Tab-Under Redirects and Google Chrome

Nobody likes ads, especially ones that prevent you from normally using your browser without getting interrupted every couple of minutes. However, a lot of browsers offer ad-blocker tools to take care of pesky ads so that you can surf the World Wide Web in peace. Whether the ad-blocker is a built-in feature or can be installed as an extension to your browsing program, those tools can be really useful if you want to avoid unpleasant and irritating web content.


However, there is one type of web-advertising that ad-blockers seem to be ineffective against. We are talking about the so-called Tab-Under redirects. The term might not mean anything to you but you have almost certainly already encountered this sort of internet advertising. A Tab-Under redirect is when you are visiting a webpage in your browser and you scroll through it or click on something on the page (could be a link or a random blank space) and then the page gets moved over to another, newly opened tab. At the same time, a new page gets loaded inside the old tab. Normally, the new page serves the purpose of online advertising – it is basically a big ad.

This method for web advertising is very devious for two main reasons. Firstly, when such Tab-Under redirect occurs, a user who isn’t very vigilant and attentive might fail to notice that the page they are on has been moved to another tab and that a new page has been loaded inside the initial tab, leaving it open. Even though most of the times, the newly-loaded page shouldn’t be harmful, there could be instances where it might cause issues and might have suspicious and hazardous contents which is why it shouldn’t be left open.

The second reason why this form of web-advertisement is extra unpleasant is because currently, pretty much no ad-blocker can stop it – even if you have a blocker tool, such redirects can still occur inside your browser. Therefore, you must always be keeping an eye out for them.

If you want to see an example of such website behavior, visit this page created by Google and click on either one of the two buttons to see how the redirect works.

Google Chrome might have an answer to that

Currently, a new feature that might get added to Chrome is under development which is will be focused on blocking Tab-Under redirecting. Currently, pretty much no browser has an effective way of stopping those nagging redirects so if Google implements this soon, it might be the first browser to offer such a feature.

Three potential methods towards how the feature should work have been suggested prior to the beginning of the development:

  • The first one is that a warning message should appear inside the initial tab before a new tab gets created and the page gets transferred to it. The creation of the new tab or the loading of a new page would get blocked by the browser.
  • The next suggestion is that the warning should be displayed in the newly created tab to which the page gets moved while at the same time the old tab gets closed, thus blocking the loading of the advert page.
  • The third proposal is that the Tab-Under redirect blocking feature gets added to Google Chrome’s ad-blocker instead of adding it to the browser as a separate function.

Eventually, Chrome’s developers have decided to go with the first method.

The blocker will first be available on Google Canary

Google Canary is a version of Chrome where new features of the browser that are still under development get added. Since this browser isn’t a stable version of Chrome, only developers and early-adopters tend to use it. If the experimental feature gets approved, it then gets implemented within the stable version of Chrome. Naturally, this is what would likely happen with the redirect blocker. However, it should be noted that there are no guarantees that this new feature would certainly get added to a stable Chrome version. That said, the chances are rather high as there is surely need for such an utility that would block Tab-Under behavior from different sites.

Up until it becomes clear whether or not the blocker feature would get added to Chrome, we advise our readers to always be careful and vigilant when surfing through the net. Oftentimes it can be rather difficult to notice when such a redirect has occurred, especially if there are a lot of tabs opened at once. Also, it seems that most of the times where this unwanted page behavior occurs, it is coming from websites and webpages that aren’t the most reliable places to be online so avoiding any shady Internet addresses might also help you avoid any instances of Tab-Under behavior.


About the author


Boris' main task on TinySoftware is to keep an eye out for the latest cyber threats, software news and technology trends and then turn those into articles for this site. In his articles, he seeks to present the collected information in a way that would be easy to understand by the regular user allowing everyone to learn more about the each of the topics that he covers on TinySoftware.

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