Open search results in a new tab

From a few posts and comments I’ve read in the last couple of days, it seems to me there is a hidden behavior and preference in Firefox that is not very well know: By default, if you press Alt while pressing Enter in the search bar, you will get the search results in a new tab. The same goes for the location bar.

If you find yourself always doing this, you can make it the default behavior by setting browser.search.openintab to true in the advanced preferences (enter about:config in the location bar).

Now behavior is reversed: when you press Enter in the search bar it will automatically open the results in a new tab. If you want to open them in the current tab, then press Alt + Enter.

In case you wonder, I believe this behavior is as old (and undiscoverable) as Firefox.

Edit: Yochanan points out in the comments that you can also middle-click on the search button to automatically open search results in a new tab. It also works with the go button in the location bar. Thanks!

7 thoughts on “Open search results in a new tab”

  1. Pingback: Abrir búsquedas en una nueva pestaña « Un Mundo Libre
  2. While this is a useful feature, the pref. that enables it is no longer supported. It hasn’t been fully removed yet, but it only half-works (try clicking the search icon with the mouse), and it’s not clear how much longer it will survive. It will continue to be available if you use an extension like Tab Mix Plus, though.

    1. It’s a shame to no longer support such a useful feature.
      In my opinion, this should be the default action when searching, because you generally don’t want your current page to be overwritten.
      Fortunately, Tab Mix Plus is now officially updated for Firefox 3.

  3. This was my pet peeve when I switched from Netscape 9 to Firefox. In Netscape 9, you can specify in the Tab Preferences to open all search results either in the active tab or in a new tab. As there was no option in Firefox to do this, I had to experiment with different keystroke combinations to make the search results open in a new tab.

  4. To everyone, use Tab Mix Plus instead, for this and many other features usable in a easy way. Like full control of where your links/search queries/url inputs/etc. open and other stuff.

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