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Stop Auto Reload or Refresh of Chrome browser Tabs

Want to stop tabs from auto-reloading/refreshing when switching between them? Learn how to prevent automatic tab reloading in the Chrome browser.

Chrome browser auto-reloads/refreshes web pages when we are inactive in a particular tab to regain memory.

To fix the issue, turn off the purging of open or loaded tabs, clear the browser cache, run an SFC scan on your system, etc., to stop the auto-refresh.

In this guide, we have shared the different methods to stop page or tab auto-refresh in the Chrome app. 

Why Chrome Auto-Reload?

By default, Chrome is programmed to automatically erase the data of any open, loaded tabs if the browser uses a lot of memory. This automated process conserves system resources and reduces the pressure on your browser.

From one perspective, this is the ideal way the browser should operate, as this process will ultimately reduce the chances of your system(or the browser alone) slowing down or crashing. It may be better when thinking about how difficult it is to cope with a slowed-down and crashing system rather than wait a few extra seconds for the tabs to reload.

It happens either because the browser is erasing the data or because there’s a possibility that some corrupt files/data are interfering with it. However, applying the steps below will prevent the Chrome browser from erasing the open/loaded tabs.

Method 1: Turn Off Memory Saver Feature

The Chrome browser has a Memory Saver feature that typically hibernates the inactive tabs and uses the memory resources for active tabs or even other system applications. When you revisit the inactive tab, it reloads it to make a connection.

Hence, disabling the memory saver will stop the tabs from auto-reload. You can configure it from the Performance settings by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Chrome browser.
  2. Click on the More vertical 3-dots icon menu and select the Settings menu.
  3. Switch to the Performance tab from the left pane.
  4. Disable the toggle button to turn off the Memory Saver feature.
    Memory Saver Chrome Performance Toggle button

It will stop the memory saver feature and won’t stop the inactive browser tabs from background activity.

info icon
Note: Instead of disabling the Memory Saver on the Chrome browser, you should consider adding the site URL to the exception list. It helps in avoiding the tab from going inactive mode.

Method 2: Toggle off Auto Discardable

It is a new addition to Chrome, which I believe was introduced during the automatic tab discarding the Chrome flag. It turns off the auto discarding that reloads the website page that has been inactive for a time.

To turn off the Auto Discardable toggle, we must visit the chrome://discards address. It will show the list of active tabs and the option to stop auto-reload. It also displays the Site Engagement Score and Reactivation Score that help Chrome understand the inactive site for auto-reload.

Chrome Discards Auto Discardable Toggle

If you want to disable or stop the auto-refresh, you can click on Toggle to turn off the Auto Discardable checkbox against the open tab, and you’re done.

The only major caveat is that the setting is not permanent. If you close the Chrome browser and relaunch, Auto Discardable is re-enabled for the site. However, you can use this setting to keep Chrome active and running.

Method 3: Run an SFC scan on System

The purpose of an SFC scan is to scan all protected files on your system and fix any files/data that may be corrupted. There is slight chance that system files are corrupted that causing the auto-reload.

Here are the steps to run an SFC scan on Windows PC:

  1. Start by pressing the Windows + S key shortcut to bring up Windows search.
  2. Type in cmd into the search bar.
  3. From the results, right-click on the Command Prompt program and choose to Run as Administrator.
    Command Prompt Run as Adminitrator in Windows
  4. Then, copy and paste the following command into the Command Prompt window: sfc /scannow.
    SFC scannow in Windows CMD prompt
  5. Finally, press the Enter key to initiate the SFC scan.

In the worst case, it will finish successfully in a few seconds or minutes.

When the scanning process is successful, it will replace the corrupted data with its respective fixes. If the scan finds no corrupted data, it will return a message. Either way, close the window when the process is complete, and you’re set!

Method 4: Restart your Computer System

If the two fixes given above don’t work out, then the final step we can take is to restart the system.

Restarting the system solves many problems, whether on a Chromebook, Mac, or Windows. However, remember that this is a temporary fix for some users. In my case, restarting my computer did help me with the issue on some level, although it did come back after a few hours.

Although restarting your system might only be a temporary fix, it is worth trying to see how much it will impact the issue.

Bottom Line

Concluding, users that saw no success with any of these solutions should perhaps wait until Chrome acknowledges the issue and release an update that will fix the same. However, disabling the automatic tab discarding flag in Chrome for most users will fix the issue.

The SFC scan returned no corruption at all. My final application was disabling the last flags in Chrome, which certainly did resolve the issue for me.

You can also follow these articles to manually hard refresh the site on the Chrome browser.

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Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza is a Google Certified IT Professional, Digital Content Creator, and Go-To Digital Marketer with Engineering Degree. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and innovating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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