Website identification interface - failed page auto-refreshes?

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform: Website

Browser: Chrome 116.0.5845.188 (iNaturalist Enhancement Suite extension is installed. Other active extensions include uBlock Origin and LastPass)

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing:

Description of problem: Over the last couple of days, while making IDs in the identification interface, I intermittently encounter what appears to be elements of the page trying (and failing) to refresh. For instance, in screenshot 1, the observation had displayed normally in the popup window, but after I made my ID and started moving my mouse, the window containing the observation went temporarily blank (in that the observation-specific elements stopped displaying, but the “skeleton” of the page, such as the borders of the window and the background color of the window, was still present) and only some parts of the observation-specific elements of the page re-displayed properly.

Some elements (but not all) on the page will reappear again after being moused over (compare screenshots 2 and 3, where I took screenshot 2, ran my mouse cursor back and forth over the page, then took screenshot 3). Sometimes if I wait for a few seconds everything comes back, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Step 1: Go to the identify interface (the link above goes to a bookmarked specialized search that I routinely check where I have seen the issue a lot the past couple of days, but I was able to reproduce it at least once in just the standard “Identify” page at

Step 2: Do identification stuff (e.g. open up observations in the identify interface, navigate between observations, make IDs, move the mouse around), and try going to to other tabs/windows.

Check to see if your Chrome needs to be updated. This has been happening to me off and on for the past couple of weeks and every time it happens, Chrome has an update. After it’s finishing updating it’ll refresh the browser, but this still might occur. If it does, you’ll have to restart the computer.

The same thing happens for me but I’m on Firefox. I don’t think it’s a browser issue.

At 1st I thought it was an iNat issue until it starting happening on Pinterest too. Updating Chrome fixes the issue each time it happens for me.

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I just relaunched Chrome to update to 117.0.5938.63, and the issue is still occurring.

However, in the few minutes I’ve tested, now the issue appears to be more affecting the little observation boxes and not as much the detailed view that shows up if you click on one of them, and I think it might be mainly affecting any that are grayed out due to being reviewed?

Did you turn turning your laptop off and on first? And is this happening on other websites like Pinterest?

I am using latest Chrome on Windows 10 and have not encountered this issue. One common culprit for things like this is extensions. I’d try disabling any extensions and seeing if that has an effect.

After a reboot, I have not been able to reproduce the issue.


Aaaand now it’s back. Seems to be faster on the reload, but stuff still does go blank for a second or two as I’m currently navigating through the identify interface.

To address previous troubleshooting questions:

  • I do not have a Pinterest account, so I cannot check that. I have not experienced anything similar on any of the other websites I use.
  • I just tried disabling all extensions on my Chrome install and restarted my browser. Still happening.

I had the same issue after my laptop bluescreened (I also checked to make sure Chrome didn’t need an update), but it stopped after I turned my laptop off and on. I’m 100% sure this is a browser issue as Pinterest was having the same issue before I shut my laptop off. I think it has something to do with the fact that both the Explore page and Pinterest have ‘cards.’ I can’t think of any other website that uses cards though, to completely confirm this.

It started to glitch again, so I wanted to show what the Explore page and Pinterest look like when this happens. My Chrome is also up to date.

Does it happen for you with other browsers?

Are you able to open the browser’s console and share a screenshot, either here or at

Since this has been an intermittent issue, I first checked to see that the issue was still occurring in Chrome, then immediately went to check in Edge and Firefox. I cannot replicate the issue in those two other browsers, suggesting it is something Chrome-specific.

Attached are a couple of screenshots taken - I opened up the console, cleared its log, and then navigated around as I reproduced the error. 2nd screenshot is a view of the Chrome console’s “Issues” tab and not the “Console” tab.

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I’m not able to replicate in Chrome 117.0.5938.88 on my Mac.

Are you able to record your screen and send a recording to Sometimes seeing when something happens during load, or exactly what preceded it, can really help us find a cause.

Hi Tony, I’ve recorded a couple of different instances of the kinds of issues I’ve been seeing, and will send them to the help email shortly.

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Thought: Are the loading and non-loading photos different copyrights? Are all the non-loading images CC-by and the loading ones full copyright?

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how much system memory are you working with? it looks to me like you’re just working on an underpowered machine. the Identify page is known to hold on to a lot of memory unnecessarily. hitting the refresh button in your browser every once in a while should release memory.

Thanks for the suggestion, and I have heard of Chrome’s reputation as a RAM hog.

However, my home PC has 16GB RAM installed. Windows Task Manager shows 8-10 gigs RAM in use, with no noticeable spikes in either RAM usage % or CPU usage % (if it’s relevant, the CPU is a Core i5-7600, 4 cores, 3.5GHz) when I reproduce the reported glitches. As far as I can tell, it does not appear to be a RAM or CPU bottleneck.


Well, after not experiencing it for a week, it’s back again. I sent another video (this time in Incognito mode with all extensions disabled) to the help email yesterday.

I just updated to the most recent version of Chrome right now (117.0.5938.132), still seeing the issue in both normal browsing and Incognito.

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Thanks Andrew, I’ll take a look.