Please stop creating links with target=”_new”.

Just stop. This is wrong; instead, use this:


I don’t know who started these nasty rumors that “_new” would open up in a new browser. As far back as I can tell, no browser has ever recognized “_new”.

The whole point of the target dates back to when browsers used frames to split up your browser. If you had a link in a sidebar on the left, and you wanted that link to open up in the main frame to the right, you would specify “main” as the name of that frame in your frameset page, and target=”main” in your links on the sidebar. When the user would click on a link in the sidebar, the browser would say “hmm, I’m supposed to open this up in the ‘main’ frame, do I have one named that?”. If it didn’t, it would open up the link in a new window, and give that window the name of the target of the link. This is what would happen with target=”_new”; a new browser would open up with a name of “_new”.

The problem is this if you click on this first link, then read it and go “oh that’s interesting” and click on some links in it to goto further pages on it, everything seems fine. But then if you click this second link below, and then the third link, they open up in the same browser!

If only they had a target of “_blank”, they would all open up in a new browser every time.

It’s a simple fix. Just stop using target=”_new”.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – Inigo Montoya

Or just stop opening links in new browsers all together; it has been considered bad usability for over a decade now. The user will open your links up in a new window if they want to.


  • Posted January 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Outstanding post however , I was wondering if you could write a
    litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Many thanks!

  • Posted February 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    This is a amazing posting as always good friend

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    Posted September 16, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

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  • Phil cordero
    Posted February 14, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Hey just thank for an awesome forum and expertise! In my own builds, I like 3/4″ poly pro with (at times) 7/8″ HDPE connectors. I use a variety of led strips. My biggest challange so far has been power! What I found is that I can use appropriate sized heat shrink tubing. The packs flex somewhat into the torus and using mini polarized connectors makes changing packs easier plus I get away from spring connectors! I split the hoop in two and use two li ion packs. This also balances well. The other thing I have found is that splitting one of the connectors length wise and attaching this “service door” with screws (cams possible) gives me an easy way to attach switches, voltage converters, cell charging protecting and hide a charging lead if I want to charge cells in place. I am having to split strips in half because of power hungry strips but can now run with two battery packs which seems to work. Again kudos and you ARE the goto guy!

    • Philihp
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      Thanks! Glad to hear you’re having success!

  • Posted September 26, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I know a lot of sites that use _new and then use javascript to detect those links.

    If it’s a desktop, they open the links in a new window, and if it’s a small screen, it creates a new anchor element with a target of _blank and opens in a new tab as usual.

    So you can use it for social sharing links to get a similar effect to the official sharing buttons, whilst defaulting to standard behaviour on mobile devices.

    See here:

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