Kilian Valkhof

Building tools that make developers awesome.

The case of the disappearing favicon

Javascript, 23 August 2010, < 1

Firefox has an annoying bug: If you set the window.location.hash, your favicon disappears. Very annoying. The bug has been open and confirmed for a long time, and Firefox 3.0 all the way to 3.6 are affected. But it hasn’t been fixed yet, so here’s how to fix it yourself.

I encountered this bug while building Lystener. I change the location hash there quite often, and each time I did, the favicon would disappear. Finding the root cause took me quite a while, and apart from the bug report I could not find any page describing why this happens and what to do about it. So I figured that I’d write a quick post about it to make it Google-able at least.

Luckily, there is an easy fix: Just reset the favicon after changing the window.location.hash. Here’s a jQuery function that does just that:

function setFavicon() {
  var link = $('link[type=image/x-icon]').remove().attr("href");
  $('<link href="'+ link +'" rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" />').appendTo('head');

It’s fairly straightforward: We find the current <link> referencing the favicon, remove it, and then, making use of jQuery’s standard of functions returning themselves, get the href attribute of the just-deleted link. Then we simply set that as the href in a newly created link element, and add that to the head.

Just execute that function each time you change the window.location.hash, and you’re all set!

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  1. Anders Eurenius

    Hey! Can we use this together with data urls to animate it?

  2. You can, there are entire libraries for it: Favicon.js. They’re overkill for this problem though, which is why I opted for a two-liner.

  3. Anders Eurenius

    Yeah, I just noticed. (I built it and tried it.) Thanks for the link though, will check!

  4. Kevin Fairchild

    Nice. That has bugged me for a while now.

  5. Raphael

    Thank you! You just save me to ask in stackoverflow :)

  6. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    this display bug has been nagging me for months! i used a 960grid template system, and once integrated lost my favicon! with this little function, IT’S BACK!!!

    thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :)

    soon will be able to push this new code live, with your helpful function …

  7. Rosco

    This fixes the problem in FF, but seems to break it in IE8. Strangely, the symptoms in IE8 are identical to those in FF without the code :/ Wrapped it in if ($.browser.msie != true) seems to work.

  8. Alex

    Thanks a lot!

  9. nice one, but your code won’t work with recent jQuery versions, because of the wrong “has attribute selector”.
    you have to put your attribute value into quotation marks:

  10. Thanks for sharing! Here is a more compressed version of the code using jQuery’s detach method:


  11. harry

    Thanks, it worked fine