target attribute


The target attribute specifies where to display the linked URL as a name for the browsing context (a tab, window, or <iframe>). The following keywords have special meanings for where to load the URL:

  • _self - the current browsing context, by default.

  • _blank - usually a new tab, but users can configure browsers to open a new window instead.

  • _parent - the parent browsing context of the current one, if no parent, behaves as _self.

  • _top - the topmost browsing context (the "highest" context that’s an ancestor of the current one), if no ancestors, behaves as _self.


Using target=_blank allows the linked page to get partial access to the source page through the window.opener API. The newly opened tab can then change the window.opener.location to a phishing page or execute JavaScript on the opener page.

In newer browser versions (e.g. Firefox 79+) setting target="_blank" on <a> elements implicitly provides the same rel behavior as setting rel="noopener".


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