When switching between tabs in Safari Mobile -- Even within a few seconds -- Safari will automatically reload the tab.

This will happen more frequently between sessions: Switching between Safari Mobile to another app and back will cause every open page ("tab") to reload.

Not long ago, I found a tutorial explaining how to prevent Safari Mobile from reloading tabs while browsing that involved plugging in the iPhone, and making use of Safari Desktop's Development Web Inspector, similar to the method viewable in this tutorial: http://appletoolbox.com/2014/05/use-web-inspector-debug-mobile-safari/

To prevent the Mobile app from reloading tabs by default. However, the above tutorial is only for troubleshooting how a specific webpage appears on the iPhone, and I can no longer find the tutorial to prevent Safari from reloading all tabs each session.

Solutions tried have included: Closing all other apps Clearing History and Website Data Restart Changing Settings > Safari > Open Links from "In Background" to "In New Tab" Resetting Network Settings Clearing available storage space Reset All Settings Restore phone from backup

Tabs still reload. This is commonly attributed on the Apple Support and other threads I have read to "Memory Issues" or default behavior for "Memory Allocation":




Yet pages are visible and usable in the tab immediately after switching, but then reload anyway. Not good in poor coverage areas.

Is anyone aware of a true solution to prevent this automatic reloading behavior in Safari Mobile?

  • 3
    Excellent research! I know many people are irritated with this behavior. Hopefully someone has insight.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 23:17
  • 1
    The behaviour you describe is not systematic. The "normal" behaviour is to switch to the tab without reloading it. Safari does that. But, sometimes, Safari does reload the tab instead, and this is annoying. Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 20:19
  • So did anyone found a solution to this problem ..?
    – Md Faisal
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 8:20
  • 5
    my intuition is that it relates to memory usage. if you are using "more" memory, then those tabs get closed, and need to be refreshed. if you are using "low" memory, then tabs stay loaded in the background
    – Paul
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 23:54
  • I'm seconding @PaulPaczuski's response. What you're seeing when you first switch is probably just a screenshot, per se. It's supposed to make the switch appear faster than it actually is--you can't interact with it. The actual page is long gone. I suspect that the particular sites you're visiting are using too much memory. See if it happens to lightweight websites (e.g., netops.is, motherf***ingwebsite.com--last one has NSFW text, but it's a classic, famous example).
    – Zenexer
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 8:51

1 Answer 1


As you have read, this is down to memory management. iOS will remove background tabs from memory when that memory is required for something else. The device you're using is more significant than the version of iOS. An iPhone 6 with 1GB of RAM will close tabs more aggressively than an XS with 4GB.

As others have mentioned in the comments, iOS keeps a thumbnail of the page in memory so that you know which tab is which. This thumbnail requires much less memory than a full web page rendering context.

Reclaiming memory used by inactive apps/tabs is actually a feature. You wouldn't wan't an app to fail to launch because your phone is out of memory, so iOS automatically makes space for it. For the same reason it's not necessary to "close" apps, as iOS will remove apps from memory when necessary.

Apple doesn't include RAM in the specs published for iOS devices, but wikipedia has a handy summary of iOS device specs.

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