By default, ServiceNow Homepages include a feature which will cause the Homepage and the data thereon to automatically update after a set amount of time.

The default setting for this capability on the instance is for Homepages not to automatically refresh.  However, the end user can modify this behavior for their account for all Homepages in which they can access by clicking the cog icon in the upper right corner of the Homepage and selecting one of the following options (Off, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour).  The number selected will coincide with the interval of time which will pass before the Homepage will refresh, essentially reloading and redrawing every object on that Homepage.  For new users who have not previously selected an option for this Refresh interval, the default for that user will be set to Off until they select another option, which will then be saved as a user preference setting specific to that user.

Refresh Interval for Homepages

Many aspects of this auto-refresh behavior can be customized, including the listed refresh times, the default setting and even having the Refresh feature de-activated entirely. This article will describe how to disable or re-enable the auto-refresh capability for Homepages on the instance.


To begin, login with an account which has rights on the instance.

Using the Menu Navigator, browse to the following location on the instance: Homepage Admin -> Properties.

A properties page will display with various settings that can be used to globally adjust the various behaviors and configuration of Homepages on the instance.

For this particular task we want to modify the configuration of auto-refresh for Homepages, however, various other Homepage related properties can also be configured from this properties page (i.e. role names that modify Homepages, parallel rendering of Homepage objects, allowing use of the layout picket and other options.)

To modify the capability for auto-refresh of Homepages, locate the property on the page with the heading "Disable automatic homepage refreshing."

Option to disable or enable automatic Homepage refresh

This option, when checked will remove the capability of auto-refresh on Homepages and is set to unchecked will enable auto-refresh capability.  If set to be disabled (unchecked), the Refresh interval options will also no longer be displayed in the cog wheel menu.  For a new out-of-box instance, the default value is false (or unchecked), which indicates that auto-refresh for Homepages is enabled.  

After making any adjustments on the Homepage properties page, click one of the Save buttons found on the properties page, one in the upper right corner and one near the bottom of the page.

Homepage configuration window without Refresh interval options

To re-enable this functionality once disabled, simply access the same Homepage properties page and ensure to set the Disable automatic homepage refreshing option to false and click the Save button on the properties page.

Care should be used in regards to auto-refresh with Homepages, as each time the Homepage auto-refreshes every object on the Homepage, which could, in some cases, cause performance issues for that users session, or in extreme cases, performance issues on the entire instance as a whole.

Additional Information

Since this setting is actually stored in a ServiceNow System Property record, this same setting can be modified by accessing the list of sys_properties on the instance and filtering for a property with the name glide.home.refresh_disabled and setting the value of this property to true or false and saving the change to the record.

The selectable values in the Homepage Refresh interval dialog window can also be customized.  See this KB Article for those steps:

KB0748624 - Use a Custom Set of Homepage Refresh Interval Settings on an Instance

Article Information

Last Updated:2019-08-02 20:48:10