Running a Timer When a Tab Is Active

May 07, 2021

It should not be hard to send a request to an endpoint. From fetch to axios, there are many ways to achieve it. Using the setInterval() or setTimeout(), you can also send request(s) multiple times or after waiting for some time.

However, you might want to limit sending requests, if you are charged whenever you send a request. To get a response and update UI when a user actually sees your pages, the following a custom hook with the setInterval inside of useEffect might be helpful.

import React, { useState, useEffect } from "react";

 * Check whether a page is visible to a user. 
 * Return true if it is visible to the user. Return false otherwise.
function usePageVisibility() {
  const [isVisible, setIsVisible] = useState(getIsDocumentHidden());
  const onVisibilityChange = () => setIsVisible(getIsDocumentHidden());

  useEffect(() => {
    const visibilityChange = getBrowserVisibilityProp();

    document.addEventListener(visibilityChange, onVisibilityChange, false);

    return () => {
      document.removeEventListener(visibilityChange, onVisibilityChange);

  return isVisible;

 * Component1 is React function component
 * The value of isVisible is true when a user opens this tab. When the value is false and a user opens another tab
 * (i.e, not this tab), it is not executed.
const Component1 = () => {
  const isVisible = usePageVisibility();
  useEffect(() => {
    let timerId = setInterval(async () => {

      if (!isVisible) clearInterval(timerId);
      let res = await axios.get(
      // Update some states, if needed
      // Send a request every 1000ms
    }, 1000);

    return () => clearInterval(timerId);    
  }, [isVisible]);
  // ...
  return (
      <div /> 

GitHub Gist is here


Harnessing the Page Visibility API with React

Stop setInterval call in JavaScript

Detecting focus of a browser window

React hooks - right way to clear timeouts and intervals