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Auto refresh any web page

David Winograd

Last night when the Apple store went down, I got tired of hitting refresh in Safari every few minutes while waiting for it to come back up, and went searching for something that would do the job for free.

Now, this is not for coders who will laugh hysterically at my incompetence, but for those of you that are either lazy or don't program at all. I fit both categories.

Back in 2005 someone going by the moniker of Biovizier posted the solution on It's a little html snippet that will refresh any web page as frequently as you'd like, and its easily customizable for any page at all.

Here it is:

<**** **********="refresh" content="60">
<FRAME src="">

Copy this into TextEdit and save it with an .html extension. Then just double click it.

You can change the refresh time from 60 to the amount of seconds you want to wait before the page refreshes, and you can change the URL to anything you want. I was using: and having it refresh every 20 seconds which must make me a certifiable fanatic.

Since I saw this I've found a ton of uses for it, like refreshing eBay auctions in the last few minutes, or just leaving it set for TUAW to see new stories coming up when I'm doing something else. At present I have four or five of these snippets in a folder on my desktop for different purposes.

Give it a try and see if you don't find a handful of uses for it.

Okay, you coders can stop laughing now.

Note: TJ Luoma just let me know that this tip won't work with Twitter which intentionally blocks this sort of thing.

Thanks to and Biovizier wherever you are.

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