How to Stop Chrome Tabs from Refreshing Automatically

The browser tabs of Google Chrome seems to auto refresh or reload the content of websites if you switch between tabs. When websites or background tabs are refreshed automatically, the content of the page might change causing us to lose information. The problem or feature is prevalent in Android, iOS and Desktops as well as Laptop version of this popular web browser. There is an experimental feature accessible from chrome://flags that gives us some control to stop the reloading of background tabs in PC, Mac and possibly Chromebooks.

To stop Chrome tabs from refreshing or reloading in your computer:

  • In the address bar type, chrome://flags.
  • Scroll down to find Automatic tab discarding or open: chrome://flags/#automatic-tab-discarding.
  • From the dropdown, switch from Default to Disabled.
  • In the bottom, click on the Relaunch Now button to get the changes into effect.

Stopping Google Chrome Reloading Tabs

There is another feature to see more information about discarded tabs. It also allows you to manually discard them so that they are reloaded the next time you switch tabs.

To view the information: In the address bar type, chrome://discards or about:discards.

About Discarded Tabs

A list of tab names sorted from the most interesting to the least interesting ones will be displayed. The ones in the bottom are highly likely to be removed from memory while the ones on top stay loaded. You can use individual Discard links besides each item on the list to manually remove tabs from your browser’s memory.

You will want to do this to free up a portion of your memory and improve your web browsing experience. There is also information about the total and free memory. So, you can see that it is actually a feature that the developers have been working on to reduce memory footprint. You can read more about Tab Discarding here. The experimental feature of disabling it is not available in the latest Android or iOS Chrome browser.

One comment

  • Ric D

    There really needs to be an option to stop individual tabs from being discarded. Tab discarding/reloading is a good feature but it’s maddening when you have audio paused and then come back to it to find that it’s been discarded. Something so simple as making sure pinned tabs are never discarded would be great but as it is right now, it’s really poor.

    I can’t fathom how they can not have thought of this themselves. Having it enabled or disabled across the board is such a primitive setup, it’s like they haven’t actually used Chrome while browsing because this problem occurs almost daily!