Tip: Easily open links in new tabs by pressing the scroll wheel on your mouse

I have been doing this for a long time now but it occurred to me some people may not know this nifty trick. Often times when I browse the web I come across multiple links that I want to follow. Since I can’t view multiple links in the same tab without risk of losing some links, I like to open links in new tabs, allowing me to easily switch between pages/websites as I desire. To open links in new tabs, I simply click on links with the scroll wheel on my mouse. In other words, instead of left-clicking on links I scroll-click on links; using the scroll wheel to click on links opens link in new tabs instead of the current tab.

For those of you with two button mice, you obviously can’t scroll-click with a scroll wheel you don’t have. So, instead, if you want to open links in a new tab hold Ctrl on your keyboard while left-clicking on a link — that will open the link in a new tab.

If you prefer opening links in new windows instead of tabs, you can do that by holding Shift on your keyboard while left-clicking on a link.

The best part? All the above tricks work in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Opera on Windows (I am not sure about other operating systems) with one exception: Shift clicking won’t open a link in new window for Opera.

[Thanks Bruce and Rob (Down Under). | Image credit: FHKE]


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  1. Rob (Down Under)

    I have received two more of those mice (mouses).
    One was also easy to click, the other was less easy.
    Winchester 73 was one in a Million.
    Mine are two in a Million.

    At that price, I suggest you order three or four, and give the ‘less easy’ ones to strong friends.

    PS I use a PS2 KVM to network my PCs, and PS2 KVM’s are very fragile/finicky at boot up time, if they don’t see a PS2 mouse and keyboard connected.
    Does anyone know of a PS2 mouse that requires extremely light pressure to click the left button ?

  2. Rob (Down Under)

    In Ashraf’s other web page –
    Someone suggested K-Melon to me.
    He recently answered two queries that I had.
    Whilst browsing the extensions, I just noticed this extension –
    – – – Open in Same – – –
    forces links that open in new tabs or new windows to open in the current tab
    menu entry: link context>open in same tab
    extra notes: –
    versions supported: 1.1.x – 1.5.x – 1.6.x

    Might be considered using a sledgehammer to crack a Walnut (by using another browser), but if the need is great enough ?

  3. Damon

    I won’t pretend I knew that trick. :-) I have impressed a few coworkers with it already. I just recently learned that holding the Windows button and clicking the ‘L’ key quickly locks the computer. Please keep the tips coming.

    Do you know a trick to open a link in the same window? (A link that is designed to open in a new tab or window?)

    A few months ago you had everyone post their favorite tech sites. A great post would be have everyone write their favorite Windows trick and/or shortcut. Maybe you can even make little articles/posts from your favorites that we mention, when things slow down here.

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    You are welcome.
    If you weren’t joking about your hand problems, I long ago made a conscious decision to never use the scroll wheel.
    There is too much mucking about with your hand, if you are using the scroll wheel.
    I have never felt that there was anything that I was precluded from doing, by avoiding that wheel.
    Whereas my suggested use of the middle knuckle to push down with the 2nd finger, involves no manipulation of any kind.

    PS It was Winchester 73

  5. Rob (Down Under)

    New Gray USB Wired Optical Scroll Wheel 3D Mice Mouse For Laptop PC Notebook
    $2.69 free postage

    I have ordered two more, but won’t get them for a couple of weeks.
    I suppose there is a chance mine was one in a million like James Stewart’s Winchester 63
    So if, any of you order before I test the next two, I don’t mind being sued ($2.69)

  6. Jeanjean

    @ Ashraf
    It was a joke. I was thinking of a American Television comedy called “Bewitched” (1964-1972) where the witch only has to move the tip of his nose to run a spell or to move something.

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Jay: Glad you like it.

    @anonymail: You are welcome!

    @Rob (Down Under): Mah bad Rob! I missed that PPSyou made. I have been out all day and only got home now so I couldn’t make the update earlier — but you are now given full credit!

    @Paranoid Lloyd: LMAO @ 4/5 kangaroos.

    @Rob (Down Under): o_O Well at least you got the notifications, haha…

    @Jeanjean: With the nose? You lost me, what do you mean?

    @ebony: You are welcome!

    @Rob (Down Under): Want to share with us which mouse that is, so others can purchase it if need be?

    @Ranjan: :-) Glad you like it

  8. Rob (Down Under)

    I am extremely prone to RSI , such as sore tendon in my left button clicking finger.
    I have to search the world (China via eBay) to get a mouse with a very light pressure required to click it.
    I too have been using the center click for a long time, and it does not damage my finger at all.
    I am never sure which finger is called Index finger etc.
    If I call the finger closest to the thumb, finger 1, then the next finger 2, normally rests on the scroll wheel.
    All I do is depress the wheel.with finger 2. I don’t reposition it in any way, I just press down where it was resting.

  9. Jeanjean

    This tip does not specifically relieve the joints of my fingers (I personally find it more difficult to operate the wheel as the mouse buttons).
    Is there no other way ?… with the nose, for example ?

  10. Rob (Down Under)

    @Paranoid Lloyd:
    I’m starting to feel better

    PS When I was about to send this post, I noticed that once again I had forgotten to click that darn checkbox. So I ticked it.
    But that means that your post should not have been seen by my email Inbox.
    And yet I got your email.
    Methinks that there actually is a higher power, and he intervened, because he felt I was hard done by.
    “Now who could argue with that” (Blazing Saddles, in the church.)

  11. Rob (Down Under)

    Don’t I get an ‘attaboy’ as well ?
    I mentioned it on one of your pages a couple of days ago
    Post 13 (the PPS at the bottom) on –

    PS Just followed the link for ‘Bruce’ where he was lamenting the difficulty in opening ….. in Chrome.
    My post (not long afterwards), was trying to answer his need.
    And I didn’t get a mention.
    I feel a wee bit left out.