Techniques for WCAG 2.0

Skip to Content (Press Enter)


F41: Failure of Success Criterion 2.2.1, 2.2.4, and 3.2.5 due to using meta refresh to reload the page

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.



This failure relates to:


meta http-equiv of refresh is often used to periodically refresh pages or to redirect users to another page. If the time interval is too short, and there is no way to turn auto-refresh off, people who are blind will not have enough time to make their screen readers read the page before the page refreshes unexpectedly and causes the screen reader to begin reading at the top. Sighted users may also be disoriented by the unexpected refresh.


Failure Example 1

This is a deprecated example that changes the user's page at regular intervals. Content developers should not use this technique to simulate "push" technology. Developers cannot predict how much time a user will require to read a page; premature refresh can disorient users. Content developers should avoid periodic refresh and allow users to choose when they want the latest information. (The number in the content attribute is the refresh interval in seconds.)

Example Code:

<html xmlns="" lang="en">
    <title>HTML Techniques for WCAG 2.0</title>     
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="60" />   

(none currently listed)



  1. Find meta elements in the document.

  2. For each meta element, check if it contains the http-equiv attribute with value "refresh" (case-insensitive) and the content attribute with a number (representing seconds) equals to or greater than 0 and without "; url=" (case-insensitive).

  3. check to see if there is a mechanism to turn off the refresh.

Expected Results