Automatically Make Background Tab Active in Google Chrome

You can make a background tab active in Google Chrome automatically. It will be opened immediately instead of in the background. Here is how you can do it.


By default, when you middle-click a link in Google Chrome, or when you left click a link while holding the Ctrl key, it gets opened in a new tab in the background. You can override this behavior and open the link in a foreground tab which Chrome immediately switches to as you open it. Here is how it can be done.

To make a background tab active in Google Chrome automatically, you need to do the following.

Press and hold Ctrl + Shift keys together on the keyboard, and only then click the link that you want to switch to immediately. It will be opened in a new foreground tab.

Chrome Link Chrome Link In New Active Tab This trick should work in all Chromium-based browsers. This trick also works in Firefox and in Internet Explorer 11.

Alternatively, you can install a special extension called Tab Activate. This will do the same trick for you automatically, so holding down the Ctrl + Shift keys won't be required.

Visit the following link in your Google Chrome browser.

Tab Activate Google Chrome Extension

There, click the "Add to Chrome" button. Tab Activate Extension Page

Confirm the installation prompt: Extension Confirmation Dialog

Extension Installed The extension will be installed. From now, all background tabs will become active every time you middle-click a link in the browser.

That's it.

3 thoughts on “Automatically Make Background Tab Active in Google Chrome

  1. Aiden Quinn

    The Ctrl + Shift trick works in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer as well.

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Internet Explorer is mentioned in the article. Thanks for Edge!

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      1. Aiden Quinn

        Oops, I missed that!

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