How to Manage Tabbed Browsing in Safari for Windows

incognito browsing in Safari
(Photo © Apple Inc.)

This tutorial is only intended for users running the Safari Web browser on Windows operating systems. Please note that Safari for Windows was discontinued in 2012.

Utilizing tabs makes browsing the Web a much more pleasant experience, giving you the ability to have multiple pages open within a single window. In Safari, the tabbed browsing feature offers several configurable options and keyboard shortcuts.

This step-by-step tutorial walks you through the ins and outs of using tabs in Safari for Windows.

First, open your Safari browser. Click on the Gear icon, also known as the Action Menu, located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Preferences. Note that you can utilize the following keyboard shortcut in lieu of this menu item: CTRL + COMMA.

Tabs or Windows

Safari's Preferences dialog should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. Click on the Tabs icon. The first option in Safari's Tabs Preferences is a drop-down menu labeled Open pages in tabs instead of windows. This menu contains the following three options.

  • Never: With this option selected, clicking on a link coded to open a new window will launch a separate Safari window.
  • Automatically: With this option selected, clicking on a link coded to open a new window will open a new tab instance in most cases. Although Safari will make an effort to launch a tab instead of a new window, it may not always be successful with this option enabled.
  • Always: With this option selected, clicking on a link coded to open a new window will always cause a new tab to be created. Safari will override all settings and will forcefully open a new tab each time.

Tab Behavior

Safari's Tabs Preferences dialog also contains the following three check boxes, each accompanied by its own tabbed browsing setting.

  • Ctrl-click opens a link in a new tab: Enabled by default, this option provides a keyboard shortcut (CTRL + MOUSE CLICK) to force a specific link to open in a new tab.
  • When a new tab or window opens, make it active: When enabled, a new tab or window automatically gains focus as soon as it is opened.
  • Confirm before closing multiple tabs or windows: Enabled by default, this option causes Safari to display a warning message prior to closing multiple tabs and/or windows simultaneously.

Keyboard Shortcuts

At the bottom of the Tabs Preferences dialog are some helpful keyboard/mouse shortcut combinations. They are as follows.

  • CTRL + MOUSE CLICK: Opens a link in a new tab (only when enabled; see above)
  • CTRL + SHIFT + MOUSE CLICK: Opens a link in a new tab, and makes it the active tab
  • CTRL + ALT + MOUSE CLICK: Opens a link in a new window
  • CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + MOUSE CLICK: Opens a link in a new window, and makes it the active window