Intuitively, when I close a tab in Internet Explorer, I would expect it to return to it's parent tab, i.e. the tab I was on when I right-clicked a link and said, "Open in New Tab".

However, the rule in Internet Explorer is apparently to put me in the tab that is to the left of the tab I am closing. This sometimes has the jarring effect of putting me in a page that has nothing to do with the tab that I just closed.

I would rather Internet Explorer "respect z order" and return me to the tab that I was on previously. Is there a way around this?


1 Answer 1


Internet Explorer 8 opens new tabs next to, and colored the same as, the originating tab when using "open in new tab". This means that by default when you close the new tab it puts your focus back in the originating tab.

Is upgrading to IE8 an option for you?

  • Hmm, I have IE8 at home, but IE7 at work. I have noticed the colored tabs in IE8, and generally less suckiness overall. I will check it again. Sep 16, 2009 at 20:36
  • Indeed, IE8 appears to have better behavior, not because it returns to the previous tab, but because it opens associated tabs next to each other. That's close enough. Sep 17, 2009 at 3:13

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