A New Internet Explorer Window Does Not Always Open When You Click Hyperlinks

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Article ID: 272415 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q272415
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SYMPTOMS

When you click a hyperlink on a Web site, the hyperlink does not open in a new Internet Explorer window, as expected. Instead, the hyperlink opens in the same Internet Explorer window or in another currently open Internet Explorer window.

CAUSE

This behavior can occur if the Web site uses the TARGET=NEW attribute to open the hyperlinks.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this behavior, request that the Web site's Webmaster change the setup of the target hyperlinks on the site's Web pages.

As an alternative, you can right-click the hyperlink, and then click Open in New Window to view the Web page in a new Internet Explorer window.

MORE INFORMATION

Web designers can use the TARGET=NEW attribute on an anchor in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to enable users to open a second window in Internet Explorer, but NEW is not a supported attribute for the target tag. If you click a hyperlink that uses the TARGET=NEW attribute, a second Internet Explorer window may open, but if you click subsequent hyperlinks by using the same attribute, a third Internet Explorer window does not open.

This behavior occurs because there may be an error in the HTML coding, which is used to set up the Web site. There are five possible ways that the target attribute can be used. The following list details how to use the correct target attribute, according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C):
  • TARGET=_BLANK
    Loads the hyperlink into a new, blank, nameless window
  • TARGET=_PARENT
    Loads the hyperlink in the parent of the document that contains the hyperlink
  • TARGET=_SELF
    Loads the hyperlink in the same window in which you click the hyperlink
  • TARGET=_TOP
    Loads the hyperlink in the full body of the window
  • TARGET={variable}
    Loads the hyperlink in the {variable} window
Hyperlinks that use the TARGET=_BLANK attribute always open a new Internet Explorer window, while hyperlinks that use the TARGET=NEW attribute open a new Internet Explorer window only once.

For more information, please visit the following (W3C) Web site:
http://www.w3.org/tr/html4/types.html#type-frame-target
If you use the TARGET=NEW attribute, the expected behavior is demonstrated in the following example:
  1. Double-click the Internet Explorer icon to open WindowA. (WindowA does not have a name.)
  2. While you browse the Internet, you can click the hyperlink that uses the TARGET=NEW attribute. This action causes Internet Explorer to open the hyperlink in a window named "New". WindowA is nameless, therefore, Internet Explorer does not load the hyperlink in WindowA. Internet Explorer opens a new window, WindowB, named "New".
  3. While you browse in WindowA or WindowB, you can click another hyperlink that uses the TARGET=NEW attribute. Internet Explorer loads the hyperlink in WindowB (not a new Internet Explorer window) because the target is set to "New" and the name of WindowB is "New".
This behavior is by design. Internet Explorer adheres to the W3C target attribute definition. This behavior is by design. Internet Explorer adheres to the W3C target attribute definition.

NOTE: The purpose of this article is to point out a common error in HTML coding. This behavior is not an issue in Internet Explorer.

Properties

Article ID: 272415 - Last Review: January 29, 2007 - Revision: 3.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbprb kbweb KB272415

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