Setting Up a Favorites Icon (favorite.ico)

Favorites Icons (favicon.ico) -- Adding a Favorites Icon to your Web Site with HTML

This is a page from the archive. It mentions http:// for using icons, in which we now use https://. Please do not use the code as http:// mentioned in the archived pages.

Hopefully if you found this page you already know what a Favorites Icon is. In modern web browsers, when you visit a web site (and add it to your Favorites/Bookmarks) it will load a specific small icon set by the webmaster.

snapshot of Favorite's 

Look at the top of your browser near the Back button and WWW address to see the Favorites Icon.

The Favorites Icon will show up next to the URL (the http:// web address) in your web browser near the top of the window (close to the Foward and Back buttons).

(Some older versions of Internet Explorer don't add the icon until you add it to Favorites, just FYI.)

How do I set up a favorite icon?

Create a 16 pixel wide by 16 pixel high favicon.bmp file in a Program like MS-Paint, Adobe Photoshop, or Jasc's Paint Shop Pro, then use a program (such as the free IrFanView app [for Windows]) to reduce the colors to 16 colors [Image -> Decrease Color Depth], and then 'save as...' to a Windows Icon Format (favicon.ico).

Don't have a favicon.ico file yet? Learn how to make one.

Read my detailed walk-through guide: making a graphic into a Favorites Icon

Loading The Icon for The Entire Web Site (no coding)

Upload the image (favicon.ico) with FTP (read our FTP tutorial) to the root section of your web site. The root section is the main file area, where you would store the index.html (index.asp, index.php, etc) file for your main page.

// would be the root
// would not be the root
// isn't root either

This file, placed properly, will load as the default for your entire domain.

Loading Extra Icons for Specific Folders and Pages

You can add customized links for sub-folders by using this code in the <head> section of your web page coding:
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Example: We place a new favicon.ico in ... then link to it with:


The pages with the Favorite code load our special icon, everything else on the site loads our ROOT Favorite Icon.

Reload the page... and try adding it to your favorites or bookmarks. (In Internet Explorer you may need to clear your cache/temporary files and Restart the browser.) Once you've added it to the favorites, close the browser and then open it again, and return to the site? Does it show up now? It should! :)

Update: You can now download a plug-in for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Paint Shop Pro to make your ICO file here.

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