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.

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.

disable-web-page-auto-refresh-chrome-auto-refresh-blocker

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.”

disable-web-page-auto-refresh-chrome-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-web-page-auto-refresh-chrome-tab-discarding

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.

disable-web-page-auto-refresh-firefox-about-config

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

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.

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.

disable-web-page-auto-refresh-ie11-meta-refresh

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 Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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