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Automatically open new tab for links/external tools set to 'Load in a new tab'

Automatically open new tab for links/external tools set to 'Load in a new tab'


Previously under the title "Link to External URL"

When linking to an external url that Canvas will not (or cannot) embed, link should automatically open in a new tab or window.  Currently, Canvas opens another page saying you have to open it in a new tab, then you have to click that link to do that.  Why not just go directly to that page in a new tab?  Links in other locations already do this.

If Canvas is worried a user would be confused by being outside of Canvas suddenly, perhaps they could flash a redirect page saying they are leaving the course and to close this tab to return, or something along those lines.  

Comments from Instructure

New behavior governing external tool links was released to production in November 2019. For more information, please read through the Canvas Deploy Notes (2019-11-20)

Adventurer II

Please vote for this. I cannot understand why we have have this and its yet another extra step to click on. It also looks awful.

We have Office365 integration and an external link added to the module opens straight in this file.

Very frustrating.


YES, please vote for this. This is one glaring issue that affects courses that already have lots of content created and just needs elegant linking. The current model is so clunky it's kind of embarrassing.


Fix it Fix it Fix it!!!!!  Horrible way to link to other places having to click on another "click on this tab" link.


Can I vote for this again?

Community Member

I would like to vote for this a thousand times.  The first time I noticed this issue, I thought for sure it was a bug.

Adventurer II

Can I vote multiple times? 😉



Yes, you can vote multiple times by alternating between Up and Down votes. However, if you like the idea, then be sure to vote an odd number of times. If you vote 1000 times like  wanted to do, you'll actually end up canceling out your Up vote.

That said, something getting lots of votes doesn't mean it will happen. As an example, there was one recent feature idea that quickly rose in the vote count, but when you looked at the votes, almost all of them were from the same institution. Canvas uses the Community and the voting system as one method of gathering input, but the process is much more involved than just a simple vote count.


There was a question asked in September 2017 that seems related to this feature idea: 

The discussion that followed attempted to explain the potential reasons why that extra step is there.


You know, I used to have these kinds of conversations with the developer of my company site when back in the day. He used to tell me why it can't be a certain way from a programming standpoint, and I would have to explain that from a customer expectation standpoint it HAS to work another way. Then he would find a way to make it work the way it's should work. That's the way I see this problem... no one expects to have to click another time to get to the place that they're going. It looks and feels wrong... needs to be fixed.


So what you're saying is, we need to rally the troops and get everyone to vote for this thing... from what I can tell we only need about 300 more people to vote for it before it will get a serious look by Canvas Smiley Happy  I did have a few others from our school vote for it, so hopefully that helps get some traction.