Image: Brian Turnbow
The Chrome Reddit thread today filled with complaints from Google Chrome users saying they can not use the middle mouse button to open links in new tabs. Using the CTRL key and clicking shortcuts also does not work for some users. The root cause of the problem has been identified as Chrome's built-in popup blocker, which seems to work on some extensions and trigger a pop-up window. up warns, prevents clicking with the middle mouse button and blocks the opening of a new tab. The problem is not new, was reported to Google engineers last year on December 30, but few users reported issues. For unknown reasons, the problems spread to countless other users who had no previous problems [1, 2, 3, 4]In addition, the problem has also been extended to the control of video players. Some users said they could not open videos in full-screen mode or interact with various other video player buttons. YouTube videos were also affected [1, 2, 3, 4],

Complaints flooded not only the official Subreddit of Chrome, but also social media sites such as Twitter [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]and the official Google Help Forum [1, 2, 3],
We are currently trying to figure out why the middle click to open a new tab in Chrome stops working. Medium click works everywhere else. There are some bug reports in forums, so I'm not alone. I just want to suffer from compiler errors again – I know how to handle Clang, etc. – Stephan T. Lavavej (@StephanTLavavej), January 10, 2019

There have been no updates for Chrome since the official release of Chrome 71 last month. Therefore, the problem is not in the browser itself. The answers from Google engineers were confusing. Some said the problem was with Chrome's server-side pop-up blocker code, while others merely accused the extensions.

Chrome enhancements that caused moderate-click issues at the time of writing include Ghostery, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, S3.Translator, ImTranslator, and RoboForm Password Manager. Other extensions may also block intermediate clicks or video player controls, but they have not been publicly reported yet. Users should disable Chrome Pop-up Blocker in the browser's settings pane at chrome: // settings / content / popups, or disable all extensions, and turn them on one at a time until they find the middle click blocking. Other Chromium-based browsers were not affected.

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