Making Ctrl, Shift, and Cmd clicks on Link work all the time

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 16, 2019
Updated • Nov 4, 2019
Firefox, Firefox add-ons, Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

Link Fixer is a browser extension for the Firefox and Chrome web browsers designed to fix sites that override the default link activation behavior in the browsers.

Firefox and Chrome users have plenty of options when it comes to opening links: left-clicking, right-clicking and using the context menu, middle-clicking, or holding down modifier keys such as Ctrl-key or Shift-key before activating links.

For those who need a refresher: Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking (Mac) links opens the link targets in a New Tab in the same browser window, Shift-clicking opens link targets in a new browser window instead.

These options work well most of the time; some sites, however, use scripts to change the default link activation functionality of the browser. You may notice that modifier keys may not work properly when you activate these links.

The issue is not new; there is a support request from 2013 on the official Mozilla Firefox website and a support request on SuperUser by users who could not get modifier clicks to work on specific sites.

Link Fixer to the rescue

link fixer firefox

The Firefox add-on and Chrome extension Link Fixer has been designed to restore the default behavior of Ctrl, Shift, and Cmd clicks on links in the browser

The default behaviour of ctrl+click, shift+click and cmd+click when clicking on links is to open the link in a new tab or new window. This behaviour is sometimes broken by careless developers. This add-on restores the default behaviour, ensuring the modifier keys are always respected.

All you need to do is install the extension to do so. The extension does not add an icon to the Firefox or Chrome toolbars; there is no need for that since it works well without any of that.

The developer added a single option to the extension: it lets you define whether new tabs open in the background or foreground. Just open about:addons, select the extension from the list of installed extensions, switch to options, and set the desired behavior there.

The extension is designed for users who visit websites regularly that block modifier keys from working correctly (either on purpose or by accident). Users who encounter the issue only sporadically or not at all may have no use for the extension though.

The extension is open source. You find its source code and bug tracker on GitHub. There you also find direct links to the extension repositories to install the extension in the browser of choice. Firefox or Chrome compatible browsers should install the extension fine as well.

Now You: How do you open links in your browser of choice?

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Author Rating
5 based on 2 votes
Software Name
Link Fixer
Software Category
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  1. Amir said on November 4, 2019 at 2:43 am

    Martin, Link Fixer now has an option in its settings. You might update this article as you say it comes with no option.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 4, 2019 at 7:07 am

      Thanks Amir, have edited it!

  2. Dwight Stegall said on March 17, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Also, try Google Link Fixer.

  3. John said on March 16, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I normally use command+click to open in a new tab and command+shift+click to open in a new background tab. The extension made that impossible.

    When it’s enabled, command+click open a new background tab while command+shift+click open a new *window*. I cannot find any way to adjust this behavior.

    I definitely could use this extension but not when I can’t configure my browser’s link-clicking behavior to my liking. 😢

    1. Daniel Nixon said on July 10, 2019 at 5:01 am
  4. Supergirl said on March 16, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    This is a REAL pet-peeve of mine.
    When someone something invades my computer does malicious things I DONT like or want,

    I consider it a Malware attack, it may be your website but it’s my Arfing Computer.

    DO NOT put your unwanted Carp on my computer!

    By the way I installed ‘Link Fixer’ on my comp & tested it Startpage
    which bizarrely will not let you right click & open in a new tab….No dice.

    I Hate back & forth toggling with the arrow keys I have lost alot of pages forever doing that.
    Not to mention all the wasted resources reloading alla the time.

    My preference is too keep adding pages in a new tab,
    until Im certain Im all done at a site then I close them all.

    Its efficient & it works…

    Just let me do it!!!

  5. zakius said on March 16, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    not working on 56, sure

    and don’t even start with “hurr durr update” cause it’s the only way to have usable gestures for now

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 16, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      @zakius, what do you mean by “56”? Firefox 56?

  6. Tom Hawack said on March 16, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    I installed and tried this ‘Link Fixer’ version 1.7 on Firefox 65.0.2 (x64) / Windows 7 (x64) and it works fine.

    I tested on with the links on the left and adding CTRL to the click :

    Without ‘Link Fixer’ : the link gets opened in the same tab
    With ‘Link Fixer’ the link gets opened in a new tab BUT that tab is in background when expected to open in foreground (I have “browser.tabs.loadBookmarksInBackground” = false).

    I don’t encounter sites blocking Ctrl+link (open in new tab) because I use an extension allowing to set right-click :
    Right Links WE at

    I don’t encounter sites blocking Shift+link (open in new window) because I never use more than one window (I’m an all-in-one aficionados — Ole, si Senor, viva la vida etc etc)

    I’m Tom Hawack and I endorse my comment :=)

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 16, 2019 at 1:52 pm


      “browser.tabs.loadBookmarksInBackground” = false has nothing to do with links opened from a Web page. Cannot remember which setting handles Web links opened in a new tab to be opened in foreground, all I know is that they always open in the foreground here …

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 16, 2019 at 2:02 pm

        Edit #2, terribly sorry. The Firefox setting I was referring to is :

        // stay on the parent tab when opening links in a new tab
        lockPref(“browser.tabs.loadInBackground”, false);

        Sorry Martin for little old me’s textual invasion!

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