Have you ever opening several tabs on Google Chrome and when back on the first tab, it refreshes automatically. You are not alone, Google has deployed Tab Discarding experiment back in 2015, aimed to save memory usage while running the browser. Chrome is known as ‘greediest’ browser ever, resulting internet citizen create a meme to mock with. For several reasons, automatic tab refresh is annoying. It sucks the bandwidth, reloading the page twice despite it was loaded perfectly at the first attempt.
Disabling Tab Discarding is highly recommended since many internet pages like Youtube consume a higher level of data rather than Wikipedia and Twitter. Imagine if one of Youtube’s video fully loaded, then you add a new tab to check out Facebook News Feed, then the Youtube suddenly disappear. When user too long abandoned tabs, Chrome will consider it as unused tabs and kill the page to save memory.
Luckily, you can disable Tab Discarding (auto tab refresh) on Google Chrome by follows a simple guide below.
How to Disable Auto Tab Refresh on Google Chrome
Copy chrome://flags/#automatic-tab-discarding and paste it into the address bar, next, press Enter.
On the Automatic tab discarding section, select Disabled by drop-down menu.
Chrome requires you to restart the browser, click Relaunch Now. Make sure your work has been saved before closing the browser.
After the Chrome launched again, it will apply recent settings you made. No matter how much the tabs you open simultaneously, all of them are equal, nothing will be discarded but you might be facing a new problem.
Tab Discarding ability was designed to lower the memory consumption of Chrome. Hence, disabling the feature means one of the memory management components of Chrome has no longer working. When the computer activities cross the limit, it will warn the user “Your computer is low on memory” and forces many running apps to be killed to free up some space.
Meanwhile, if you have a very limited memory (RAM), you can use temporary settings of Tab Discarding by accessing this page chrome://discards/ on the Chrome. Once you get there, you can Discard certain website while another website is not discarded.
Does pinned tab preventing auto-refresh?
No, the pinned tab doesn’t mean convert it into a special page that would be avoided by Tab Discarding system. Chrome will also clear the pinned tab if has abandoned for a long time and the hardware demands more memory at the same time. However, the pinned tab was considered as high-priority usage.
Tab discarding will discards tabs in this order:
- Internal pages like new tab page, bookmarks, etc.
- Tabs selected a long time ago
- Tabs selected recently
- Apps running in a window
- Pinned tabs
- The selected tab
In addition, if you have a fewer RAM, put say 2GB to 4GB on your device, try to open fewer tabs on the browser. Even without visiting any website, Chrome was already eating a big piece of memory. Also, removing unused extensions would help Chrome to consume less memory.
Oh yes, Tab Discarding also featured on Google Chrome for Android but you can’t disable it.