Suddenly all the browsers begin to open all links in a new tab. Even when the link is deliberately intended to leave me at the same page (say, uncollapsing some text).

I tried Safari, Chrome and Firefox, the behaviour is the same. I also tried to close (and even to kill) and then reopen every single browser, but still no luck. After reboot this behaviour disappears until the next time. But I'd like to avoid rebooting. I cannot reliably reproduce this issue, but it occurs from time to time and annoys a lot.

Any clue on how to cure this? P.S I use MacOS 10.13.3

  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different! :) Can you expand on what Reboot helps actually means? Does it resolve the issue, or...? – Monomeeth Apr 30 '18 at 22:00
  • I’ll throw out some ideas @Monomeeth - knowing it’s intermittent and happens after the system has been up means it’s likely CSS corruption / injection or just a keyboard, other software degradation. We’ll see based on comments to my post and probably have a good short one line answer eventually for Yury to check “solved” – bmike Apr 30 '18 at 22:38

To my thinking, a logical place to start and fix this is focus on Safari:

  1. Go to the settings and change the tab behavior, click a link, then change it back to your preference if needed.
  2. Next be sure the issue happens after you log out and log in again.
  3. Next check is you have custom extensions or CSS or malware that overrides the css for all pages - this setting can be hinted from the web page, but should respect your settings in browser. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/15551779/open-link-in-new-tab-or-window

Some oddball causes:

  1. Faulty keyboard with a modifier key held down. Could be the main keyboard or any other usb keyboard, screen sharing software or Bluetooth keyboard.
  2. You’ll need Apple’s keyboard viewer or other tool to visualize which modifier is held down of simple trial and error doesn’t help.
  3. Make a new user to see if the apps work with clean user default settings and preferences.
  4. Reinstall the os if you have no luck with anything else. Consider making a backup and doing an erase install - test browser before you load your apps and settings.
  • The problem may be caused by Karabiner-Elements which I use for switching keyboard layout with Caps Lock. But since I don't know how to reproduce the issue, it's difficult to debug. – Yury Kirienko May 1 '18 at 10:12
  • How could CSS make the browser open something in a new tab? – JBis May 1 '18 at 13:28
  • @josh by hijacking the element and changing the target or injecting JavaScript and manipulating the DOM is the usual CSS entry point. Hard to tell without seeing both the specific browser and the specific web source code. In this case, it was likely the keyboard and not a CSS extension / modification. – bmike May 1 '18 at 16:28

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