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Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required. is a news site that loves to reload the page that I'm reading, which annoys the hell out of me. It also automatically starts playing any video on the page as soon as I start scrolling down. Is there any way to stop it from doing both of those things, preferably in Chrome (but Firefox would be interesting, too). Perhaps some extension or something? Ideally I'd like to disable it only for that one domain, because some sites do use auto-refresh for legitimate (non-annoying) purposes.

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4 Answers 4

Unfortunately, I have researched for ways to do these things in Chrome, and found nothing that will work well, but I have a partial workaround here.

The best you can do to prevent refreshes is to use a bookmarklet or a user script extension like Tampermonkey to add the following Javascript to the domain in question:

window.onbeforeunload = function(){ return 'Disabled Auto-Refresh';};

If you want it as a bookmarklet, simply add "javascript:" to the front and make that the target of a bookmark. Click it when you're on the page you want to prevent from refreshing.

This will cause you to get the "Do you want to navigate away from this page?" popup when the site tries to refresh, which is annoying (thanks, Google), but at least you can tell it "no". It simply isn't possible to do this correctly in Chrome due to its limited extension API.

Similarly, there appears to be no good way to prevent HTML5 videos from playing automatically aside from blocking them outright. The closest I have seen anything come is this: that tries to pause videos, but the author admits that it doesn't have universal compatibility, and the reviews mention that it doesn't have a whitelist. I don't know whether it is once again Chrome's API limitations that are preventing us from doing what we want or just that nobody has made an appropriate extension.

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Have you tried using Adblock for Chrome?

There is a FAQ on the website showing how to block for specific domains:

Adblock FAQ - How to Block Only a Few Sites

The format to block the ads on that domain would probably be something along the lines of...


Adblock is available for Firefox, too, but it is not made by the same person.

Another fix that may stop the page from reloading is turning off javascript on that domain. You can accomplish this by to Tools (Wrench) -> Options -> Under the Hood -> Content Settings -> Javascript, and adding to block javascript on that page. One thing to note is that turning off javascript on some websites may cripple the responsiveness and useability of those websites, as they might rely on it heavily. After trying it out, it is mostly viewable.. but there were a lot of bits on the site that just disappeared when I used this. You might find it acceptable, but I would not recommend it (though I am including it here for you just incase you find you like it better).

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I tried adding AdBlock with that configuration, but it didn't seem to stop the page reloading or stop the video playing. (I already had AdBlock Plus by the way.) – EMP Nov 23 '11 at 14:20

You could probably use flashblock if the videos are flash based - you'd need to click to activate then. You might need to whitelist sites you want flash to automatically load though

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I haven't found a way to do this within Chrome, but I have found a workaround. I use Pocket to save pages I want to read later. If I save a page to Pocket, then retrieve it from there, there's no problem with the auto-refresh. It's an extra step, but it works.

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What's Pocket? Please read How to recommend software for instructions on recommending software on Super User. Thanks for contributing. – Twisty Jul 25 at 3:14

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