How and Why to Use Browser Tabs

The internet is a huge part of our daily lives. Whether you’re communicating with family over Zoom, checking what your friends are up to on Facebook or buying your weekly groceries, you no doubt use an Internet browser most days of the week – either on your computer, tablet or smartphone

Internet browsers have a host of cool tricks and functions that make the browsing experience more pleasurable and straightforward. To make the most of these features, you need to understand what they are and how they work.

One such feature is the use of multiple browsing tabs. Tabs enable you to open multiple websites in one browser, without cluttering your desktop with too many browser pages. Being able to use tabs can enhance your browsing experience and make using the internet much easier. 

Every leading browser has options for tabbed browsing – even smartphones and tablets. 

Tabs are hugely popular – and have a great range of benefits. It’s estimated that the average person has between 2 -3 tabs open at any one point.

Of course, to take advantage of tabs, you need to know how to use them. So, below, we’ll dive into what browser tabs are, why you should use them and how to get started. 

What’s a Browser Tab?

With multiple browser tabs open, you can have multiple websites open at the same time within one browser. Each open website will appear as a “tab” at the top of your browser window. You can use your mouse, keyboard-shortcut or finger to switch between your open tabs/websites.

Why is Using Multiple Tabs Beneficial?

Have you ever signed into a website and then been asked to check your email for a verification code, which you’ll need to enter on that page.

In this instance, you may have wondered if there’s a way to check your email without losing the page you’re on. This is where browser tabs come in.

With multiple tabs, you can keep your current page while opening a new tab to check your email. 

Other use cases for browser tabs include: 

  • When you are writing an email and want to look up a synonym of a word
  • When you have two email accounts and want to switch between the two 
  • When you’re reviewing your stock portfolio and want to research information about a company without exiting your account 
  • When you’re researching airline flights and are comparing providers for the best deals 
  • When you’re multi-tasking – reading the news, ordering groceries etc. 
  • When you want to click a link on a page without losing the webpage you’re on

How to Open a New Tab

It’s straightforward to open a new browser tab. In your browser, click the new tab or “+” button that appears in the top right-hand corner of your browser’s toolbar. 

When you click this button, you will open a new tab. The new tab will either show as your browser’s homepage or a blank page, depending on the settings you have configured for your browser. 

How to Open Links in New Tabs

If you want to open a link on a website into a new tab, right-click the link with your mouse and select the option that says “open link in new tab.”

There’s also a way to do this via your keyboard. You can press and hold the Ctrl key down, then click on the link with your mouse, and a new tab will automatically.

If you’re conducting research online or doing some reading, opening links in new tabs is a great skill to have! For example, if you’re reading our blog and see a link that you like, you don’t have to lose the page you’re on.

Instead, by opening a link in a new tab, you can keep your current page while opening a new one too! In fact, why not click the ‘blog’ link above right now and test it out!

How to Close Different Tabs 

One thing to be aware of is that, if you don’t close down tabs once you’re finished with them, you could end up with a huge string of tabs – which will feel overwhelming!

Moreover, having too many tabs open can make your browser feel cluttered and tricky to navigate. 

So, make sure you close down your tabs once you’re finished with them. Doing this is simple. You can close the tab by clicking the little “x” icon on the right side of the tab. 

Need help getting around your internet browser or other software?

Computer Techs provides expert IT training to Reno area residents on a wide variety of computer and software topics. 

If you’d like to learn more about improving your online browsing experience, we can help. Contact us today with any questions or computer needs.