Favicons are little icons that are used to identify websites in browsers. These icons are for instance displayed in the tabbar, for each opened tab one, and in the bookmarks folder. Firefox adds the icons to both locations automatically when the site is accessed.
It can however happen that imported bookmarks are imported without favicons. Firefox does not offer options to update or reload favicons which not only affects bookmark imports but also when favicons are changed by webmasters.
While this does not happen that often, it does happen and you'd probably want the new icon from that moment on and not the old one.
That's where the new Firefox add-on FavIcon Reloader steps in. The program retrieves the favicon for all websites that are stored as bookmarks in the Firefox web browser.
The extension is officially compatible up to Firefox 5, but works under Firefox 6 and higher as well if compatibility is enforced. This can be done with an add-on like the Firefox Add-on Compatibility Reporter. (see Three Methods To Force Add-On Compatibility In Firefox for three additional methods)
You access the add-on's options with a click on Tools > Favorite Icon Reloader in the menubar.
The add-on lists all bookmarks stored in the web browser. This includes their title and the bookmark url.
All it takes to reload all favicons is to click on the load and save icons button at the bottom of the screen. The add-on populates the icon url information. It can happen that error messages are displayed in the process, for instance when authentication is required to access a website or when a certificate requires additional privileges.
It is necessary to monitor the progress because of those error messages. A progress bar at the bottom of the screen indicates the overall progress. Once you are done, you simply close the add-on window. All favicons should have been updated by now.
Firefox users who would like to refresh all their site's favicons can install FavIcon Reloader directly from the official Mozilla Firefox add-on repository.
Update: The extension has been removed from the Mozilla Add-ons repository. There is no automated alternative available. The only extensions that come close are the Check Places extension which can restore missing favicons, and Bookmark Favicon Changer which you can use to replace individual favicons.
Update 2: Check Places has also been removed, and there does not seem to be a comparable add-on listed currently that can automatically check all favicons.
Update 3: Use Favicon Restorer instead which is still available.
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