html – How do I make Firefox auto-refresh on file change?-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

Does anyone know of an extension for Firefox, or a script or some other mechanism, that can monitor one or more local files. Firefox would auto-refresh or otherwise update its canvas when it detected a change (of timestamp) in the files(s).

For editing CSS, it would be ideal if just the CSS could be reloaded, rather than a full HTML re-render.

Effectively it would enable similar behaviour to Firebug with its dynamic HTML/CSS editing, only through external files.

How to solve:


From the website:

Just include Live.js and it will monitor the current page including local CSS and Javascript by sending consecutive HEAD requests to the server. Changes to CSS will be applied dynamically and HTML or Javascript changes will reload the page. Try it!

Live.js works in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and IE6+ until proven otherwise. Live.js is independent of the development framework or language you use, whether it be Ruby, Handcraft, Python, Django, NET, Java, Php, Drupal, Joomla or what-have-you.

It has the huge benefit of working with IETester, dynamically refreshing each open IE tab.

Try it out by adding the following to your <head>

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>


Auto Reload is an extension for Firefox that monitors local file changes and refreshes the browser:


I would recommend livejs

But it has following Advantages and Disadvantages

1. Easy setup
2. Works seamlessly on different browsers (Live.js works in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and IE6+)
3. Don’t add irritating interval for refreshing browser specially when you want to debug along with designing
4. Only refreshing when you save change ctrl + S
5. Directly saves CSS etc from firebug I have not used that feature but read on their site that they support it too!!!


1. It will not work on file protocol file:///C:/Users/Admin/Desktop/livejs/live.html
2. You need to have server to run it like http://localhost
3. You have to remove it while deploying on staging/production
4. Doesn’t serves CDN I have tried cheating & applying direct link but it will not work you have to download and keep on local to work.


Xrefresh with firebug.


Have a look at FileWatcher extension:

  • it’s a WebExtension, so it works with the latest Firefox
  • it has a native app (to be installed locally) that monitors watched files for changes using native OS calls (no polling!) and notifies the WebExtension to let it reload the web page
  • reload is driven by rules: a rule contains the page URL (with regular expression support) and its included/excluded local source files
  • open source:

DISCLAIMER: I’m the author of the extension 😉


Firefox has an extension called mozRepl.

Emacs can plug into this, with moz-reload-on-save-mode.

when it’s set up, saving the file forces a refresh of the browser window.


You could just place a javascript interval on your page, have it query a local script which checks the last date modified of the css file, and refreshes it if it changed.

jQuery Example:

var modTime = 0;
  $.post("isModified.php", {"file":"main.css", "time":modTime}, function(rst) {
    if (rst.time != modTime) {
      modTime = rst.time;
      // reload style tag
      $("head link[rel='stylesheet']:eq(0)").remove();
}, 5000);


There are some IDE’s that contain this ability (They’ll have a pane within them or some other means to auto-refresh a page on save).

If you want to do this yourself a quick hack is to set the meta refresh on the page to a low value – one or two seconds.

# Will refresh the page content every second
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1" />


Browsersync can do this from the server side / outside of the browser.

This can achieve more repeatable results / things that don’t require so much clicking.

This will serve a page and refresh on change

cd static_content
browser-sync start --server --files .

It also allows a scripting mode.


You can use live.js with a tampermonkey script to avoid having to include in your HTML file.

// ==UserScript==
// @name         Auto reload
// @author       weirane
// @version      0.1
// @match*
// @grant        none
// ==/UserScript==

(function() {
    'use strict';
    if (Number(window.location.port) === 8000) {
        const script = document.createElement('script');
        script.src = '';

With this tampermonkey script, the live.js script will be automatically inserted to pages whose address matches*. You can change the port according to your need.


I think that you can solve it by using some ajax requests after a determinate interval. You can do a request to CSS files and then if you don’t get the “not modified” header you delete your css and load it again. For dynamic files you do a request and store the response and then every time you make a request to that file you compare the response to the latest.

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