How to automatically make new tabs active in Safari, Firefox, and Chrome

New Tab Concept

If you’re tired of your new tabs opening in the background, it’s time to make a change. You can have a new tab become active immediately, which moves you right over to it to do what you need. It’s one less click and one less thing to slow you down when you need to open tab after tab.

Why wait or have to click the tab yourself? Here’s how to automatically make new tabs active in Safari, Firefox, and Chrome on your Mac.

Switch to your new tab immediately

Make new tabs active in Safari

If you use Safari, then you’ll be glad to know there is one simple setting, just one checkbox, that makes your new tabs active. Open Safari and head to the Preferences.

1) In Safari > Preferences, click the Tabs tab.

2) Check the box for When a new tab or window opens make it active.

3) Close your Preferences and give it a try!

Safari Preferences Tabs Make Active

Make new tabs active in Firefox

Similar to Safari, Firefox gives you this setting as a checkbox as well. Open Firefox and go to the Preferences from the menu bar or Firefox menu button on the top right.

1) In your Firefox Preferences, select General on the left.

2) At the top of the General section, go to Tabs.

3) Check the box for When you open a link in a new tab, switch to it immediately.

4) Close the Preferences tab and try it out.

Firefox Preferences Tabs Make Active

Make new tabs active in Chrome

For Chrome users, it’s not a checkbox or simple setting. For some reason, the ability to make new tabs active is not currently a configurable Google Chrome setting. Instead, you’ll need an extension.

1) Check out Tab Activate (Free) on the Chrome Web Store.

2) Click to Add to Chrome if you like and confirm by clicking Add Extension in the pop-up window.

3) Open a link in a new tab and watch it become active right away! There are no additional settings or actions needed; Tab Activate just works.

Chrome Extension Tab Activate

Note: As with any other browser extension you consider installing, read the compatibility, size, and required permissions details for the add-on in the Chrome Web Store.

Wrapping it up

Making a new tab (or window) active as soon as you open a link in it is convenient. You obviously want to open the webpage, so if you feel that taking an extra step to do so just wastes time, you can change it!

Is this something that annoys you and you’re now going to change? Or do you prefer your tabs open in the background so you can click them when you’re good and ready? Share your thoughts!