Suboptimal Target

Test Weight: normal
When clicking on a link, web users expect to see the new page in the existing window. Most users lose control if there are several windows open, are unable to navigate back with the back function and get lost. At the same time, and this is particularly true for old computers, the system can get overloaded and crash if too many browser windows open. If new windows open but are not seen by the user, the perception is that the website does not work properly. Experienced users who want to open new windows know how to do this by using the function "Open (link) in New Window", or with similar comands.

There is one important exception to this rule: files in .PDF or other Office format can be opened in new windows. Users know to close them to return to the original window. In this case, users should be informed that a new window opened, and they should be given the opportunity to save the file.

Technical hint: For XHTML Strict in particular, there is the possibility to send a .PDF file with ContentType "application/pdf" and HTTP Header content-disposition: attachment; filename=filename.pdf, since there is no target attribute. This test does not take it into account yet, but this is a feasible solution.

Source and further information:
"Prioritizing Web Usability" by Jakob Nielsen/Hoa Loranger
An additional tool is available for this test, which allows to highlight any warning, hints and tips in the source text of the website. Click here for the tool:

Test Results

  • Total 100% 100000
  • Not tested 0% 0
  • Warning 7.9% 7946
  • Suggestion 0.1% 188
  • Hint 46.1% 46150
  • Passed 45.7% 45716
  • Total amount of tests run.
  • This test was not carried out for this website.
  • At least one Office file was found which did not open in a new window.
  • At least one hyperlink opening a new window was found.
  • At least one internal hyperlink opening a new window was found.
  • Only office files are opened in new windows from the tested website; all other links do not lead to a new window.

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User Comments

9/23/2019 10:03:40 AM Administrator
Comments welcome
We welcome any kind of questions, comments and criticism with regards to this test, such as:
  • Good & bad aspects
  • Reporting errors and spelling issues
  • Reporting dead links
  • Additions
  • Comments on the weighting of the test (see at the top)
  • Reporting wrong or additional sources and further information (links)
  • General questions about this test
Should you not wish to have your comments potentially published, please send them to
7/9/2013 4:23:54 PM
Quaöidator verwendet selbst solche Links Hallo, fremde Seiten in einem neuen Fenster wird sogar aus rechtlichen Gründen empfohlen. Zudem verwendet selbst der Qualidator diese Funktion (Fehler-Markierung im Quelltext führt zu neuer Registerkarte)! Ist das nicht Doppelmoral? mfg
8/26/2011 9:29:30 AM Neo
Neues Browserfenster
Warum wird diese Meldung immer ausgegeben. Es gibt auf der Seite die ich getestet habe kein neues Browserfenster
8/29/2010 5:09:14 PM
8/27/2010 12:45:22 PM
2/17/2010 10:09:37 AM Pfauli
Neues Browserfenster Moin Ich teste meine Webseite bei Euch und bekomme den Hinweis, dass sich bei mir neue Browserfenster öffnen. Dies passiert bei mir ausschließlich, wenn der Besucher fremden Links folgt. Mir erschließt sich nicht so ganz, warum das schädlich ist, da ein fremder Link doch ein neues Projekt ist? Dort befindet sich ja auch kein BaCK Button zu meinem Projekt und schon hat sich der USer verlaufen, von daher ist doch ein neues Fenster eigentlich besser. Ich kenne einige ältere User, die den BAck-Button nicht kennen, aber das X eines Browsers.
5/1/2009 11:19:24 AM
Links zu PDF Dokumenten
Hallo, ich habe auf meiner Webseite 2 Links zu PDF Dokumenten gesetzt, diese sind aufgrund Strict nicht mit einem "target" Attribut versehen, der "Header" Hinweis von Ihnen hat mir bisher leider nicht weitergeholfen, habe dazu auch nichts wirklich erklärendes im Netz gefunden. Gibt es auch alternative Lösungsvorschläge um solche Links mit strictem Code Zugänglich zu halten, JAVA wäre hier ja auch keine Lösung?! Vielen Dank für Ihre Mühe!
10/5/2008 4:01:10 AM Doctor
Neues Browserfenster Hallo, wie kann ich diese Warnung "Neues Browserfenster" verhindern, da auf der Seite nur eine Link zu einer pdf-Datei angeboten wird, erhalte ich diese Warnung. LG

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