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Generally, it’s better to avoid opening links in new windows or tabs

Exceptions

Sometimes the experience might be improved by opening links in new windows or tabs. For example, if:

In these situations the link text should clearly state what's going to happen, for example: <a href="#" rel="noopener noreferrer">Link to a thing (opens in a new window or tab)</a>

Download attribute – update 11 May 2020

Adam suggests that PDF links can be downloaded to the device, instead of opened in a new tab, by using the download attribute.

Further reading