Why do browsers (Chrome and Firefox at least) not copy over your browsing history when you click on a link to open in a new tab? I often open up a lot of links in new tabs and then am frustrated when I am unable to go back from the newly opened tab.

  • I think the only people who could sufficiently answer this question are those who developed said browsers. – H.B. Jun 13 '11 at 21:07
  • Same problem! F*rk this. ;D But it goes back like 2-5 pages, sometimes. – Wolfpack'08 Jan 25 '14 at 8:31

In Firefox, if you hold down the Control key while dragging the tab to a new position on the tab bar, a small blue vertical arrow will show between the tabs where you are about to drop the tab. This creates a duplicate tab which is an exact duplicate in that the back button works, bringing you back to exactly the same place as the original tab.

You can achieve the same thing in Chrome by right clicking on a tab and choosing duplicate tab.

  • Nice! I didn't know that. – BoffinBrain Aug 24 '17 at 15:54

While you can't make the browsers operate like this when you click on a link, you can still make them "clone" the tab's history by middle-clicking on the refresh button (or back button or forward button), at least in Chrome. In these situations, it will create a new tab, completely with cloned history, and then execute the function requested (refresh, back, or forward). It's a bit of a hassle if you want to actually follow a link (Middle-click refresh, then find the link again, then click on the link), but it will achieve the desired result you are looking for.

  • That's not what he's talking about. The browser randomly jumps back several pages for no reason. Imagine you're just typing an e-mail, and then suddenly BACK BACK BACK BACK! It destroys your e-mail. – Wolfpack'08 Jan 25 '14 at 8:32
  • @Wolfpack'08 What? The OP isn't complaining about that at all. Also, hit the Forward button for your issue. I can't speak for Firefox, but Chrome will recover your partially-written email. Also, keep in mind that the Backspace key is often bound to the Back button in many browsers. – Darth Android Jan 27 '14 at 17:31
  • Come on, you know the Internet. There are like a billion pages. And even Chrome won't recover many things. – Wolfpack'08 Jan 29 '14 at 6:05

because its not the history of that tab(window). Change the settings of your browser so all clicked links will open in the same tab(window).

  • My question is about the design decision. When you fork() a process you get a straight copy of the original process, so I don't understand why forking a new tab doesn't give you the history of the original tab. I'm aware that I could just open everything in the same window, but I like the functionality of forking off multiple tabs and don't understand why the new tabs do not copy over the history of the original tab. – Jeff Chen Jun 13 '11 at 20:36
  • 1
    Because creating a new tab doesn't fork() a new process inherently, and that's a bad design decision anyways because you are copying large blocks of memory for every new tab that likely will never, ever be used, further bloating the memory footprint of the browser. – Darth Android Jun 13 '11 at 21:29

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