expect a new tab to open, not a new window.

Here is how to have new windows and pop-ups default to new tabs:

    1. Open IE.
    2. Click Tools (or the gear symbol in IE9).
    3. Click Internet Options.
    4. Click Settings under the General tab.
    5. Select Always open pop-ups in new tab.
    6. Click OK until you are back in your browser.

You can hold CTRL and click on a link to test. If setup correctly, that should open the link in a new tab instead of in a new window.

These directions work for all versions of Internet Explorer, including IE7, IE8, and IE9.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Truth

    What if I want the opposite, and new windows are opening as tabs?

  • I had new pages in tabs, now my IE7 crazed 🙂

  • Really Ticked Off

    I know this is how is should work but I have adjusted these settings and some links still open in a new window. It used to work normally but all of a sudden I’ve got this annoying problem ( and I didn’t make any changes that could have caused it)…..Arrrrgh!

  • Matt

    i follwed advice above as my IE7 doesnt show tabs for browsing.. but in “Internet opotions/settings” i dont have option to allow tabs… in fact nothing about tabs.. any suggestions any one?

    • Khairul

      There are THREE ‘Settings’ buttons. You need to pick the third and last one, the one underneath the ‘Tabs’ section. Let me know if this helps or not.

  • Pete

    Good Job
    got it first click on your instructions

  • charles

    Thanks buddy it really works fine.

  • Qureshi

    Thanks buddy 🙂

  • Meh Firefox did it better

  • Bernalrm

    wht if i just want a blank tab???

  • loop

    thanks!…but how abt opening links in new tabs by right clicking and selecting “open in a new tab”? Doesnt that exist at all in IE7? If it does, how does one set that?

  • Use Firefox or Chrome Instead

    Please people DO NOT USE IE anymore as per Microsoft, they realised the browser sucks..

  • Ruth

    The Setting process:

    Windows Internet Explorer
    Internet Options
    Tabbed Browsing Settings
    Always open pop-ups in a new tab

    Works for a time, then times out after a while. I have to keep re-setting it each time it resets on its own.

  • joseph

    Thanks for this post, i will post.

  • Donald

    This problem was driving me crazy. Searched for a solution on the web. Yours worked immediately.
    Others were advising to play with the registry which I won’t go near.
    Thanks for your help.