How To Remove Favicons In Firefox Bookmarks - gHacks Tech News

How To Remove Favicons In Firefox Bookmarks

Favicons are those tiny little icons that are displayed in front of every bookmark and tab in the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

They can be used to identify a website next to the website title that is also always shown.

There are two core reasons why someone would want to remove favicons in the Firefox web browser.

The first reason is size. Bookmarks with favicons can take up to 10 times as much space on the computer hard drive than those without. While a difference between 3 Megabyte and 300 Kilobyte does not look like much it can make a difference especially in very large bookmark collections.

The second concern is privacy related as new favicons are requested by the web browser from the website itself.

The following article outlines a two-step process to remove existing Firefox favicons and to block new ones from being created. It is recommended to backup all files that are mentioned in this article prior to making the necessary changes.

1. Firefox settings

firefox bookmark favicons

The first step is to change settings in the about:config dialog of the Firefox web browser. Simply load about:config in the Firefox address bar and filter the list for the term browser.chrome. Change the following three parameters to the following values:

  • browser.chrome.favicons - False
  • browser.chrome.image_icons.max_size - 0
  • browser.chrome.site_icons - False

You change values with a double-click on the value field.

This step does not get rid of existing bookmark favicons though but prevents the creation of future favicons in Firefox.

2. Removing existing favicons

Press Ctrl-Shift-B, select Import and Backup from the toolbar and pick Export HTML. This will save a copy of the bookmarks as a file to the local desktop. Open that HTML file in the web browser and run the following to remove all Firefox favicons from it.

javascript:(function(){%20var%20ls=document.getElementsByTagName('*');%20for%20%20(var%20i=0;%20i<ls.length;%20i++)%20{l=ls[i];%20l.removeAttribute('id')%20;%20l.removeAttribute('last_charset');%20l.removeAttribute('icon');%20%20l.removeAttribute('last_modified');%20l.removeAttribute('last_visit');%20%20l.removeAttribute('add_date');%20l.removeAttribute('personal_toolbar_folder')%20;}%20alert('Cleanup%20Complete%20-%20Save%20as%20Web%20Page,%20%20Complete')})();

You can drag and drop the bookmarklet to the favorites or copy and paste it into the Firefox address bar to execute it.

Save the page again with the shortcut Ctrl-s and make sure you save it under the same name. Now close the Firefox web browser. We need to remove the old bookmark files from the Firefox profile folder. Here is the location of the Firefox profile folder on various operating systems:

Linux: ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default/
Mac OS: ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default/
Windows 98 / ME: C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\
Windows Vista / XP: %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\

Locate the active Firefox profile. Remember to backup places.sqlite. Now delete places.sqlite and all .json files in the bookmarkbackups subfolder. Restart Firefox. You will notice that all bookmarks are gone. Use Ctrl-Shift-B again to load the library. Select Import and Backup again. This time pick Import HTML and load the previously edited html file.

The bookmarks will be loaded into Firefox. You might need to arrange them again but all favicons should be gone for good.

Comments

  1. Alec_Burgess said on May 12, 2009 at 5:15 am
    Reply

    Interesting Martin.
    What would be more useful to me is an easy method to set icons for folders.
    I use addon Smart Bookmarks Bar which conceals bookmark titles in the Personal Bar until you hover the icon, allowing room for more bookmarks, but it doesn’t work for folders in the Personal bar.

    I found (somewhere) an explanation which can provide this with some complicated tweaking of chrome.css but it would really be nice to have an extension which would achieve this by right-clicking on the folder.

    Note: Addon Favicon Picker 2 supports this by adding a “Browse for icon” function to the Bookmark Properties and the folder functionality has been requested. but not as yet provided.

    Maybe you’ve seen this somewhere else?

  2. Dotan Cohen said on May 13, 2009 at 7:47 am
    Reply

    The bookmarklet to remove favicons looks great for importing bookmarks to portable firefox.

  3. Andrew said on March 14, 2010 at 11:57 am
    Reply

    What about showing favicons in FF main window but disabling storage in bookmarks?
    Is it possible?

  4. Roman said on October 28, 2010 at 1:33 am
    Reply

    Hi,
    i just executed this like 3 times but it still shows the little blank page icon in fornt of my bookmarks?!?! How do i delete that?

  5. Daniel said on November 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the instructions, it was very simple and clear. I personally wanted to remove it for work-browsing purposes.

  6. Anonymous said on November 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm
    Reply

    doesn’t work for me…

  7. Resuna said on June 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Reply

    This seems pointless in FF4, it removes the favicon information but doesn’t remove the actual icon in the bookmark bar, so the space allocated to the favicon in the bookmark bar is still wasted.

  8. T800 said on August 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm
    Reply

    There is a safer way:
    Go to menu Bookmarks->show all bookmarks->backup to export all bookmarks to *.json file. Not that file contains only links without favicon data which makes up about 2/3 size of the places.sqlite file that stores bookmarks.
    Now just import that file back, ffox will warn you that it will replace all current bookmarks. Now all your bookmarks are cleared of favicons. Plus, you have backup’d all your bookmarks.

    1. Anonymous said on June 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm
      Reply

      Perfect answer T800, along with Brinkmanns about:config settings change. Thanks!

  9. ghacks user user said on August 9, 2017 at 11:15 am
    Reply

    .json is unreadable. Is it possible to display icons in tabs but exporting without icons?

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