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Stop opening links in new tab in modern pages

Please stop opening links in a new tab by default in modern pages.

It is against standard web behaviour (https://www.w3.org/TR/2012/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20120103/G200), and is confusing to users when they end up with 10+ tabs open when navigating even the simplest site.

Make it optional by all means, it makes sense in a number of cases, just please not by default.

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Cameron Monks shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

In modern pages, we open links within SharePoint in the same tab by default, and external links in a new tab. In the text web part, users can specify to open links in a new tab, but that isn’t the default behavior. Similarly, for navigation links, they follow the same rule (within SharePoint, same tab, external to SharePoint in a new tab). This is true of the modern web parts that support linking as well (hero, quick links, images, etc.) This is the pattern we’ve adopted for consistency.

After reviewing other areas of modern sites, like the site pages library, document libraries, lists, site contents, etc. we did find some different opening behaviors which we’ll review and resolve.

Can you help us understand if this pattern isn’t meeting your expectation, if we have some inconsistencies within modern pages we’ve missed, or if it’s the other areas of modern sites where we need to focus more attention?

197 comments

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In Microsofts response you mention that the Quick Links webpart is supposed to open SharePoint links in the same tab and external links in a new tab this is NOT The behavior our Quick Links part exhibits it ALWAYS opens the links in a new tab, native SP links or external. Please fix this or better yet allow us to decide in the Link configuration how to handle the link. My users get very confused when they end up with tons of tabs open by just trying to navigate around.

  • Deepu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The pattern does meet our expectation and making it consistent with the pattern should resolve the issue to a great extent. Please look into links that open up in a different tab while clicking on a Document Set too. As of now, that's different from how a Folder is clicked in a library.

    Having said that, if the "open in a new tab" option was a configuration item in the list/library/site settings, that would be much better, as there might be use cases where a client would like to have it based on sites or libraries.

  • willman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This seems to plague content authors more than anyone else. It seems like most of the links in a page library opens in a new tab, so content authors who edit a few different pages suddenly find that they have ten tabs open.

    In my opinion, all hyperlinks, whether in the SharePoint UI, list webpart, or in authored rich content, should always default to opening in the current tab unless the content author or admin has specifically checked a box for that link to do otherwise.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I wanted to contribute a related comment on "different opening behaviors" that depart from the typical SharePoint=same tab; non-SharePoint=new tab:

    When I click any Quick Link that points to a List library within the same site, it opens in a new tab. Site page quick links open in the same tab.

  • Bill Burke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I inserted an external link into a news item:

    https://www.businesswire.com/

    According to what you said on 5/15/2019:

    "In modern pages, we open links within SharePoint in the same tab by default, and external links in a new tab"... it opened in the same tab.

    MS, why are you making this difficult?

    Do you not believe us?

    Is this an "it works on my pc" situation?

    Or are you purposely trying to deceive us?

  • David commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I find that for the most part links within a SharePoint site do open in the same browser tab. However, I did find that opening Office documents in a library opened in a new tab, as did pages within a page library. This seems to be inconsistent with what Microsoft said should be occurring in their May 15, 2019 response.

    Also, the link to the W3 recommendation from the original poster of the issue no longer seems to work. I found the information at http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/general/G200, and W3 recommends only opening a tab in two situations:

    1. Opening a new tab would cause a disruption in a workflow. For example, you are filling out a form and there is a link to help information. The help information should open in a new tab so as not to disrupt filling out the form.
    2. When you are logged into a secure site, and the link takes you to an external site that would cause it to terminate your logon.

    The W3 page references this resource https://www.webcredible.com/blog/beware-opening-links-new-window/ that discusses why links should not be opened in a new tab.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Created a Collaboration Sharepoint Online page and any links for Document Libraries placed in Quick Links will open in a new tab. If the URL goes to a Sharepoint Site, it will open the site on the same page. Please give the option to open those links in the same window.

  • Nick S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'm in the same boat -- most links open in a new tab on modern sites/pages. Very frustrating.

  • mdjones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi, any update on this? I have added the images with text overlay as a link, and there is no option to open this link in the current tab. it defaults to open as a new tab. (other link settings have the option to select your default option).

  • marion.hartmann commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Since I'm working in office.com I feel like I'm having a new job - closing tabs, tabs, tabs, tabs. Totally annoying feature, sorry! Is there a solution to suppress these behavior? I really hate to be controlled like that and want the control back!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't think this works as per the recent reply dated May 15, 2019. This is on-prem (havent tested O365) and quick links do open in a new tab/window.

  • Patric Schielke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have some images on a modern page and they have links to point to subsites of the same root site collection. The links open up in new tab which of course is annoying and not what I or the users want. I don't understand why you write that it should work already for images, it doesn't look that way to me.

  • Barry Lane commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Following your post of the 15th of May 2019. I can confirm that the list behaviour does not meet expectations. When opening links within SharePoint it opens a new tab. This is not satisfactory behaviour and will damage adoption with the business. When will this be resolved?

  • Damien commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please fix! It is annoying having links from the same enviroment (SharePoint Tenant) randomly open in new windows. Link to document library open in new window. Link to list open in new window. Any link in the Quick Links Web Part Open in new window. At the least provide an option to choose to "Open in New Window" we do this all the time when using the classic model and display templates. Default open in same window, unless specific otherwise. Let the user decide the standards they need. Do not force a standard especially when it is random.

  • Jeffrey Oliver commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are using the "Quick Links" web part on our modern home page. Links we add to this web part that point to resources on the same site (e.g. a folder in a document library") open in a new window when users click the link... This behaviour is not what you describe in "TELL US MORE" above.

  • BD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How about the flip side of this: When I use my middle mouse button to open in a new window, sometimes it just continues to open in the same one. This happens a lot in the settings menu and other areas. Basically, anytime there's an override of default web browser behavior like this, it just feels broken.

    The internal/external argument is a bit more problematic, but I'd lean towards the same window, again it should be a user choice.

  • Bill Burke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    FWIW I found this on GitHub

    https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/OfficeDocs-SharePoint/blob/live/SharePoint/SharePointOnline/plan-navigation-modern-experience.md

    Many usability guidelines recommend limiting the number of new windows that are automatically opened for site visitors. Most of the time, opening a link in the same window allows site visitors to use the back button when they want to return to your site. When a visitor wants to open a link in a new window, the guidelines recommend that the visitor be allowed to choose this outcome (by “right clicking” on the link). An exception to this guideline is the recommendation to always open documents in a new window to prevent users from accidentally closing the browser window when they close the document.

    By default, navigation links on modern SharePoint sites open as follows:

    Link points to a page or site in the same tenant (same site or another site): Links open in the same tab

    Link points to a document (same site or different site): Links open in a new tab

    Link points to an external (internet) site or document: Links open in a new tab

    In classic SharePoint sites with publishing features, you can choose to open navigation links in a new window. This allows you to consider the context for your site visitors and determine whether it might be helpful to open a link in a new window. There is no way to select how navigation links open in modern SharePoint sites.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The average user doesn't care (in my experience most don't even realise) whether a link is internal or external.

    On the flip side, some links seem to be handled with an onClick action, which prevents the option of opening in a new tab.

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