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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.