There are some news sites I read that refresh their page every 2-3 minutes. Even if it’s not the foreground tab. Super annoying! Is there any way to disable or stop auto refresh in Microsoft Edge on my Win10 system?
Ah yes, those pages that reload themselves every few minutes, for hours, days or even weeks. Forget about ’em and they can be responsible for consuming a lot of bandwidth and CPU power on your computer, even while you’re away! This is known as the ever-annoying meta refresh, as it’s called in the biz. For some sites it’s great: If you’re actively reading a news site, having it refresh occasionally is a smart way for breaking news to bubble up to the top, but the problem is that there’s no differentiation of activity based on your focus: minimize the window and it’ll still reload every few minutes. Forever.
The actual HTML source sites add to their pages is super simple, which might be one reason why this shows up on so many sites. For example, if I added this one line to this page — <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”250″> — then every 250 seconds (about 4 minutes) it would reload. Which would be a bit daft because the content certainly isn’t changing every 4 minutes!
The good news is that you can disable this in Microsoft Web browsers, though surprisingly you can’t turn it off in Google Chrome. Of all companies, Google should understand why people might not want to have all this reloading happening 24×7, but as of this writing, it’s not a setting you can access.
Then again, the Windows 10 setting to disable page reload is rather ridiculously difficult to find. In fact, it’s not even within the Microsoft Edge program at all! You’ll find it in Internet Settings, but even there it’s pretty buried.
So let’s go hunting! Start by searching for “internet options” in the Win10 search box:
That’s what you want, the Internet Options control panel. Click or tap to launch it.
Choose the “Security” tab once it opens and you’ll see this set of choices and settings:
See that “Custom level…” button I’ve highlighted approximately 2/3 of the way down the window? You’ll need to click or tap on that because none of the various default security zone settings disable meta refresh.
This is when things get a bit gnarly and complicated, as you can immediately see:
What’s important is that you don’t change any settings you don’t fully understand here. Let me say that again, it’s important: don’t change any settings unless you’re 100% sure you know how it will affect your online experience.
Scroll down and about 70% of the way through the admittedly huge list of options you’ll find what you seek:
I highlight this option above so you can see it on the list. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few minutes of staring at this super long list to find the Allow META REFRESH option; it took me a while and I knew what I was looking for at the time. 🙂
As you can see above, the default is “Enable” so change that to “Disable” and pages won’t be allowed to refresh themselves. Well, once you quit and restart your Web browsers, that is. Close the above, restart the browser, and you should be living in a meta refresh-free world!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Windows 10 forever. Why not take a few minutes and check out my extensive Windows 10 help area for lots more useful tutorials?