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For some time now, Firefox 3.6 has been -- to my annoyance -- recycling tabs when I click links from other applications.

If I click a link in Thunderbird, for instance, it opens in an existing tab in Firefox, opposed to opening a new one. This results in me always having to first switch to Firefox, open a new tab, switch back to the application and click the link.

I have no idea what is causing this behavior. I took a brief look at about:config, but nothing under browser.tabs seemed relevant.

This behavior also occurs in Minefield 4.0b3. I have only a handful of addons: AdBlock, Firefox Sync, Locationbar² and Session Manager. I have both Tab Mix Plus and Tab Control installed, but disabled.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

That behavior is not the FF default, and AFAIK Tab Mix Plus offers that specific functionality to reuse tabs. Even though it's disabled, maybe the addons changed your FF settings in such a way, that tabs are getting reused. You can try removing those disabled extensions, but I would opt for backup/removing your FF setting so they get recreated.

See this kb article: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.link.open_external - it mentions this config setting was removed in FF 3.5, perhaps on of the addons has added the setting back, and F is still picking it up. See if that setting exists on yours (its not on mine) and remove it.

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I just figured it out myself in a simultaneous answer. You're right: Tab Mix Plus was the culprit. –  Paul Lammertsma Aug 4 '10 at 13:30
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There is indeed a browser.link.open_external setting. It is presently set to 3, which produces the desired behavior. Resetting it (which clears the value) gives the same behavior. –  Paul Lammertsma Aug 4 '10 at 13:31

Your problem looks a lot like the stupid bug 469082 of Firefox.

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Upon mentioning that two tab-related addons were installed, I decided to re-enable them and check the settings. Tab Control didn't have any relevant options, so I uninstalled it.

Tab Mix Plus has an option to handle links from external applications in a new window, new tab or current tab. The selected option was already new tab, and simply by enabling the plugin, new tabs would indeed be created from clicked links.

Uninstalling Tab Mix Plus resolved the problem (i.e. disabling it caused the problem).

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