IE11 User Tip: Opening a Link in a New Window or Browser Tab

Shift key
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(Download Internet Explorer 11 from the official Microsoft site here)

If use Internet Explorer browser, versions 11 down through 8, you will like this tip. By using a simple keystroke and your mouseclick, you can open (spawn) the target web page into a second window or tab of Internet Explorer. This is useful to people with double monitors who can place the windows side-by-side.

Why Use Multiple Windows/Tabs While Browsing: 

Two or three windows/tabs are more effective for researching, comparing, and multi-tasking. By spawning side-by-side windows, you can do three things:

  1. you can compare documents side by side
  2. you can monitor multiple web pages at once (e.g. your email, Google, the news)
  3. and you can keep the original source web page with the links to remain on your screen (save yourself from using the 'back' button repeatedly)


For example: say that you are looking to buy a new car. With multiple windows, you can compare car reviews side-by-side on your single or double monitors. You can CTRL-click on the dealer links to open windows with the dealership addresses. You can check your Gmail and bank balance in separate windows as you look at the cars. Throughout all of this, the original web page with the car review links will stay on your screen, so you needn't hit the back button repeatedly to continue your researching.

How it works: There are three primary methods for launching multiple IE windows.

Method 1, Spawn New IE Window in SHIFT-Click: To use this method: hold a SHIFT button while you click on an Internet hyperlink on your browser screen. This will force the link to open in a new window that can be moved to the side of your screen.

The big benefit of this method is that you can literally compare documents side-by-side on your screen.

Method 2, Spawn New Window with CTRL-N: You will manually launch a new window first, and then send that new window to another web page. This method has two variations:

  • 2a) You can use your IE File menu to click New, Window. -or-
  • 2b) You can press CTRL-N on your keyboard. That means: hold a CTRL button down while you poke the letter N.

Method 3, New Tabbed Window with CTRL-click: This is the favorite method of many power users. Simply hold CTRL with your left hand while you click on the link on your browser screen. This will spawn the resulting web page in a new IE tab. Look for the resulting window tabs towards the top of your screen, just below the address bar in your browser. This method does not allow you to place documents directly side-by-side, but they are only a single click away via the IE tabs.

There you go! You can now run two, three, or even four IE browser windows or tab windows simultaneously! As long as you manage them, you can surf, search, do email, and read news at the same time.

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