How to prevent favicon.ico requests?

0 votes
asked Aug 24, 2009 by daniel-silveira

I don't have a favicon.ico, but IE always makes a request for it.

Is it possible to prevent the browser to make a request for the favicon of my site? Maybe some META-TAG in the HTML header?

8 Answers

0 votes
answered Aug 9, 2011 by anon1

You can use .htaccess or server directives to deny access to favicon.ico, but the server will send an access denied reply to the browser and this still slows page access.

You can stop the browser requesting favicon.ico when a user returns to your site, by getting it to stay in the browser cache.

First, provide a small favicon.ico image, could be blank, but as small as possible. I made a black and white one under 200 bytes. Then, using .htaccess or server directives, set the file Expires header a month or two in the future. When the same user comes back to your site it will be loaded from the browser cache and no request will go to your site. No more 404's in the server logs too.

If you have control over a complete Apache server or maybe a virtual server you can do this:-

If the server document root is say /var/www/html then add this to /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:-

Alias /favicon.ico "/var/www/html/favicon.ico"
<Directory "/var/www/html">
    <Files favicon.ico>
       ExpiresActive On
       ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 month"

Then a single favicon.ico will work for all the virtual hosted sites since you are aliasing it. It will be drawn from the browser cache for a month after the users visit.

For .htaccess this is reported to work (not checked by me):-

AddType image/x-icon .ico
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 month"
0 votes
answered Aug 14, 2011 by mlhdev

I believe I've seen this (I haven't tested it or used it personally though):

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="#" />

Anyone had similar experience?


I just tested the above snippet and on a forced full refresh, no favicon requests were seen in Fiddler. I tested against IE8 (Compat mode as IE7 standards) and FF 3.6.

0 votes
answered Aug 16, 2012 by diego-perini

I will first say that having a favicon in a Web page is a good thing (normally).

However it is not always desired and sometime developers need a way to avoid the extra payload. For example an IFRAME would request a favicon without showing it. Worst yet, in Chrome and Android an IFRAME will generate 3 requests for favicons:

"GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 404 183
"GET /apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png HTTP/1.1" 404 197
"GET /apple-touch-icon.png HTTP/1.1" 404 189

The following uses data URI and can be used to avoid fake favicon requests:

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="data:image/x-icon;," type="image/x-icon"> 

For references see here:

The Chrome bug/behavior will probably be fixed in upcoming versions.

Here is the bug submission for you to vote:


From the comments (jpic) it looks like Firefox >= 25 doesn't like the above syntax anymore. I tested on Firefox 27 and it doesn't work while it still work on Webkit/Chrome.

So here is the new one that should cover all recent browsers. I tested Safari, Chrome and Firefox:

<link rel="icon" href="data:;base64,=">

I left out the "shortcut" name from the "rel" attribute value since that's only for older IE and versions of IE < 8 doesn't like dataURIs either. Not tested on IE8.


If you need your document to validate against HTML5 use this instead:

<link rel="icon" href="data:;base64,iVBORw0KGgo=">
0 votes
answered Aug 30, 2012 by josh

You could use

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="http://localhost/" />

That way it won't actually be requested from the server.

0 votes
answered Aug 12, 2013 by marcio-mazzucato

A very simple solution is put the below code in your .htaccess. I had the same issue and it solve my problem.

<IfModule mod_alias.c>
    RedirectMatch 403 favicon.ico


0 votes
answered Aug 1, 2016 by j-declan-young

In our experience, with Apache falling over on request of favicon.ico, we commented out extra headers in the .htaccess file.

For example we had Header set X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block"

... but we had forgotten to sudo a2enmod headers beforehand. Commenting out extra headers being sent resolved our favicon.ico issue.

We also had several virtual hosts set up for development, and only failed out with 500 Internal Server Error when using http://localhost and fetching /favicon.ico. If you run "curl -v http://localhost/favicon.ico" and get a warning about the host name not being in the resolver cache or something to that effect, you might experience problems.

It could be as simple as not fetching (we tried that and it didn't work, because our root cause was different) or look around for directives in apache2.conf or .htaccess which might be causing strange 500 Internal Server Error messages.

We found it failed so quickly there was nothing useful in Apache's error logs whatsoever and spent an entire morning changing small things here and there until we resolved the problem of setting extra headers when we had forgotten to have mod_headers loaded!

0 votes
answered Aug 12, 2016 by vog

The following solution is very short, valid HTML5 and does not incur any quirks from IE 8 and older.

Just add the following line to the <head> section of your HTML file:

<link rel="icon" href="data:,">
0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by anonymous

I suggest putting the website into a .zip/compressed folder. This is what an example webpage looked like in a .zip/compressed folder: WEBSITE IN .ZIP/COMPRESSED FOLDER

This is what it would look like in a normal folder: WEBSITE IN NORMAL FOLDER

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