Timed refresh must not exist

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Rule Description

The document must not use <meta http-equiv="refresh"> because it can prevent control over when the refresh occurs for users with disabilities.

The Algorithm, in Simple Terms

Checks for the presence of the http-equiv="refresh" attribute on the meta elements.

Why this is Important

Since users do not expect a page to refresh automatically, such refreshing can be disorienting. Refreshing also moves the programmatic focus back to the top of the page, away from where the user had it. Such resetting is frustrating for users.

How to Fix the Problem

Remove the http-equiv="refresh" attribute from each meta element in which it is present.

Compliance Data & User Impact

User Impact: Critical
Disabilities Affected:
  • Blindness
  • Deafblindness
  • Mobility/Dexterity
Issue Type:
  • WCAG 2.0 (A): MUST
  • WCAG 2.0 (AA): MUST
  • WCAG 2.1 (A): MUST
  • WCAG 2.1 (AA): MUST
WCAG Success Criteria:
  • 2.2.1 Timing Adjustable
  • 2.2.4 Interruptions
  • 3.2.5 Change on Request
Section 508 Guidelines:
  • Not applicable

Related Deque University Course Pages

Other Related Resources

Additional Information

Relevant Technologies:
  • HTML 4
  • HTML5
  • JavaScript
Test Reliability: Automated testing is possible, with high accuracy
Rule ID: meta-refresh