How do I stop Firefox for Android automatically refreshing pages?
Firefox: 23.0 Android: 4.1.2 Every time I switch to another app and the switch back to Firefox it reloads the page I was on. Which 1) loses the place where I was reading, and 2) loses the page entirely because if I've moved to an area without a signal. I've tried the about:config; accessibility.blockautorefresh: false recommended for the PC version of Firefox, but it doesn't seem to have an effect. The other suggested fix for the PC version, the RefreshBlocker add-on, doesn't have a version that works on Android.
Additional System Details
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:22.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/22.0
Unfortunately this is Android's decision rather than Firefox's. When an Android app is in the background it's information will be stored in RAM. If you want to return to that app the information will be restored (almost instantly) from RAM.
However the problem you describe arises when Android decides that it needs the RAM for something else (i.e. another app). When that happens the information about Firefox is dumped out of RAM and into cache on the phone's storage. This is a much slower type of storage and so the time taken to restore it when you return to Firefox is much longer.
The only way of preventing this from happening would be to not use any demanding applications when Firefox is in the background.
You can also investigate what is using up most of your phone's RAM. I found that the stock Touchwiz launcher on my Galaxy SIII was using loads of RAM. I replaced it with the Apex launcher which uses much less RAM. This leaves more space in RAM for my apps and so the apps in the background are less likely to get dumped into cache. It does still happen though. That is just how android works.
The other option (not cheap!) of course is to get a phone with more RAM. The top end android phones now tend to come with 2GB of RAM and I expect we will see 4GB in the near future.
I hope that helps.
Modified by Ed