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Stop Auto-Reload/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.

One major issue the Chrome browser frustrates its users with is the curse of auto-reloading/refreshing the web pages when we are inactive in a particular tab. There are different ways to stop auto-reload/refresh in Chrome browser tabs, disable purging of open or loaded tabs, turn off auto discardable, run an SFC scan on your system, etc.

Stop Auto-Reload or Refresh Tab on Chrome browser

The Chrome browser gets extremely slow when you force it to push beyond its limits. But it’s only natural for such a program to slow down when we put pressure on it; that’s much more than a program can handle.

One major issue the Chrome browser frustrates its users is the curse of auto-reloading/refreshing the web pages when we are inactive in a particular tab.

Considering my case, this often happened to me when jumping between the open or loaded tabs. For instance, if I load five open tabs, switch to another tab, and return to the previous one, it will refresh or start loading again.

It started with a big-time interval. Initially, the loaded tabs would stay for an hour until they reloaded again. However, the interval became short over time, and it started to get on my nerves!

It forced me to embark on a hunt for a reliable solution. Thankfully, I did come up with something capable of preventing the issue, and you can refer to them below and apply it if the same problem is also frustrating.

Why Chrome Auto-Reload?

By default, Chrome is programmed to automatically erase the data of any open, loaded tabs in case the browser uses a lot of memory. It is an automated process initiated to conserve system resources and reduce the pressure off 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.

However, from the other perspective, this is a frustrating issue. The frustration only gets extreme if you’re typing down long content, switch to another tab for some purpose, and come back only to know that the tab is auto-reloading, and you’ll have to write down the entire stuff again!

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.

Turn Off Memory Saver

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 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.

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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.

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.

Run an SFC scan on your 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!

Disable Purging of Open or Loaded Tabs

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Update: This experiment flag is no longer available in the Chrome browser. Please skip to the next section.

For most Chrome users, the issue happens because the browser erases the tab data for the system’s optimal performance. Simply messing around with Chrome’s tab discarding menu will help solve the issue.

Here are the steps to disable the automatic tab discarding the chrome flag:

  1. Launch Google Chrome browser.
  2. Open the Chrome flags settings page at chrome://flags and search for Automatic Tab Discarding. OR
  3. You can copy and paste in the URL bar: chrome://flags/#automatic-tab-discarding.
    Automatic tab discarding chrome flags URL
  4. From the result, disable the tab discarding by setting the drop-down menu button to Disabled mode.
    Automatic Tab Discarding Disabled

Applying this step will prevent the Chrome browser from purging the open and loaded tabs when your system struggles with pressure.

It will ultimately cease the Chrome browser auto-refresh when you switch between the tabs and avoid frustrations.

Restart your 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 first step I took when this issue started to frustrate me was restarting my computer. I use an HP laptop, and restarting my system the first time significantly impacted how Chrome automatically reloaded the tab. The first restart helped me gain a more lengthy interval for auto-reloading. However, the interval kept shortening each time I restarted.

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.


Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding how to Stop Auto-Reload/Refresh in Chrome Browser Tabs:

How to Stop Auto-Reload/Refresh in Chrome Browser Tabs?

The different ways to Stop Auto-Reload/Refresh in Chrome Browser Tabs are disabling the auto-purging of open tabs, toggling off auto discardable, running an SFC scan on your system, or restarting your system.

How to Run an SFC scan on your system?

Press the Windows and S keys to bring up Windows search, and type cmd in the search bar. From the results, right-click on the Command Prompt program and choose to Run as Administrator. Enter the ‘sfc /scannow’ command into the Command Prompt window and finally hit the Enter key to initiate the SFC scan.

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Aman Habib

Aman Habib

Aman is a Mechanical Engineer by education and a content writer by passion. He started writing at the age of 15 years, which turned into a technical writing profession. He has a great understanding of technology and closely follows the Android ecosystem. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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