I used to use Notepad++ with Auto-Refresh in Chrome. Since updating to 64-bit NPP, however, that plugin stopped working (it was 32-bit only). I decided it was time to upgrade my Editor, so I started using Atom.

I don't really want to preview WITHIN the editor because it's too cramped and, besides, I have 3 monitors.

I already rounded up the usual suspects (i.e. top Google search results), and none of them would work. They include:

  • Browser-refresh
  • atom-browser-refresh-on-save
  • browser-plus
  • preview-plus

Please enlighten me as to reasonable options given these criteria:

  1. Novice programmer (using an IDE may be pearls before swine, but I'm open to it)
  2. Browser must auto refresh when A) file changes or B) file is saved
  3. Windows 7 64-bit (fwiw)

NB: I already tried several options and I've googled my fingers to the bone, so please skip the "RTFM" and "LMGTFY" responses.

Thank you for your help!

  • 1
    I don't have an answer, but I cannot urge you strongly enough to use an IDE. Things like text completion, jump to declaration, jump to any function, refactoring, etc are very nice to have, But a debugger is a MUST HAVE. No more adding ech() to your page. Just set a “breakpoint” or two at interesting lines in your code and run. When you hit one, you can examine the call stack to see how you got there, examine variable values and even change them. The debugger is your best friend, bar none.
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 10:54
  • 1
    @Mawg Thanks for the input. Debugger FTW! Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 2:45
  • I wish that I could answer your question, but, really, the debugger is even betetr than an answer to that :-) Hmmmm, how about a meta refresh tag in your pages header? Refresh it every second?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 9:37
  • 1
    Update: I recently switched to VS Code with a Refresh on Save extension. Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 2:50
  • Good to hear. Feel free to answer your own question, and accept the answer (you might have to wait before accepting). Doing so would help others who view this question in future.
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 8:10

2 Answers 2


I am not a profesional in PHP programming, but when I had to use it for some University project Eclipse was the IDE of my choce and it worcks good for me.

  • Could you extend on how it supports browser refresh? Is it on save or a live preview? Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 17:10
  • @Thomas Weller It was about 15 years ago, when I had to work with PHP at University.
    – convert
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 22:23

I am using Jetbrains PHPStorm, a commercial IDE at 200 USD the first year, 160 USD second year and 120 USD third and following years. Actually I have it as part of the All Products pack, since I do other programming as well.

In the settings (File / Settings / Tools / Web Browsers and Preview) you can choose various browsers (Chrome is supported) and select whether you want to update on change or update on save.

PHPStorm Settings

I am using it on Windows 10 64 Bit. I have used it on Windows 7 64 Bit before, but the Installation instructions say it only supports Windows 8 and up (probably because Windows 7 itself is out of lifetime).

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