How to Disable Web Page Auto-Refresh (All Major Browsers)


There was a time when web pages were static once they loaded – no post-processing changing web pages before your eyes, no funny business. Today, features like auto-refresh are designed to help us, but sometimes they can get in the way, causing videos or text to reload when we’re in the middle of using it. To make your life a little easier, we’ll show you how to disable auto-refresh on all the major browsers.

Disable Auto-Refresh in Chrome

Let’s start with the most popular one. Disabling auto-refresh on Chrome is a little more complicated than on other browsers because you can’t do it directly through the browser. Instead, you need to get a third-party extension.

Fortunately, there’s one that does the job. It’s called Auto Refresh Blocker. Install the extension, then go to its options page under “chrome://extensions” then “Details.” Click “Extension options” and make sure the “Disable Meta Refresh” box is ticked.


To add websites to your auto-refresh blacklist, navigate to that site in Chrome, then click the “Auto Refresh Blocker” icon at the top-right and click “Blacklist website.”


Alternatively, if you’re finding that tabs you haven’t opened in a while are auto-refreshing, you need to disable “automatic tab discarding” in Chrome Flags. To do this, type chrome://flags into the address bar, search for “discarding,” and change “Automatic tab discarding” from Default to Disabled.


Disable Auto-Refresh in Firefox

The process for blocking auto-refresh is much simpler in Mozilla’s browser.

Just type about:config into the Firefox address bar, say you “Accept the risks” involved in making changes to Firefox, then right near the top of the list you should see the preference called accessibility.blockautorefresh.


Right-click this preference and click “Toggle” to change its value from “false” to “true,” thereby disabling auto-refresh in Firefox.

Disable Auto-Refresh in Edge

Nope, no such luck. Microsoft Edge doesn’t have a built-in function that allows you to block auto-refresh, nor is there a third-party extension that does it yet. While an extension for this could technically exist, Microsoft hasn’t been too proactive about attracting developers to make extensions for the Edge browser, so there really aren’t that many extensions even available for the browser, let alone one that does this specific task.

Disable Auto-Refresh in Internet Explorer

First, we’re going to scold you for still using Internet Explorer when the browser is no longer being supported and updated by Microsoft.

But the fact remains that a lot of people still persist and use IE, so these directions will show you how to disable auto-refresh in the deprecated browser.

Click the Start button, type “internet options” and select Internet Options in the search results.

In the Internet Properties window, click “Custom tab -> Custom level,” then in the Security Settings window scroll down until you find “Allow META REFRESH.” Disable this option and click OK.



That rounds up how to manage auto-refresh on all the big browsers. No more intrusive activity on web-pages, and no more music-streaming getting restarted because the page decides to auto-refresh. Apologies if we’ve missed your browser in the list, but hopefully the majority of readers are now covered!

This article was first published in December 2010 and was updated in June 2018.

Image credit: Refresh Restart Renew Vision Concept by

Robert Zak Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.


  1. Firefox 64.0
    windows 7 home premium
    I tried the above refresh configuration, but the pages on this site still refresh.

  2. Added accessibility.blockautorefresh to Firefox for android and pages still refresh after being in the background.

  3. This is simply wrong about Firefox — it merrily auto-refreshes away with zero change in behavior.

  4. Firefox 66.0.1 (64-bit) did the “about:config” thing, but it does not work. It keep obnoxiously refreshing some pages, causing me to lose important information. I need a solution. Maybe an add-on?

  5. Unfortunately, I have the same problem with Firefox not understanding the change in about:config. I have changed it and for some reason, the above change just changes back to false! It has to do with media web pages. I noticed Tasha reported above the same on a media site, startribune. I get the same with KOIN.

  6. What about Chrome for Android? It doesnt have the tab discard flag. Yet, its a major pain when it comes to auto refreshing. A stupid feature that serves no purpose except to annoy.

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