Opening All Links in a New Tab with JavaScript


JavaScript is a powerful tool for enhancing the functionality of web pages. One common requirement in web development is to open all links in a new tab. This can improve user experience by keeping the original page open while exploring external links.

The Basics of JavaScript for Manipulating Links

Before diving into the code, it’s crucial to understand the Document Object Model (DOM) in JavaScript. The DOM represents the document as a tree of objects, making it possible to change document structure, style, and content.

The Method

A primary method used in JavaScript to open a new window or tab is

This method can be used to open a specified URL in a new browser window or tab.

Selecting Elements with JavaScript

JavaScript provides methods to select elements from the DOM, such as document.querySelectorAll(), which returns a Node list of elements matching a specified CSS selector.

Implementing Link Manipulation

The goal is to select all anchor (<a>) tags and modify their behavior to open in a new tab.

Step 1: Selecting All Anchor Tags

First, select all anchor tags using document.querySelectorAll(‘a’).

let links = document.querySelectorAll('a');

Step 2: Iterating Over the NodeList

Next, iterate over the NodeList of links and set their target attribute to _blank. This ensures that clicking the link opens it in a new tab.

links.forEach(link => { = '_blank'; });

Whole code:

let links = document.querySelectorAll('a');
links.forEach(link => { = '_blank'; });

If you wish to add functionality when page loading is done then only it opens URL in new tab you can use the below code:

document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', () => {
  let links = document.querySelectorAll('a');
  links.forEach(link => {
    link.setAttribute('target', '_blank');

Ensuring Compatibility and Handling Edge Cases

While this method is widely supported, there are a few edge cases to consider.

1. Links with Existing target Attributes

Some links may already have a target attribute set. Decide if you want to overwrite this or skip these links.

2. Relative vs. Absolute URLs

The method works for both, but consider if you want to open internal links in a new tab.

3. JavaScript Disabled Browsers

Remember, users with JavaScript disabled won’t experience this functionality.


Opening all links in a new tab using JavaScript enhances user navigation. By manipulating the DOM, you can easily control the behavior of links on your webpage.