Is there a browser for Android that won't constantly reload tabs when switching between them? I'm using Chrome on a Nexus 5 (lollipop). And even when there are no other apps running it will reload any tab that I switch to. Even if I only have two open.

Or, I'm browsing a page. Open a link in a new tab and continue reading the current page. I can see that the new page has loaded, but when I switch to that tab it gets reloaded. And then switching back to the original one it reloads that one too.

This makes reading on the tube impossible as I can only pre-load one tab :/

I should note that I've factory reset my phone a couple of days ago and this is still happening every single time.

  • 1
    That's very odd behavior. On my phone Chrome will appear to refresh the page, but it's just loading what it had cached back into memory (so it works offline). – Matthew Read Jan 6 '15 at 0:34
  • I think that this doesn't depends only on the browser. Ram memory of the device will make its part too. Personally I found chrome as the very best mobile browser together with next browser. – Joaquin Iurchuk Jan 6 '15 at 3:49
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    @MatthewRead it's definitely reloading. As if I go into airplane mode, it will fail to show the page. So it is clearly refetching everything. – Jan Hančič Jan 6 '15 at 23:53

Turns out the OPs issue only occurred in the Chrome browser, and when using Chrome Beta it worked (sort of).

Old Answer:

Try going to chrome://flags

Look for "Auto Reload" tags, turn them off:


Relaunch Chrome (using the button at the bottom after you have toggled the flags)

If the problem persists, it is not because the page is reloading, it is because it is being redrawn, i.e. it is already downloaded, just not displayed to the user yet. This is due to the fact that, for performance reasons, Chrome doesn't draw all tabs simultaneously.

  • 1
    Still happening. I can see the blue progress bar loading. The page is visible in the preview (when you are switching tabs) but then goes white and loads again. I tested this by loading two tabs. Went to airplane mode, and switched between them and Chrome says the page is unavailable :/ ffs this is ridiculous. – Jan Hančič Jan 6 '15 at 23:52
  • Try using chrome beta (from the playstore), I just opened 5 tabs, loaded a page in each, exited, reopened, and switiching between them, none of them reloaded. – ollie299792458 Jan 6 '15 at 23:54
  • The Beta seems to work better. But not for all web pages. Thanks. Still not happy, but I guess this is better than nothing :) – Jan Hančič Jan 7 '15 at 0:06
  • Ok, if you are happy enough, feel free to mark my solution with the little green tick. Else, which webpages? – ollie299792458 Jan 7 '15 at 0:07
  • Post it as a separate answer and I'll be happy to do that. I was testing ign.com – Jan Hančič Jan 7 '15 at 0:08

Turns out the problem is (it seems) a memory leak in Android lollipop. The OS was using well over 1GB of RAM, which caused all the tabs to constantly reload. I got suspicious when I noticed that apps also got reloaded immediately.

After restarting the phone, the problem is no longer there. It seems it's a known bug, but I don't know when it's going to be fixed.

  • 1
    The bug you've linked to is already resolved (it's set to FutureRelease) and so it should be released with the next version. When this will be though is not known yet. – bmdixon Jan 7 '15 at 10:48
  • Ah yes, missed the resolution of the bug, cheers :) – Jan Hančič Jan 7 '15 at 12:33

From what I have seen, Firefox, Dolphin and UC Browser allows switching the tabs without reloading/re-rendering them. Whereas Chrome and Opera seem to reload them after 3 or 4 active tabs.

I think it has something to do with caching in RAM memory vs Disk memory, I could be wrong.


Dolphin Browser for Android does not reload pages when you switch tabs

  • I used to use that, but it stopped working so I switched to Chrome. – Jan Hančič Jan 6 '15 at 23:47
  • You mean it still (in Dolphin) reloaded tabs when you switch then? – SE_Sucks Jan 6 '15 at 23:51
  • No, the browser just stopped working. It wouldn't load any page. Maybe I should give it another go to see if they fixed that. – Jan Hančič Jan 6 '15 at 23:54

Try going to chrome://flags

Look for Enable tab discarding or Auto Reload tags, turn them off:



Relaunch Chrome (using the button at the bottom after you have toggled the flags)

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