It is common for public Wi-Fi access points to include login pages, even at times, when they’re free (i.e. Starbucks, many airports, hotels, etc).

I’m often in a situation where I’ll open up Chrome/Firefox, with and all my previously open tabs will start to reload.

If there is a wireless login redirection page, however, every tab is redirected and reloaded and the previous page is lost from history (and the back button won't return to it).

Is there any way to avoid or circumvent this behavior?

  • Questions like this deserve a lot more thumbs up. This type of scenario is a serious problem – Rucent88 Mar 1 '18 at 20:43

Firefox can be configured to not load tabs until selected. However, this is currently not supported in Chrome, so you'll need to disconnect from the Internet prior to opening the browser and reconnect to log in afterwards.

Firefox options page showing setting to not load tabs until selected

  • Alternatively, you can simply disconnect from the Internet (e.g. by turning off Wi-Fi) before starting your web browser, then reconnect to the Internet and open your browser. Once the browser has finished trying to load tabs (successfully or otherwise), turn the Internet connection back on and open one page to log in. You can then load all other tabs (on Firefox, right-click on any tab and select Reload All Tabs).

You can also use a browser plugin to restore the session after logging in.

  • On Firefox, the Session Manager add-on can be used to save and restore the session as needed. You can use this to reload the current session after logging in. For Chrome, the Session Buddy extension can be used to do the same.
  • 1
    In addition, I would install Session Manager: addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/session-manager – aparente001 Sep 15 '15 at 15:10
  • @aparente001 I can see how not loading tabs until selected could avoid or circumvent this behavior but how do Session Manager or Session Buddy help? If they automatically restore your tabs upon opening, then all tabs and history are lost, can they re-restore them after you've addressed the TOA redirect? (I've downloaded the Chrome one and will test, btw) – Still.Tony Sep 18 '15 at 14:16
  • A user-specified number of previous sessions are saved at any given time, and you can ignore the stored session and open one bare lightbulb of a browser window, or you can pull up the most recent session or one of the previously save ones. I hope that helps. Frankly, I don't understand "addressed the TOA redirect.") – aparente001 Sep 19 '15 at 4:59
  • 1
    @DragonLord - If you get the bounty, do I get a commission, ha ha? – aparente001 Sep 19 '15 at 20:12
  • @aparente001 If you can actually answer the question for the cases I described, e.g. all tabs redirect again after period of wifi usage OR open your computer from sleep and browser is already up (no wifi hardware switch) I'll post the bounty again and award it to you! – Still.Tony Oct 9 '15 at 15:21

One possibility is choose an otherwise useless browser like Internet Explorer (now renamed Microsoft Edge) and open it before you open your other browsers. Once you've used the burner browser to get past the redirect screen, open your other browsers.

The problems with this and most other solutions are:

  • if you don't have a hardware switch for your wireless and your computer is sleep'd or hibernated, as soon as you restore, it will connect to the wifi and kill all your tabs
  • if the login page pops up again after a certain time period, you lose all your tabs. e.g. Starbucks sometimes has you re-accept the TOA every 30 minutes or hour during busy times and the redirect kills all open tabs.

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