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Set Internet Explorer to open links in a new window automatically

This FastAnswer handout will help your users set Internet Explorer to open links in a new window automatically.

Save time. Download the preformatted, ready-to-print version of this FastAnswer handout. The next time this problem arises in your organization, simply print and distribute the file directly to end users or members of your IT staff.

The Problem

Internet Explorer (5.01) and above opens hyperlinks from e-mail messages, Office or proprietary applications, and other programs within existing Internet Explorer sessions, rather than in new windows.

The Cause

Default settings enable Windows to "reuse" Internet Explorer sessions, which can interrupt browser sessions.


Provide your feedback on this download

This is one of TechRepublic's new FastAnswer handouts. The PDF download aims to save you time by eliminating the need to repeatedly research common questions and provide you with a preformatted step-by-step solution you can pass directly to users or staff. Please send your comments and any recommended revisions to Erik Eckel.


The Solution

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Select Tools from the menu bar.
  3. Click Internet Options.
  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. Uncheck Reuse Windows For Launching Shortcuts (under Browsing).
  6. Click OK.

Future Prevention

If this complaint is common within your organization, you may wish to consider instructing users to execute the steps above on all systems. Advanced users may edit the Windows registry to disable the default behavior of opening links in existing windows by following these steps:

  1. Click Start | Run, typing regedit, and clicking OK.
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main key.
  3. Locate the AllowWindowReuse value. If the AllowWindowReuse value does not exist, create a DWORD value with that name by clicking Edit | New | Key | DWORD Value.
  4. Specify a DWORD value of 0.
  5. Click File | Exit and reboot the system.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

1 comments
hbolte
hbolte

I have made the suggested change and checked the registry, yet still hyperlinks within email messages some times reuse an existing IE window.  It is not consistent.  Has anyone else experienced this ?

If so, have you found a solution ?

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