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Can External Links open in a NEW tab / Window

Rob W October 21, 2021

Good afternoon!


We place a lot of links inside of our tickets (links to Hubspot / Website URLS), etc. & this is something that we will need to do more and more as our usage builds. However, our team finds it a bit inconvenient that when URls are clicked on, they open in the SAME window / thereby closing JIRA down.

Is there anywhere in profile / JIRA settings to adjust this, so that when External links are clicked on, they open in a NEW window or tab?


Thank you very much!


1 answer

1 vote
Earl McCutcheon
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
October 25, 2021

Hello @Rob W ,

We have the following feature request that was brought up to address this behavior, however, the decision was made to not implement the feature for the reasons discussed in the Atlassian Update as of December 3rd, 2020:

Noting the following:

Atlassian Update – 3 December 2020

Hi all!

My name is Jonno and I’m a PM on the editing experience in Jira Cloud (including Jira Software and Jira Service Management). Thanks for all this feedback. Given the level of interest we’ve conducted some research to reassess the link click behaviour across Jira Cloud and our other products like Confluence Cloud that use our new editing experience.


Based off our research, we will keep the existing default behaviour.

This existing default behaviour is:

  • All links in the editor (i.e. the mode where you can see a toolbar and insert content) will open in a new tab by default.
  • All links in the renderer (i.e. the published/saved view of an issue description, comment, etc) will open in the same tab by default.


We assessed multiple approaches and landed on keeping the existing behaviour for the following reasons.

For users in the editor:

  • We don’t want a user to be moved away from the current work they’re doing so open the link in a new tab by default. This is common behaviour.

For users in the renderer:

  • Common link-click behaviour on the web is to open in the same tab.
  • If we open links in a new tab by default, it’s impossible for a user to open the link in the same tab. For opening in same tab by default, however, there are common ways to open in a new tab, like cmd + click (Mac), ctrl + click (Windows & Linux), right click then select open link in new tab, or pressing the middle button on a mouse.
  • From an accessibility standpoint it is better to stick with the default browser behaviour and open links in the same tab. The main arguments for this are:
    • Assistive technology users can become disoriented when a link opens a new tab or window. They cannot use the back button to return to their previous location. We want to minimize this as much as possible. We have a toolbar button for opening links in the editor to give those with accessibility needs guidance that a new tab is opening.
    • People with mobility or dexterity issues who rely on a keyboard may find it difficult or painful to perform additional navigation tasks.


For both the renderer and editor:

  • We decided against giving user-level control of how their links open when clicked. Aside from the accessibility and other reasons mentioned above, we believe this could cause confusion to consumers of the content. This is because every link could hypothetically open in a different way. It wouldn’t afford the consumer of the content a predictable experience when clicking on a link.

Next steps:

I know this won’t be the decision a number of you are looking for, and I’m sorry for that. It’s what we believe is the best decision, for the majority of our user base, with the current information we have at our disposal.

Based off this decision, I’ll be closing this ticket and marking it as “Closed”.

We’re always looking to reassess and improve our experiences. If new information comes to light that suggests we should iterate this approach, we’ll definitely reconsider.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Jonno | PM, Atlassian Cloud Editor


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