When I Open a Tab, How Do I Set What Immediately Loads?

Use tabbed browsing to open a new Web page without opening a new browser window.
... George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Similar to setting a home page, the major Web browsers have an option to set the page that loads when you open a new tab. Although the new tab’s default setting to display the Web pages you visit most often is helpful, it is redundant if you already have those Web pages bookmarked. Depending on your browser’s options, you can set the new tab to open a favorite website, a blank page or even your current home page.

1 Tabbing in Internet Explorer

2 Select the gear-shaped Tools'' button

Select the gear-shaped "Tools" button, and then choose "Internet Options" to launch the Internet Options utility.

3 Click the General tab

Click the "General tab," and then select the "Tabs" button in the Tabs section to open the Tabbed Browsing Settings window.

4 Click the drop-down box

Click the drop-down box in the "When a new tab is opened, open" section.

5 Choose the option

Choose the option that you want to use from the drop-down list. For example, select "Your First Home Page" to display your home page when you open a new tab, or select "A Blank Page" to open a blank page.

6 Click OK

Click "OK," and then click the "Apply" button.

7 Tabs Afire in Firefox

8 Open a new browser window

Open a new browser window, and then enter "about:config" -- without quotations -- in to the Address bar.

9 Press the Enter'' key

Press the "Enter" key, and then click the "I'll be Careful, I Promise" button on the Warning page to open the "about:config" page.

10 Enter browser.newtab.url -- without quotations

Enter "browser.newtab.url" -- without quotations -- in to the Search field.

11 Double-click

Double-click "browser.newtab.url" to open the Enter String Value pop-up box.

12 Delete about newtab

Delete "about:newtab" in the open field and replace it with the URL of the page that you want to display when you open a new tab, such as your home page. Alternatively, you can display a blank page by entering "about:blank" in the open field.

13 Click the OK button

Click the "OK" button to save the new setting.

14 Surfin' the Tabs in Safari

15 Click the Settings'' gear icon

Click the "Settings" gear icon, and then choose "Preferences" to open the Preferences dialog window.

16 Select the General'' tab

Select the "General" tab, and then click the "New Tabs Open With" drop-down box.

17 Select the option

Select the option that you want to use from the menu, such as "Homepage."

18 Close the Preferences window

Close the Preferences window to save the new setting.

  • Information in this article applies to Internet Explorer 10, Safari 5.1.7 for Windows and Firefox 23. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly with other versions of the programs.
  • If you decide to keep using the default New Tab page, you can delete any Web pages that you don't want to see. Use the browser's specific method to delete a Web page from the New Tab page. For example, hover your cursor over the Web page you want to delete in Firefox and Internet Explorer, and then click the "X" button.

An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.