Updated: 05/06/2024 by Computer Hope
Mouse cursor clicking a hyperlink.

Alternatively known as a link and web link, a hyperlink is an icon, graphic, or text that links to another file or object. The World Wide Web is comprised of hyperlinks linking trillions of pages and files to one another. For example, "Computer Hope home page" is a hyperlink to the Computer Hope home page.

Hyperlinks allow web pages to connect to other web pages; without them, you would need to know the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for every page on the Internet. For example, you likely got to this page from a hyperlink and didn't type "https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/h/hyperlink.htm" into your browser address bar.

What happens when you click a hyperlink?

When you click, tap, or select a hyperlink, the browser leaves the current page you are viewing and opens the link for the new page. For example, you could click any of the links below to find more information related to hyperlinks.


It is also possible to create a hyperlink (named anchor) to a location on the same page. For example, the links at the beginning of this page are named anchors to the headings on this page. A link may also open a new tab and keep the current window open as a background tab.


On a computer, you can identify a hyperlink, even if it's not underlined, by hovering your mouse pointer over the text. A browser changes the pointer from an arrow to a finger to indicate it can be opened. Also, at the bottom of the browser window, the URL of the link should appear to help you identify where the link points.

Why are some hyperlinks different colors?

For usability, many websites (including Computer Hope) change the color of visited (opened) hyperlinks to let the reader know what page they have visited. For example, unless you have already viewed our motherboard page, the link should be blue. However, the link to this hyperlink page should be a different color because you've visited the page since you are reading it now.

When hovering over a hyperlink, what happens?

Hover cursor change

On a computer, when hovering your mouse pointer over a hyperlink, the cursor changes to a hand pointer. As shown in the animated picture, the cursor changes from an arrow to an I-beam over text, and then the hand pointer when over the blue Computer Hope hyperlink.


On a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet, there's no hovering ability because you tap with your finger.

Example of how to create a hyperlink

Below is an example of how to create a hyperlink on an HTML (HyperText Markup Language) page. In our visual example, you can see that a hyperlink uses the a tag with the href attribute that points to the file or web page. In the example, the hyperlink would be titled "Computer Hope" and point to the hope.html file. If the file did not exist, you would get a 404 error.

HTML a tag

Further information and examples on creating a hyperlink are on the link below.

How to open a hyperlink in a new tab or window

Below are all of the different ways a hyperlink can be opened in a new window or tab.


Instead of clicking with the default left mouse button, right-click a link to open a context menu. In the context menu, you can open that link in a new tab and a new window.

Hold down Shift

Pressing Shift when clicking a link opens that link in a new window or tab depending on your browser and its settings.

Middle mouse button click

If your mouse has a middle button or a wheel, pressing it on a link opens that link in a new tab.

How can I click a link without using a mouse?

A keyboard can perform the same action as a click by pressing either spacebar or Enter. For example, press Tab repeatedly to navigate through each hyperlink on this page. When you get to a link you want to "click" and visit, press Enter to follow that link.

How to create a hyperlink on an image

In HTML, you can create a hyperlink on an image in two ways. To link the complete image, you can place the img tag in the anchor tag. To create a hyperlink in only part of the image, use an image map.

What is the hyperlink keyboard shortcut?

The keyboard shortcut used to insert a hyperlink varies depending on the program used. In most Microsoft programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+K.

Other places hyperlinks are found

Hyperlinks are not exclusive to Internet browsers. Many programs and operating systems also use hyperlinks. For example, electronic documents, PDFs, and Windows 10 all feature hyperlinks that open other files, documents, and web pages.

Hyperlinks can also be made into a QR code, placed on products, and scanned by a smartphone to open a web page without entering the URL.

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