A window is the feature of a web browser that allows users to view websites or applications on the internet. A browser window can be viewed in fullscreen or can be scaled down and re-positioned on a device’s screen. Shrinking a window down to the minimum width will automatically show the mobile version of a website if it was also built for mobile device use.
Clicking a website’s link will open the linked content in either the current window, a new window, or in a new tab in the window, depending on how the websites’s developer built it. Browser windows can also be dragged onto other monitors that are connected to a device.
Tabs are a browser feature that reduces clutter when multiple websites or web pages are open. Users can open multiple tabs each showing a different website or page of the same site as an alternative to having multiple windows open. Users can transition through open tabs at the top of web browsers. The window itself is what shows the pages open in different tabs.
Opening a new tab can be achieved in multiple ways. Users can click the “+” symbol next to an existing tab, which will open a window to a search engine, such as Google or Bing, unless a user has specified tabs to open to a different page in the browser’s settings. Opening a tab can also be done by right-clicking on a link and choosing the Open option in the dropdown to open a new tab.
Users can navigate back and forth between pages they’ve viewed previously using the Back and Forward buttons in the browser’s toolbar. A refresh button (typically designated by an arrow in a circular shape) can be clicked to reload the current page being viewed.
The layout of browser windows can vary depending on the operating system (OS) being used. For example, a browser window on macOS shows the Close, Minimize and Maximize buttons in the top left corner. Browsers on Microsoft Windows show these buttons in the top right.
Many web applications offer the ability to add an app extension that can be accessed in the upper right-hand-side of a browser window. This makes it easy to find and use applications that are frequented by users. Which extensions are shown and what order they appear in can be customized by the user. Some common examples of browser extensions include screenshot and screen recording tools, password managers and language translators.