How to open HTML links in new tabs

Anchor tag behaviour control without JavaScript

Setting the "target" attribute to "_blank"

The simplest way to open links (anchor tags) in a new tab is by using the target="_blank" declaration (which you should use with rel="noopener"):

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Example</a>

While the MDN docs state that:

Setting target='_blank' on <a> elements now implicitly provides the same rel behavior as setting rel='noopener' which does not set window.opener.

The rel="noopener" declaration should be used explicitly because it prevents security flaws caused by the incorrect use of the target="_blank" declaration, and because not all browsers enable this implicit behaviour. Read more about this here.

You should also keep in mind that using target="_blank" will change the default behaviour of the browser and consider how using it will affect your project's UX.

Note: "_blank" is not a typo, "blank" and "_blank" are two different values.

When set to "_blank" the target attribute will always open links (anchor tags) in a new tab when clicked. While target="blank" will open the first-clicked link in a new tab, but any future links that share target="blank" will open in that same tab.

Opening links in new tabs using JavaScript

For those of you who aren't using standard HTML links, you could use elements that look and behave like anchor tags.

<button data-href="">Example</button>

You'd then implement their behavior using the method:

for (const link of document.querySelectorAll("[data-href]")) {
  link.addEventListener("click", () => {"data-href"), "_blank");

Keep in mind that you could also use the above code with actual anchor tags:

<a class="custom" href="">Example</a>

Although you'd have to use event.preventDefault to overwrite existing behaviour:

for (const link of document.querySelectorAll("a.custom")) {
  link.addEventListener("click", event => {
    event.preventDefault();"href"), "_blank");

Once again, you should consider how changing default behaviours will affect the user's experience.