Accessibility Insights

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A <meta> element must not have an http-equiv="refresh" attribute.

Why it matters

Using http-equiv="refresh" in a <meta> element causes a web page to refresh automatically at a specified time interval.

An automatic page refresh can be disorienting. If a refresh causes input focus to move unexpectedly back to its original state, it can be especially frustrating for people who use screen readers and other keyboard users.

How to fix

Remove http-equiv="refresh" from all <meta> elements. If a page refresh is required:

  • Implement the refresh using a script
  • AND provide a mechanism for users to turn off, extend, or adjust the timing of the page refresh.




A news page uses <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="60"> to refresh the page automatically every 60 seconds. Users have no mechanism to turn off, extend, or adjust the timing of the refresh. Most users find the refresh annoying; for some, it makes the page unusable.


Scripting is used to update specific content rather than refreshing the entire page. Users are given the option of updating manually rather than automatically. Everyone finds the page easier to use.

About this rule

This rule passes if:

  • No <meta> element contains http-equiv="refresh"

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