Is is possible to open a link in a new background tab in Google Chrome with a keyboard shortcut?

(I know it's possible with Ctrl+click and middle click, and I know that Shift+Enter opens the link in a new browser window.)

7 Answers 7


"Ctrl + Enter" should work...

  • 4
    Provided the cursor is active on the link, hover doesn't work
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Oct 3, 2010 at 17:55
  • Thanks a lot! I thought I had tried all possible keyboard combinations with the Enter key, but apparantly not the most obvious one. :) Oct 3, 2010 at 19:07
  • 1
    Found out, It's Right menu + t
    – Til
    Apr 6, 2018 at 9:21
  • 1
    @mchid By trial and error ;)
    – Til
    Dec 27, 2020 at 11:43
  • 1
    @Tiw Yeah, that's what I did eventually. I made a list and posted it on Askubuntu if you need any more.
    – mchid
    Jan 7, 2021 at 1:45


  • for Windows and Linux: ALT + ENTER
  • for Mac:
    • open in new background tab: CMD + ENTER
    • open in new tab: CMD + SHIFT + ENTER


You could use it the following ways:

  1. Highlight link: TAB
  2. Open link in new tab: ALT + ENTER [Windows/Linux], CMD + ENTER (+ SHIFT) [Mac]


  1. Jumb to address bar: STRG + L [Windows/Linux], CMD + L [Mac]

  2. Type in url or search term

  3. Open in new tab: ALT + ENTER [Windows/Linux], CMD + ENTER (+ SHIFT) [Mac]


Here you can find all Google Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts. Some of them are pretty useful.

  • On Chromium 80 in Linux, <kbd>ALT</kbd> + <kbd>ENTER</kbd> saves the page's html.
    – RonJohn
    May 31, 2020 at 5:54

Ctrl + Enter to open a link in a new tab and stay on the current tab

Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open a link in a new tab and go to the new tab


Type in your search query and then use the shift+ to navigate through the search results. You would see an arrow appear near the links when you move through them. To open a link, hit enter. ctrl+entr would open it in a new tab.

It would be great if there was a keyboard shortcut to open the first link directly in a new tab, something like shift+1. I have not found anything of that sort till now.

  1. Type your query in the search box.
  2. Press ENTER
  3. When the results page appears, press Tab once.
  4. You should be able to see an arrow pointing towards the first link.
  5. You can move to other links using Up and Down arrows.
  6. Go to the link you want and press Ctrl+Enter to open in a new tab or just Enter to open in the same tab. You can use Shift+Enter to open it in a new window.

It is now ctrl + cmd + enter. Ctrl + enter only opens it in the same tab.


I know the question was for the current tab or for all the links i can propose a way without have to use the tab key or pay attention to the current or default page focus position.

The current URL opening can be transfered as well in other windows as return to the original window or give to windows a name, i can propose this very little abstract that works on 99% of the websites, no need any chrome extension, eventually this script override better any extension chain :

  • Send the current page link(or more tabs) in a new window with the left mouse click down over the tab area of the browser(even the title bar), keep pressed the left click longer return to the other window previously used.
  • Open in background is the left click very little bit longer.
  • Open in a focused tab is the right click
  • you can then move, transfer or switch tab and windows by name of by sending them into another group.
  • Select current URL with shift+right click or a little longer left click from the cursor position in the URL text to select the remaining of the URL to the left.
  • The left click can simulate the middle click in many ways...
  • This application could be used to bind any keyboard keys and mouse click status consecutively to start a new script or functionality like send or replay several keystrokes.

The demo is not yet accessible, but there is very short code around 50 lines, the whole program use more 10k lines, there will be short AHK scripts shared publicly to get more ideas or applications working with what you would prefer, modifiers can be done firstly, alone and others keys too, two another examples like:

  • URLs hidden in the Google search page result in columns like you can try when using result content to be used for link to text fragment in a click in that sort of page or later.
  • Use the "f line" or special chars line or letter line of your keyboard keys to follow, remember and reset the researches matching positions, instantly without ambiguity and without extensions, on or off from the keywords or the tab URL content.

In fact you can use only one devices to do absolutely all you need, all you do usually and all not with your tabs.



PS: Open a list of links without have to use an extension is possible, the URL openings functionality include the hibernation even without capability to give that order to a list of tabs or to know what is the current tab status, same for a headings map in each pages or anything you would.

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