Page refreshing

(Referring UWEM Test: 7.4_HTML_01)

Test info

Failure cause

The inspected page is periodically auto-refreshing itself

The inspected (X)HTML resource uses <meta httpequiv="refresh"> to create periodical auto-refreshing.

Why this may be a barrier

Automatic refreshing disorients users, and can disrupt a browser's history of visited pages.
It makes the content unusable for people who have limited reading ability or difficulty concentrating. Automatic refreshing also causes problems for user-agents that cannot cope with automatic re-directs and may fail to show any content at all.

Good Example

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 //EN">
<head><title>Sample: Page WITHOUT META REFRESH</title></head>

Some content



Do not auto-refresh the whole page. Delete the meta element and use alternative possibilities for users to receive new content.


Related WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint


"Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh, do not create periodically auto-refreshing pages." [Priority 2]
WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 7.4

Referring UWEM Test


This test is targeted to find elements that can cause page refreshing.


  • Automatic refreshing of pages

    Page refreshing can cause severe problems for users and should not be used.
    Remove the page refresh.

    If you need to refresh parts of the page, do this with appropriate up-to-date methods using AJAX and WAI ARIA. As this is probably a complex task, you might want to contact a service provider to solve this problem.

    Bad example:
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5; URL=">
    <!-- further header information -->
    This is the content of the page.
    Good example:
    <!-- further header information -->
    This is the content of the page.