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

Disable Auto Refresh Browser Featured

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 them. To make your life a little easier, we show you how to disable auto-refresh on all the major browsers.

Disable Auto-Refresh in Chrome (Brave and Opera)

Let’s start with Google Chrome, the most popular browser. Disabling auto-refresh was once something that could be quickly done via third-party extensions. Unfortunately, recent changes to Chrome have all but eliminated the need for those extensions so they no longer exist in the Chrome Web Store. The good news is there is a built-in alternative method that isn’t perfect but does the job. To get started, type chrome://discards into the address bar. This site shows a list of all of your currently active tabs with an option to stop auto-refresh.

Disable Auto Refresh Browser Chrome One

Begin by looking for “Auto Discardable” near the right side of the page, then locating the site where you want to disable auto-refresh. When you locate the page, click on “Toggle,” and the “√” will change to an “x.”

Disable Auto Refresh Browser Chrome Two

When “Auto Discardable” is active, any site that is disabled will not refresh. The caveat is that these settings are not permanent. Any time you close Chrome, you will have to follow the same process and toggle off any site. If you do not close Chrome, the setting will remain enabled for as long as it is running. It’s also worth noting that the same steps apply for Brave and Opera. Just use brave://discards or opera://discards and follow the same options for the “Auto Discardable” toggle.

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, “Accept the risks” involved in making changes to Firefox, then near the top of the list, you should see the preference called accessibility.blockautorefresh.

Disable Auto Refresh Browser Firefox

At the far right of this preference, click on what looks like a dual arrow “icon” to change its value from “false” to “true,” thereby disabling auto-refresh in Firefox. To turn auto-refresh back on, follow the same process and go from “true” to “false.”

Disable Auto-Refresh in Microsoft Edge or Apple Safari

Nope, no such luck. Neither Microsoft Edge nor Apple’s Safari browser has 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, neither Microsoft nor Apple have been too proactive about attracting developers to make extensions for the Edge or Safari browsers (though Apple is stepping up), so there really aren’t that many extensions available, 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 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. There is no more intrusive activity on web pages and no more music-streaming restarting 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!

Web page auto-refresh is not the only annoyance we can help you fix. Let’s see how to bypass Google’s ReCAPTCHA images, too.

David Joz
David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox