Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Why does this tab keep opening in my Firefox browser?


I’m using the latest Mozilla Firefox on Windows XP Home Edition.
Continually, although not always, the following link appears out of nowhere in
the tab section when I open the browser (he gives me the URL). I went to this
site once and never opened it again. I don’t need this site, but it’s there as a
tab. It has something to do with University of Massachusetts.

In this excerpt from
“Answercast #14
, I look at several reasons why a second tab may be popping
up in your browser window and how to get rid of it.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Browser tab appearing

There are two possible things that come to mind on this particular instance.
I believe it’s possible that you have more than one page set as your

Most people don’t realize this, but most of the tabbed browsers these days
actually allow you to specify multiple pages, separated by semi-colons, as the
homepage. Those are the pages that come up automatically when you open your
browser or possibly when you click on the Home button.

Set your browser’s homepage

The thing to do is go into your browser’s options and verify that the
homepage or start page is set to the URL that you expect.

I actually have an article on the site about making sure you’re
setting the homepage to the page you want it to be
. So I would direct you

Website pop-ups

The other thing that comes to mind is: if this is happening when you visit
some other site (this second tab appears), the other site you are
visiting may have some kind of advertising network that’s throwing a pop-up
into a tab.

I’ve seen this on some sites that I visit regularly. They throw an
advertisement into a pop-up window that Firefox’s (and a couple of other
browser’s) pop-up blockers can’t actually block.

  • Sometimes, it will show up as an additional window
  • Sometimes, it will show up as an additional tab.

So I would pay attention to exactly when this page is showing up. If it’s
showing immediately on opening your browser, I would make sure that the homepage
setting you have configured is what you think it is.

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

2 comments on “Why does this tab keep opening in my Firefox browser?”

  1. You probably already know this, but Firefox has an option to save all of your tabs when you exit. Instead of giving you a current page, it will take you to the same page(s) you were at when you exited.

  2. Mutiple homepages separated by semi-colons? I just tried that and it doesn’t work. I believe they should be separated by the “|” (shift-backslash). I think it’s called a pipe.

    You may be right – it’s not a feature I use and I believe different browsers that offer the feature use different separation characters.


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.