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Web pages (and web servers) can ask a browser to automatically refresh a page after a given timeout by including the HTML element <meta http-equiv="refresh"> or by sending a Refresh: HTTP header. This can be helpful (as in the case of a webpage whose content is updated constantly) but it also can be irritating.

Automatic refreshes also have accessibility implications; sudden replacement of content can be disorienting. The UAAG recommends giving users the option to disable/ignore automatic page refreshes for this reason. This preference allows users to block automatic page refreshing, instead displaying a message allowing them to manually refresh the page.

Possible values and their effects


Instead of refreshing a page automatically when <meta http-equiv="refresh"> is present (or Refresh HTTP headers), display a browser message indicating the refresh and allow the user to follow it manually.


Allow automatic page refreshes


Firefox 3.0

A checkbox labeled “Warn me when web sites try to redirect or reload the page” is located under “Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> General -> Accessibility”.

First checked in

2007-02-08 by Asaf Romano (patch by Mark Pilgrim)

Has an effect in

  • Mozilla Firefox (trunk builds since 2007-02-08)
  • SeaMonkey (trunk builds since 2010-04-20)

Related bugs

External links