I'm new to Safari ... and would like to know if there is a way to cause Safari to inhibit the auto refresh function that a lot of pages seem to use these days.

Fwiw, my rationale is to stop large websites - being refreshed regularly - and hence consuming my download quotas. This is common with a number of news sites in Australia - eg. www.news.com.au

I know there are ways to do this in Firefox, but I'd like to use Safari.

1 Answer 1


Sadly (it happens to me too), most of these pages use either a Meta

<meta http-equiv=”refresh”>

or some form of Javascript to accomplish the reload every XX seconds.

For the former case, Firefox (not Safari) had an option to disable it (Tools >> Options >> Advanced >> General >> Accessibility -> Warn me when web sites try to redirect or reload the page).

However that option not always works, specially with newer sites; also that is a Firefox option only, which apparently you already knew about.

In the latter case (Javascript) there isn’t much we can do. As far as I understand, no CSS trick can prevent that (which would be the only tool we could have at the moment). I’m sure that at some clever (and bored) coder will create an extension that captures that and tries to prevent it.

In the meantime, you (and the rest of us) are out of luck while using Safari.

The ideal would be those sites to implement an AJAX form of communication that informs the user that there’s new content. All in all, it’s a series of hacks over a static protocol that maintains no “session” by design.

  • This answer may be outdated? And what about turning off javascript? If all you're doing it reading static content, turning off javascript should prevent refresh in the second case. And would View > Stop (in the macOS version of Safari) stop page reloads in the first case?
    – hepcat72
    Mar 23, 2021 at 15:04
  • Alas, It may be; I haven't used macOS since 2018 and even then I wasn't really much into it anymore so I don't really know. After High Sierra, macOS went in a downward spiral for me to the point where I stopped using Macbooks and Macintosh computers in general, sorry :/ Mar 23, 2021 at 15:24
  • I totally agree with the downward spiral. I came really close to going all Linux when I needed to buy a new laptop last year. Every macOS update frustrates me more and more. Now with Big Sur looming and the issues I've heard with it from my IT colleagues, I'm thinking the next hardware may be it for me... though I'm not looking forward to the change-over either. Maybe I'll get a second (linux) laptop and transition gradually...
    – hepcat72
    Mar 23, 2021 at 15:34
  • That's what I did, got a System76 machine, and never looked back; good luck :))) Mar 23, 2021 at 16:59

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