Disable “pull to refresh” in Chrome for Android

In mobile Chrome, pulling the top of the page will reload it. Although it’s a convenient UI pattern, it might get in the way if you are trying to implement gestures in your app.

After careful observation, I have come up with a simple solution.

AngularJS

I have successfully disabled “pull to reload” with this AngularJS directive:

//Prevents "pull to reload" behaviour in Chrome. Assign to child scrollable elements.
angular.module('hereApp.directive').directive('noPullToReload', function() {
    'use strict';

    return {
        link: function(scope, element) {
            var initialY = null,
                previousY = null,
                bindScrollEvent = function(e){
                    previousY = initialY = e.touches[0].clientY;

                    // Pull to reload won't be activated if the element is not initially at scrollTop === 0
                    if(element[0].scrollTop <= 0){
                        element.on("touchmove", blockScroll);
                    }
                },
                blockScroll = function(e){
                    if(previousY && previousY < e.touches[0].clientY){ //Scrolling up
                        e.preventDefault();
                    }
                    else if(initialY >= e.touches[0].clientY){ //Scrolling down
                        //As soon as you scroll down, there is no risk of pulling to reload
                        element.off("touchmove", blockScroll);
                    }
                    previousY = e.touches[0].clientY;
                },
                unbindScrollEvent = function(e){
                    element.off("touchmove", blockScroll);
                };
            element.on("touchstart", bindScrollEvent);
            element.on("touchend", unbindScrollEvent);
        }
    };
});

It’s safe to stop watching as soon as the user scrolls down, as the pull to refresh has no chance of being triggered.

Likewise, if scrolltop > 0, the event won’t be triggered. In my implementation, I bind the touchmove event on touchstart, only if scrollTop <= 0. I unbind it as soon as the user scrolls down (initialY >= e.touches[0].clientY). If the user scrolls up (previousY < e.touches[0].clientY), then I call preventDefault().

This saves us from watching scroll events needlessly, yet blocks overscrolling, and thus pulling to reload.

jQuery

If you are using jQuery, this is the untested equivalent. element is a jQuery element:

var initialY = null,
    previousY = null,
    bindScrollEvent = function(e){
        previousY = initialY = e.touches[0].clientY;

        // Pull to reload won't be activated if the element is not initially at scrollTop === 0
        if(element[0].scrollTop <= 0){
            element.on("touchmove", blockScroll);
        }
    },
    blockScroll = function(e){
        if(previousY && previousY < e.touches[0].clientY){ //Scrolling up
            e.preventDefault();
        }
        else if(initialY >= e.touches[0].clientY){ //Scrolling down
            //As soon as you scroll down, there is no risk of pulling to reload
            element.off("touchmove");
        }
        previousY = e.touches[0].clientY;
    },
    unbindScrollEvent = function(e){
        element.off("touchmove");
    };
element.on("touchstart", bindScrollEvent);
element.on("touchend", unbindScrollEvent);

Naturally, the same can also be achieved with pure JS.

2 comments on “Disable “pull to refresh” in Chrome for Android

    • The solution can easily be implemented without jQuery. The example above is only meant to guide your efforts, not to do your homework for you.

      To quote the article: “Naturally, the same can also be achieved with pure JS.”

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