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Play Auto Refresh

This is an SBT plugin for Play Framework (or sbt-web) apps which works with a Chrome Extension to auto-refresh your browser when you make changes to your app.


  1. Add the SBT plugin to your project/plugins.sbt file (make sure to add an empty line before this one):

     addSbtPlugin("com.jamesward" % "play-auto-refresh" % "0.0.16")
  2. The plugin bootstraps itself automatically as soon as you enable Play in your project.

  3. Add the Play Framework Tools Chrome Extension

  4. Start your Play app in file watch mode:

     sbt ~run


     activator ~run
  5. The browser window should open automatically (if you don't want this, set BrowserNotifierKeys.shouldOpenBrowser := false)

     For play 2.4.x, edit `build.sbt`:
     - Add `import` at header
     - Add `BrowserNotifierKeys.shouldOpenBrowser := false` at footer
  6. Make a change to the code for your application and watch your changes magically appear in your browser!

Release Info

  • 0.0.1 - Push changes on compile with default watches
  • 0.0.2 - Add /public and /app/assets to default watches
  • 0.0.3 - Fix botched release
  • 0.0.4 - Fix failure due to multiple instances trying to use the same port
  • 0.0.5 - Bumps for Play 2.2.0 / sbt 0.13.0 and publish the sbt community repo
  • 0.0.6 - Avoid overriding settings:
  • 0.0.7 - Fix incompatibility with Play 2.2.x
  • 0.0.8 - Fix incompatibility with Play 2.3.x
  • 0.0.9 - Migrate to an sbt 0.13.5 auto-plugin
  • 0.0.10 - Use the configured Play port to tell the Chrome plugin which URL to reload
  • 0.0.11 - Automatically open the browser window when you run your app
  • 0.0.12 - Prevent plugin from failing when running in a headless environment
  • 0.0.13 - Fix incompatibility with Play 2.4.x
  • 0.0.14 - Bump to sbt 0.13.11
  • 0.0.15 - Bump to Play 2.5
  • 0.0.16 - Bump to Play 2.6 and sbt 1.0

Developer Info

Test Project

  1. cd test-project
  2. activator ~run
  3. Install the Play Framework Tools Chrome Extension
  4. Check out the app: http://localhost:9000
  5. Change a asset and watch your browser magically reload the changes!


  1. Update the version in
  2. Git Commit
  3. Git Tag
  4. Push tags
  5. Publish: sbt publish