You can generally open a link in a web page in new tab by right-clicking and selecting ‘open link in new tab’ option or middle-clicking or Ctrl-clicking also results in that link to open in new tab, while this works in most modern browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, today and in the past few days, some users reported on Reddit and Chrome help forum that built-in Pop Up blocker in Chrome 71 is triggering and blocking links from opening in a new tab when they middle-click or Ctrl-Click on links.
Here is one user wrote in Chrome help forum saying” Chrome pop up blocker blocking any time I try to open link in new tab by using middle click. Just started happening today. It even blocked the help forum link, just normal left click”. Another user in the thread he too has the same problem except that instead of middle click, he tried Ctrl/Cmd-click shortcut to open link in new tab. The issue is posted on Reddit as well today.
This is actually not true [update: check the update mentioned at the bottom], the issue here seems to be caused by Ghostery, which seems to be triggering the pop-up blocker in Chrome when users try to open the link in new tab by using shortcut methods mentioned above. The extension, when installed in Chrome, is not doing the same in Chrome 72 beta and Chrome 73 dev as we noticed in our testing.
The issue is reproducible
- Ensure you’re using latest Chrome version 71
- Install Ghostery extension in Chrome from Web Store (currently has version: 8.2.6) and complete the setup.
- Visit any web page and try to open a link by middle-clicking or by holding Ctrl and click the link.
- You should expect the link to open a new tab, instead, you’ll notice ”pop-ups blocked’ notification appears in the address bar.
UPDATE: To add to the above, we also confirm another issue where videos on YouTube doesn’t open in full screen.
The issue can’t be reproduced when you disable Ghostery. So till Chrome 72, which may release on January 29 (according to Chrome platform status), right click on the link and select ‘Open link in new tab’ option if you want to use Ghostery in Chrome browser or deactivate the extension.
UPDATE 1 Issue for cause and fix: Seems as if its the Native Extension bindings field trial experiment enabled by default in Chrome 71 stable on December 19, 2018, by Chromium developers has caused this. To disable this and issues you’re facing with Ctrl-click and middle-click for links and for YouTube videos full-screen issue, run Chrome with the following command line shortcut
We can confirm running Chrome 71 with the above command line switch, with Ghostery installed hasn’t triggered above issues. Chromium team checking what went wrong here after getting lots of reports on this.
UPDATE 2: Google noticed the issue occurred with native crx bindings experiments enabled where user activation v1 hasn’t handled the user gestures properly in Chrome 71 and disabled the experiment in version 71 and to roll back it to Chrome 72 where User Activation v2 is enabled to check if the issue happens.
Update 3: Here is what Community manager Craig said according to instructions from Chrome developers in the bug involved above in Chrome help forum for the same issue reported.
“Our team was able to identify that a recent Chrome change was the source of this behavior. An automatic fix rolling out over the next few hours. No Chrome update is required, however, you may need to restart Chrome to see the fix be applied once it is available to you.”
Remove flag if you’ve added above, restart Chrome browser to see if your browser got the fix and check if you can open links in new tab with shortcuts mentioned above.