I've noticed that when an application, such as iChat or Twitter for Mac, sends a link to Safari it opens in a new window rather than a new tab. I can manually force it to open in a new tab by holding down cmd, but I'd like this to happen automatically. I don't recall links opening in new windows in Snow Leopard.

To be clear, I'm not talking about opening links within Safari itself, I've set these to open in new tabs already. I'm talking about external applications sending links to Safari.

  • That's odd, Chrome doesn't do that.
    – daviesgeek
    Sep 17, 2011 at 15:15
  • See similar question here.
    – orome
    Nov 2, 2021 at 15:06

4 Answers 4


In Safari > Preferences > Tabs, there's a preference for setting when pages should open in windows or tabs.

Look here:

  1. Open Safari > Preferences and select Tabs along the top
  2. Under the option for "Open pages in tabs instead of windows:" select "Always" from the drop-down.

Safari Prefs

This will force every application to open links in tabs.

  • 2
    Nope, this doesn't cut it. Links from Mail still opens in new window. Oct 20, 2011 at 13:21
  • 1
    That should be "always," not "never," right? You want new pages to open in tabs.
    – daGUY
    Oct 20, 2011 at 20:41
  • Yep, this works perfectly :) But I'll suggest to update your answer and I'll vote it up :) Oct 21, 2011 at 7:25
  • 2
    Seems like this doesn't work if you're working with tab groups in OSX Monterey :( Nov 8, 2021 at 12:55

So this is strange - I just got this to work.

In the above window I set "Open pages in tabs instead of windows: Always" and then I unchecked the option for command-click opens a link in a new tab. After doing that - links from external apps opened as a tab in the same window.


If it only happens occasionally, it can be because there's some unsubmitted text on the location bar. If you've typed something on the location bar, open http://example.com opens a new window even if you've told Safari to always open pages in tabs.


What I want to say is... the "Safari > Preferences > Tabs > Always" is correct.

But my suggestion is that... set the value "automatically" instead of "Always".

in Always... if code wants to open the page in new window then also browser restrict it to open the page in the new page and open in new tab...

but in automatically... it opens according to requirement..

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