Firefox removing favicons from the address bar

A little bit of flavor is leaving Firefox. A Mozilla developer posted Monday that favicons, those little identifying images that sites can design for themselves, will be removed from Firefox's address bar in a future release.

The reason is for security. Some websites with less than honest intent have caught on and set their favicon to a padlock, which can then fool visitors into incorrectly thinking that they are on a secure connection. Not anymore.

Jared Wein, a software engineer at Mozilla, explained how the new Firefox address bar will look. Websites that use SSL certificates with Extended Validation will have a green padlock next to the certificates owner's organization name. Websites that use SSL without Extended Validation will have a gray padlock. Finally, websites that do not use SSL certificates, or have mixed content, will now display a generic globe icon instead of the favicon.

Wein updated his blog post Tuesday to clarify that favicons will not be disappearing from tabs, bookmarks or Awesomebar suggestions in Firefox.

The change, which is already in the Nightly build, will reach Firefox's Release channel in mid-July, according to Wein. Details on the change and its resolution can be found in its Bugzilla entry, Bug 742419.

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64 Comments

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This site is seriously running out of good articles if they post things like "Firefox removing favicons from the address bar"...sigh.

A Justin Bieber video is the most watched video on YouTube with around 800 million views....go figure, I guess there is a market for everyone or in this case....dumb people, only confirmed by their daily comments on this site.

There were lots of other articles posted along with this one. If you didn't like this one you could have skipped it instead of taking time to whine about it. This is a technology site, and a change like this in a major browser is certainly newsworthy. Sorry it didn't meet with your very high standards.

sigh firefox stop crippling your browser and try to make it like google chrome... sigh people use firefox because its the best CUSTOMIZABLE experience overall, it you start crippling it and making it more like chrome, i rather move to chrome....

Oz. said,
You have the favicons on tabs there is no need to have them in address bar too.

Or rather..
You have the favicons on tabs it makes no sense removing them only in address bar.

Oz. said,
You have the favicons on tabs there is no need to have them in address bar too.

useless if you have a single tab in my case i always hide the tab bar so the favicons wont appear here

Cøi said,

Or rather..
You have the favicons on tabs it makes no sense removing them only in address bar.

When there were no tabs back in Firefox 1 , url bar contained Favicons and Browser Window contained Web Page Title. With arrival of tabs slowly Browser Window text was omitted for Tabs had their own titles , hence following the same urlbar should also get its hand off the fav icons now. Further as told some sites use padlock as favicon to fool users , a padlock in a tab would just make you laugh.

eilegz said,

useless if you have a single tab in my case i always hide the tab bar so the favicons wont appear here

It is assumed that most of the Modern browser users use tabs. Most of the browsers don't allow you to disable tab bar thinking the same.

Who is doing all this 'feature' suggesting, community coders or Mozilla?. If it's the community I vote to kick those members OUT. If it's Mozilla I suggest just letting the community take over.

The Internet Explorer team dealt with this years ago by not just showing the registered name (as Firefox does now) but also colouring the entire address bar green when on an EV SSL website. The colour change is immediately obvious to the user and cannot be faked. I don't understand why Mozilla have not adopted this clever idea for Firefox.

Arkose said,
The Internet Explorer team dealt with this years ago by not just showing the registered name (as Firefox does now) but also colouring the entire address bar green when on an EV SSL website. The colour change is immediately obvious to the user and cannot be faked. I don't understand why Mozilla have not adopted this clever idea for Firefox.

But Internet Explorer sucks! Firefox is what it's all about because it's the best!!1!

Yeah, it's just the icon next to the URL which is going.

They're also removing the display of the host name in the TLS case, since Firefox now does that all the time with every URL, no reason to point out the host name twice in just the TLS case.

I think that they shouldn't remove favicons. They should have a different method for showing if the site is secure or not. Its not so much about what icon gets displayed. Highlight the address bar in red if there is no SSL and in green if there is And/or have a drop down paragraph of text explaining the difference.

I haven't seen enough intuitive development in Firefox since they started this whole rapid release cycle nonsense. What is the real difference between old school Netscape Navigator and Firefox? I really don't see enough compelling development going on there. I've converted over to Chrome simply because Chrome actually runs faster and uses less memory which to me is one of the most important things in a browser.
1) Must run faster and use less memory than Internet Explorer
2) Must be capable of reading and displaying RSS feeds in a quick and efficient manner.
3) Must support plugins that can download video and mp3's from sites that would otherwise not support such options.
4) Must be highly configurable and skin-able so I can use something dark and easy on the eyes.

netsendjoe said,
I think that they shouldn't remove favicons. They should have a different method for showing if the site is secure or not. Its not so much about what icon gets displayed. Highlight the address bar in red if there is no SSL and in green if there is And/or have a drop down paragraph of text explaining the difference.

I haven't seen enough intuitive development in Firefox since they started this whole rapid release cycle nonsense. What is the real difference between old school Netscape Navigator and Firefox? I really don't see enough compelling development going on there. I've converted over to Chrome simply because Chrome actually runs faster and uses less memory which to me is one of the most important things in a browser.
1) Must run faster and use less memory than Internet Explorer
2) Must be capable of reading and displaying RSS feeds in a quick and efficient manner.
3) Must support plugins that can download video and mp3's from sites that would otherwise not support such options.
4) Must be highly configurable and skin-able so I can use something dark and easy on the eyes.

tell me when you can make chrome have tabs below.... changing the icons in the UI and have decent skin and not glorified hotbar background

Why don't they just make the security icon something more obvious that cannot be mimic'd by favicon. Something like a longer bar as Chrome uses?

Well damn, I love the Fav Icon ... I put that in my bar and edit it to removed the text, makes the bar look so much cleaner

I like those favicons; their nice to look at (not including Google's) and it serves as a quick ID when you have a lot of tabs opened. But I think it's a bit redundant to have two favicons, one on the tab and the other on the address bar.

Unfortunately, IE, specially IE8 and IE9, tends to lose its favicons and revert back to the generic IE "e" icon.

ScottDaMan said,
Boooooooooooooo!!! I like FavIcons damnit.

Then you'll be okay, because they are turning off the favicons, not favlcons.

FMH said,

Then you'll be okay, because they are turning off the favicons, not favlcons.

Um no.. He said FavIcons!

I've seen this trend in videogames.

They're nerfing a feature so that inexperienced users don't get owned.

Hopefully there is a config tweak to correct this.

So display the bloody SSL icon NEXT TO the favicon, geniuses.

Let's see, I have Facebook (pinned), Google Calendar (pinned), and several sites with multiple tabs that I organize by favicon. It is a handy feature if used right.

Zagadka said,
So display the bloody SSL icon NEXT TO the favicon, geniuses.

Let's see, I have Facebook (pinned), Google Calendar (pinned), and several sites with multiple tabs that I organize by favicon. It is a handy feature if used right.

Same thing for me. Favicons tell me what the site is in my bookmark bar. Theres no way in hell Im going to let it say the full site name. Thats just a waste of space.

Zagadka said,
So display the bloody SSL icon NEXT TO the favicon, geniuses.

Let's see, I have Facebook (pinned), Google Calendar (pinned), and several sites with multiple tabs that I organize by favicon. It is a handy feature if used right.

Favicons still show in tabs and bookmarks bar as stated in the article.

If you all haven't noticed Google chrome already implements it. They show a globe icon for every site in addressbar while the favicon is shown only on the Tab bar and bookmarks bar. So in a way Firefox again copied from Chrome.

article said

The reason is for security. Some websites with less than honest intent have caught on and set their favicon to a padlock, which can then fool visitors into incorrectly thinking that they are on a secure connection. Not anymore.

Wait.... what?!

Some web designers forget to change them when they use CMS's. If you are a web designer and are wondering what CMS they used, you can easily spot them based on the Favicon since they failed to change it.

I personally prefer them though to identify my site or other sites based on how it appears in the address bar. I would prefer that they allow the ability to toggle them on/off instead of removing. Now, I haven't read the article so might be speaking blindly in this.

Medfordite said,
Some web designers forget to change them when they use CMS's. If you are a web designer and are wondering what CMS they used, you can easily spot them based on the Favicon since they failed to change it.

I personally prefer them though to identify my site or other sites based on how it appears in the address bar. I would prefer that they allow the ability to toggle them on/off instead of removing. Now, I haven't read the article so might be speaking blindly in this.


Some of them don't know about favicons nor care. I personallly believe that it's one of the main identifiers of the site. Internet Explorer started using them as an app identifier, and I don't see why Mozilla should be removing them at all. It's as sava700 says, better they alert of those sites rather than eliminating them. Furthermore, the address bar would look lonely without them.

why...? let me guess Chrome had some ill rumored plan to do that and Firefox had to copy off it to stay ahead and Google decided not to do it and go "ha ha we trollin'" and firefox was like grrrrrr

remixedcat said,
why...? let me guess Chrome had some ill rumored plan to do that and Firefox had to copy off it to stay ahead and Google decided not to do it and go "ha ha we trollin'" and firefox was like grrrrrr

The article says why:

"The reason is for security. Some websites with less than honest intent have caught on and set their favicon to a padlock, which can then fool visitors into incorrectly thinking that they are on a secure connection. Not anymore."

Stetson said,

The article says why:

"The reason is for security. Some websites with less than honest intent have caught on and set their favicon to a padlock, which can then fool visitors into incorrectly thinking that they are on a secure connection. Not anymore."

this is why they need to learn to look at https:// in the bar...

I never knew people hated favicons personally myself I enjoy seeing the little Icon above. It shows me the developer spent time on creating and uploading the favicon.

Not sure I really appreciate the move myself. The favicon can be a quick way to identify a site for most users and the image comes part and parcel of the total design of the site; it's essentially the cherry on top for a website in my mind.

Stefano Elia said,
Not sure I really appreciate the move myself. The favicon can be a quick way to identify a site for most users and the image comes part and parcel of the total design of the site; it's essentially the cherry on top for a website in my mind.

"Wein updated his blog post Tuesday to clarify that favicons will not be disappearing from tabs, bookmarks or Awesomebar suggestions in Firefox."

Stetson said,

"Wein updated his blog post Tuesday to clarify that favicons will not be disappearing from tabs, bookmarks or Awesomebar suggestions in Firefox."


Hehehe, I see. If that's the case I couldn't care less. I do identify the websites using the tab browser.

Stefano Elia said,
Not sure I really appreciate the move myself. The favicon can be a quick way to identify a site for most users and the image comes part and parcel of the total design of the site; it's essentially the cherry on top for a website in my mind.

Did you even read the article?

The reason is for security. Some websites with less than honest intent have caught on and set their favicon to a padlock, which can then fool visitors into incorrectly thinking that they are on a secure connection. Not anymore.

favicons will not be disappearing from tabs, bookmarks or Awesomebar suggestions in Firefox.

Instead of removing the favicon they should just address the problem with fake security sites. This is an ignorant move IMO.

sava700 said,
Instead of removing the favicon they should just address the problem with fake security sites. This is an ignorant move IMO.

How? Do image recognition for favicons that looks like security symbols?

Stetson said,

How? Do image recognition for favicons that looks like security symbols?

It's simple. Instead of using a padlock icon to indicate whether a site is being secure, Firefox should use a completely different method to indicate the site is secure.

I'll be honest, I never ONCE looked at the address bar for a padlock icon to determine whether the site was secure, and if I saw one, my first thoughts wouldn't be, "This site is secure because it has a picture of a padlock icon". I'm really not that gullible.

I prefer words. "This site is secured using blah blah fill in the blank". Change the color of the entire address bar.

Removing favicons is simply Mozilla being retarded. I'm beginning to think Mozilla HAS lost their minds and up to now I've been a major Mozilla supporter. I've looked past their obvious attempts to mimic Google Chrome, but not anymore. Mozilla is dying and it's not because they're being outdone, it's because they're making some very poor decisions lately.. from design, to security, to usability, you name it.

Their latest blunder is talking about removing autoload from Flash embeds. That's absurd. How about improving your browser. Google chrome does not suffer from these ills, Mozilla, please come up with actual real solutions to performance and stability issues.

Mozilla is no longer thinking outside the box, they are no longer thinking. Period.

And what would the replacement for the padlock be? A little icon saying "TLS" or something?

All TLS does is ensure the communications to the server are encrypted, it doesn't tell you about the security of the server, or the trustworthiness, etc. That's what EV certs are for (And even then they can't say the server itself is secure)

The_Decryptor said,
And what would the replacement for the padlock be? A little icon saying "TLS" or something?

All TLS does is ensure the communications to the server are encrypted, it doesn't tell you about the security of the server, or the trustworthiness, etc. That's what EV certs are for (And even then they can't say the server itself is secure)

Safari on OS X puts a padlock in the top-right corner of the window, far away from the address bar... Oh, and it leaves the http/https alone in the address bar...

Some people are completely missing the point. Where the padlock is located is completely irrelevant. A lot of ignorant users will see a padlock, be it in the favicon area or elsewhere, and immediately assume the site is secure. They don't stop to realize whether or not that's actually the correct place for the padlock to appear.

d4v1d05 said,
Safari on OS X puts a padlock in the top-right corner of the window, far away from the address bar... Oh, and it leaves the http/https alone in the address bar...

Safari 5.2 puts it in the address bar inside a bubble as such: [ [https padlock] http://www.facebook.com ].

My entire bookmarks toolbar is composed of favicons without text labels and I have single-click access to numerous sites. I could "upgrade" to Windows 7 and pin them to the taskbar but my XP taskbar is filled with ALREADY OPEN WINDOWS (genius I know).

Mozilla should be banned from touching Firefox and the community should take over instead. With the hostility towards the internet from the forces that be software has been going to hell and Mozilla has been all too happy me-too in copying Google and it's horrible minimalist extremist "interface".

The address bar should be given a green background and HTTP / HTTPS should NEVER EVER be hidden. Like this comment if Microsoft's decision to remove run from the start menu meant you wasted twenty minutes explaining to someone how to restore the run command in Windows over the phone to do something really simple. "Mom, is the site HTTP or HTTPS?" "It's WWW!"

JAB Creations said,
My entire bookmarks toolbar is composed of favicons without text labels and I have single-click access to numerous sites. I could "upgrade" to Windows 7 and pin them to the taskbar but my XP taskbar is filled with ALREADY OPEN WINDOWS (genius I know).

Mozilla should be banned from touching Firefox and the community should take over instead. With the hostility towards the internet from the forces that be software has been going to hell and Mozilla has been all too happy me-too in copying Google and it's horrible minimalist extremist "interface".

You do realize this is for the Address bar only right? It still shows them in tabs. Your bookmark bar will be fine and untouched...