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How to Disable Page Auto-reloading on Safari Mac

Learn how to disable the web page auto-reloading or refresh on the Apple Safari browser on Mac. Switching between tabs and apps automatically reloads the page.

The Safari browser is optimized to perform best even with low resources. However, it comes at a cost. When the browser does not have enough RAM for processing, it will auto-kill the browser tabs for making RAM available for new pages, thus resulting in auto-reload on visiting the inactive tabs. Disabling the unnecessary processes can stop Safari tabs from auto-reload.

Stop Web Page Auto-refresh on Safari browser

Safari browser has a memory management system, which kills the inactive webpage whenever it needs more RAM. When you revisit the inactive tab, it automatically reloads the page. It is an excellent feature of RAM management. However, frequent reloading of the tabs is often annoying.

I’m using the Safari browser for most of my internet usage. It’s fast, it consumes less battery, and it automatically disables ads and information trackers.

Safari is designed to run on the minimum resources possible, so as soon as any webpage demands more resources, it stops the processes for other tabs.

Now I’m facing a similar situation where I’m trying to watch an online movie picture in picture mode, but my movie website reloads repeatedly. The problem arises when the web page you visit demands too many resources and starts killing inactive tabs.

Restart browser

Restart is the best solution you can do right now – and it’s as simple as turning off your browser and turning it on again.

Browsers tend to get jumbled up with so many processes in the background. And many websites, especially which are using javascript and online video streaming sites, tend to freeze and auto-reload. So it’s a good idea to restart the browser.

Empty Browser Cache

A browser cache is a set of temporary files websites use to show you content. It is beneficial for heavy websites such as Facebook. But when this temporary cache adds up with time, it starts multiple issues, including web page reloading on Safari Mac.

If you use a Mac with relatively less RAM and Disk space, you must empty the browser cache every three months.

Here are the steps to clear browsing data:

  1. Open the Safari app on the device.
  2. Click on the Safari menu and select the Preferences sub-menu.
  3. Switch to the Advanced tab.
  4. Enable the check box for the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
    Show Develop menu in menubar on SafariIt will enable a new Develop menu in the Safari menu bar.
  5. Click on the Develop menu on the menu bar.
  6. Select Empty Caches from the drop-down menu.
    Empty Cache from Develop menu in Safari MacIt will clear and empty all the cache files stored within the Safari browser.
  7. Next, Click on the History menu on the menu bar.
  8. Click on the Clear History… option.
    Clear History command under History menubar in SafariIt will display a clear history dialog box on the screen.
  9. Choose a suitable time frame and click the Clear History button.
    Clear History from Safari browser

After clearing the cache and browser history successfully, all your websites will function normally.

Turn off Content Blockers

Content blockers are part of a unique feature in Safari, limiting javascript to show you interactive ads or other media while browsing the web. But many websites know about this feature, and they have made counter methods that force the website to reload when these settings are enabled.

I’m sure content blockers help minimize the advertisement clutter on the web. But you have to turn it off to solve this website reload problem.

Here are the steps to turn off content blockers:

  1. Launch the Safari browser on Mac.
  2. Open the website you desire to turn off the content blocker.
  3. Click on the Safari menu, and choose Settings for This Website… sub-menu.
    Settings for This Website option in Safari browser
  4. Now, Disable the checkbox for Enable Content Blockers option.
    Enable Content Blockers in Safari browser

It will immediately disable the content blockers for the website and won’t allow the website to auto-reload. It is risky to disable the content blockers since it enables all the content, including third-party malicious content.

Use Adblock Extension

Adblock can be an excellent solution to this problem as each website page shows 5-6 advertisements, which can take up much of your CPU resources. And as a result, it will reload the website due to heavy CPU or resource usage. So better to use Adblock or another form of advertisement-blocking service.

  1. Go to Adblock Plus’s official website.
  2. Download the AdBlock Plus extension for Safari.
    Install AdBlock on Safari browserIt will prompt whether to install AdBlock Plus extensions.
  3. Click on the Trust button to finish the installation.
    Trust to Install the AdBlock on Safari
  4. The AdBlocker extension will get installed on the Safari browser.
    AdBlock extensions on Safari browser

The Adblock will automatically block heavy resources using ads, so you won’t see any warning messages.

Use only the Active Tab

More tabs equal more resources; that’s quick maths! But this is true as Safari is finetuned to give you the best performance with a limited amount of resources. So if you open many tabs at once, it might freeze or reload websites at random.

So, close the websites which you are not using. If necessary and you want to visit them later, bookmark them or add them to the reading list.

Change Browser User-Agent

User-Agent helps web browsers to load websites and assign memory resources accordingly. Since Chrome is a heavy memory usage browser, its user agent is also designed in such a way that it can handle these rich websites. While Safari User-Agent is not so capable, and as a result, it shows the error message and starts reloading web pages.

Here are the steps to change User-Agent:

  1. Go to the Develop menu, and choose the User Agent option.
    Google Chrome Mac User Agent in Safari browser
  2. Choose Google Chrome — Mac and reload the website.
info icon
Note: If Chrome User-Agent doesn’t work, try with the Firefox user agent and see if the webpages loading problem is solved.

Suppress Safari Alerts

Safari uses multi-process mode as default which is resource and power-friendly for your Mac laptops. In this mode, the web page’s content and the network communication part are separated and work independently.

So, in theory, you don’t need to refresh the webpage to get or fetch new data from the server. But this is not a foolproof method and sometimes fails, resulting in error messages or alerts and reloading of the webpage.

Here are the steps to suppress Alerts in Safari Mac:

  1. Open the Terminal on Mac.
    Terminal app in macOS
  2. Enter the following command, and hit Enter.
    defaults write IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1

    MacOS terminal to enable Debug menu on Safari browser

  3. Now relaunch the Safari browser.
    It will display a new Debug menu in the menubar.
  4. Click to open Debug menu, and select the Suppress Alerts option.
    Safari Suppress Alerts option under Debug menu

Now Safari will suppress all alerts; hopefully, your web pages will not reload randomly.

Use other browsers

Safari is a great browser, but not the best. If the websites you intend to consume or work upon need heavy resources to run, they will reload at random no matter what. Because this is how the Safari browser operates, as soon as the website demands more resources, Safari will reload it.

But this is not the case with other browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. These browsers do not have a control mechanism to limit computer resources while using the internet. So if you are using some heavy website for your work or entertainment purposes, switch to Google Chrome.

Bottom Line

The problem of auto-reloading is a classic example of how over-optimization can ruin the experience of end-users.

I’m sure Apple will do something about it in future updates. Hence, make sure to keep your Mac updated with the latest release.

Meanwhile, the above troubleshooting steps will definitely help you auto-reloading issue in the Safari browser. If not, you can install Chrome or Firefox browsers, as these browsers have no limitations or reload issues.

Let us know if any methods have helped you fix the reloading issue. If you’ve tried anything else and if it worked, please share in the comment box below.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback on How to Disable Page Auto-reloading on Safari Mac, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

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Rahul Verma

Rahul is a Computer Science Engineer with a MBA degree. He is keenly interested in the field of tech and cryptocurrency. He has 6+ years of technical content writing experience, mainly experimenting with and troubleshooting computer and mobile operating systems. Connect him on LinkedIn.

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