Frequently when I'm using Safari on the iPad and loading multiple web sites at the same time and switching between them, Safari starts to reload a page when I switch back to it, even if it's been only a few minutes since I last opened the page. This can be quite annoying.

Is there any way to control how often Safari on the iPad will perform refresh a page? Ideally, I'd like to tell Safari to not refresh any pages and just refresh manually when I want to.

2 Answers 2


Safari (for iPod and iPad) keeps website cache only in RAM, and therefore, once it runs out of RAM, it'll automatically destroy an entire page, forcing the refresh, disguising itself as an auto-refresh feature. You can only keep few pages respective to amount of your device RAM.

You can try a third-party browser that has offline caching, and it'll remedy the situation. like:

  1. Mercury
  2. iCab
  3. Atomic Web Browser

or if you Limit the number of tabs open in Safari to 2 or 3. It won't refresh.


Try and make sure the sites you're visiting are optimized for mobile, open fewer tabs at a time, and other ways of not using Safari as heavily. Not exactly very suitable answers until iOS 4.1 is eventually released for the iPad. Alternative browsers such as iCab have an offline bookmark option that will save the entire page to disk so you can view it without needing to refresh until you want to.

Safari on iOS has a very limited size on it's cache and will refresh a page when you come back to it if the cache is full. Part of this is because of the limited RAM available on iOS devices along with the fact that Apple doesn't write any cached items to the flash memory and only keeps it in the memory. (The iPad and iPhone 3G S only have ~256 MB of RAM, earlier devices 128 MB and the iPhone 4 512 MB)

Yahoo has run a series of tests to determine just how large the cache is. If the HTML of a page exceeds 25.6KB it will not be cached (and so refreshed every time you visit), external components can be larger (Up to 4MB) but the max size of the HTML page cache is only ~280KB on an iPad (paltry really). iOS 4 is set to increase that page cache size up to as much RAM as is available.

  • 1
    I really wish it would notify when an answer had been posted...
    – Chealion
    Aug 21, 2010 at 13:38
  • If you have Firebug open you'll notice it checks about once a minute for new answers. If it's closer then that it won't notify.
    – Josh K
    Aug 21, 2010 at 22:58
  • @Josh K: Not sure why but on Apple.SE it hasn't worked for me. Am1rr3zA's answer was up for 10 minutes without a notification as I was fact checking my answer.
    – Chealion
    Aug 22, 2010 at 6:12

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