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The Keep-Alive general header allows the sender to hint about how the connection and may be used to set a timeout and a maximum amount of requests.

The Connection header needs to be set to "keep-alive" for this header to have any meaning. Also, Connection and Keep-Alive are ignored in HTTP/2; connection management is handled by other mechanisms there.

Header type General header
Forbidden header name yes


Keep-Alive: parameters


A comma-separated list of parameters, each consisting of an identifier and a value separated by the equal sign ('='). The following identifiers are possible:
  • timeout: indicating the minimum amount of time an idle connection has to be kept opened (in seconds). Note that timeouts longer than the TCP timeout may be ignored if no keep-alive TCP message is set at the transport level.
  • max: indicating the maximum number of requests that can be sent on this connection before closing it. Unless 0, this value is ignored for non-pipelined connections as another request will be send in the next response. An HTTP pipeline can use it to limit the pipelining.


A response containing a Keep-Alive header:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Encoding: gzip
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2016 15:23:13 GMT
Keep-Alive: timeout=5, max=1000
Last-Modified: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 04:32:39 GMT
Server: Apache



Specification Title
HyperText Transport Protocol Keep-Alive Header The Keep-Alive Header (Experimental specification)
RFC 7230, appendix A.1.2: Keep-Alive Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Message Syntax and Routing
RFC 2068, section The Keep-Alive Header Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

See also

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