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I’m not sure why, and I don’t appear to be the only person reporting this, but recently my favicons have disappeared from my Firefox installs. Although it’s only affected 2 out of the 3 Firefox installations that I use (one XP and the other Windows 7 – the one unaffected is also Windows 7). In all 3 cases I’m running the latest Firefox installation and my bookmarks are synchronised via Xmarks (ironically I don’t use Firefox’s built in Sync because it doesn’t synchronise the favicons).

The problem is, reloading my bookmarks from the Xmarks server doesn’t resolve the issue. Indeed, if I visit one of the sites the favicon doesn’t update, which it should do. This, to me, suggests a corruption – as, indeed, does the solution. However, why this has suddenly happened to 2 installations is a mystery – an update to Xmarks or Firefox maybe?

Anyway, the solution I’ve found is a pain, but works.

  • Backup your existing bookmarks
  • Create a new profile by running your Firefox installation with a parameter of -profilemanager
  • Restore the previously saved bookmarks. Yes, they still don’t have Favicons
  • Install and activate the Firefox add-in FavIcon Reloader 1
  • Modify the settings so that it times out after 900 seconds (15 minutes)
  • Run FavIcon Reloader (you’ll need to have the old style Toolbar and it’s under the Bookmarks menu).
  • This will now update your favicons. If you try and run FavIcon Reloader under your old profile it won’t update anything, which is why we’ve had to create a fresh profile

It’s now done. However, you also have a new profile so you’ll need to set it back up again, synchronise your existing settings, etc. It might be the case that you can export the bookmarks and put back, successfully, into your original profile. However, because of the original issues I wouldn’t trust it – I believe the profile has somehow become corrupt, which is why I’m recommend a new profile (besides it’s good to do it every-so-often and clear out some of the accumulated crud).

  1. yes, I’m aware that this has now been removed. I’ve extracted the plugin code from my own installation and have temporarily made it available via this download link[]