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I want new tabs to open NEXT to current. And when tabs are closed, jump to the next left tab?

  • 7 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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I normally have a lot of tabs open and I am quite tired of how Firefox jumps wildly all over the place whenever I:

• Make a new tab

• Open a link in a new tab

• Close a tab

I would just like Firefox to behave like browsers have always behaved: new tabs appear immediately to the right. And when a tab is closed, focus goes to the tab immediately left.

I don't remember when Firefox started behaving differently but these days it seems to remember the order the tabs were opened or viewed, which causes it to jump all over the place when you simply open or close tabs.

I really think it's about time that Firefox allowed customization of these settings.

For the record, in my about: config, I have browser.tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent set to true, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

I've also tried installing the add-on "Open Tabs Next To Current" but it behaves quite erratically with new tabs, and doesn't have any affect at all on links opened in new tabs.

Modified by MartyJames

All Replies (7)

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Firefox opens related tabs next to the current tab, but not blank new tabs. When you close a related tab without having visited any other tabs, Firefox will return to the tab from which it was opened. If yours worked differently, probably you were using Tab Mix Plus or another legacy extension which added that feature.

As I understand it, extensions for Firefox 57+ can move a new tab from the end of the tab bar next to the current tab, or activate a different tab on close, but I haven't tested any of those extensions myself.

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Thanks for the info. This kind of behavior makes no sense to me at all. Making a new tab open on the far right means you lose your place - whatever your were just looking at is now lo longer there.

I just do not want Firefox to work this way, it's confusing. It's like it's trying to tell me where I should be looking, but I know where I want to look, I don't want it to jump all over the place.

Am I the only person who finds this deeply irritating?

(And yes, I had been using Tab Mix Plus prior to Quantum, so maybe that explains why it no longer works the way I'm used to.)

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Here in support we're limited to suggesting settings changes, add-ons, and other workarounds...

  • I'm not aware of any planned built-in option for where a new tab opens.
  • I think you said you already know about an extension that moves a new tab to wherever you currently are on the tab bar.

There are various places where new capabilities for extensions are discussed/debated for future versions of Firefox; any such changes usually take time to work their way into the product. Would it difficult to let an extension intercept a new tab and position it in advance? No idea.

In response to a request in a different thread, I created an add-on which creates a toolbar button to jump back to the previously active tab, or view a list of recently active tabs. Maybe that would be interesting for you? In the description there also are links to others that have keyboard shortcuts. (I haven't added one to mine yet because I'm concerned about conflicts.)

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Thank you for your advice jscher2000.

The add-on you made seems like it might be helpful to many, but it's not something I think I would use. All I want is to simplify how tabs work, not to have additional controls and options.

I think I will submit feedback through the Help menu concerning this, in the hope that someone somewhere will read it and maybe consider my request.

Thanks again :)

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My firefox used to work when I clicked on a link it would open a new tab. If I add these "addons" you speak of, I have new tabs and windows opening all over the place. I don't know how I lost this setting, but it's so frustrating with having to open a new tab by right clicking or holding down other buttons when all I used to do is left click and a new tab/window would open from the link I just clicked on. I don't want emails I click on to all open in new windows just MY LINKS when I'm doing a search. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO THAT SETTING I HAD?!?!?!?!?!?!

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Hi dmfdonna, Firefox normally diverts new windows to new tabs instead. I'm not sure what add-ons you installed, but if they do not do what you want, please remove them and start from scratch.

Built-in New Window / New Tab Settings

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste neww and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Adjust the preferences as follows:

(A) - for links in Firefox tabs

  • 3 = divert new window to a new tab (default) <= This should already be set; if it's not, right-click > Reset to restore the default
  • 2 = allow link to open a new window
  • 1 = force new window into same tab

(B) - for links in Firefox tabs

  • 0 = apply the setting under (A) to ALL new windows (even script windows) <= Try this one
  • 2 = apply the setting under (A) to normal windows, but NOT to script windows with features (default)
  • 1 = override the setting under (A) and always use new windows

(C) - for links in other programs

  • -1 = apply the setting under (A) to external links (default) <= this should already be set; if it's not, right-click > Reset to restore the default)
  • 3 = open external links in a new tab in the last active window
  • 2 = open external links in a new window
  • 1 = open external links in the last active tab replacing the current page

To return to normal if things go haywire, right-click each "modified" preference and choose Reset.

Does it help with your email links going into new tabs instead of new windows?

Missing Feature: Launch ALL links in new tabs

The built-in settings are for links that sites (or external applications) are directing to a new window already. If a site has not specially coded links in a page, those links will open in the same tab. To override that, you can use this extension:

After installing, you will need to set your preferred behavior for it on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Ctrl+Shift+a (Mac: Command+Shift+a)
  • "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons
  • type or paste about:addons in the address bar and press Enter/Return

In the left column of the Add-ons page, click Extensions.

Then find Open Link with New Tab on the right side and click the Options button (or More link).

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dmfdonna said

I don't want emails I click on to all open in new windows just MY LINKS when I'm doing a search.

Many search sites have their own setting to open results in a new window, which codes the links specially to work with normal browser settings.

Bing: => Results section

DuckDuckGo: => New window setting

Google: => Where results open => Results Appearance section

Yahoo: => Open search results setting