Create a Blank Favicon with Data

By  on  

I was recently setting up a virtual host and diving into development when I needed to debug a JavaScript issue.  One thing that started annoying me right away was the console message notifying me that the favicon.ico file couldn't be found.  I hadn't put one there and had no desire to...but that damn message was bugging the hell out of me.  I did a quick search and found a tiny data URL snippet to include a blank favicon within the page.


The empty favicon is created with the LINK element:


Essentially, instead of linking the external ico file, the image data is placed in the HREF attribute.  Cool, huh?  No more annoying messages and no need to add another file to the repository.

Recent Features

  • By
    6 Things You Didn&#8217;t Know About Firefox OS

    Firefox OS is all over the tech news and for good reason:  Mozilla's finally given web developers the platform that they need to create apps the way they've been creating them for years -- with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.  Firefox OS has been rapidly improving...

  • By
    JavaScript Promise API

    While synchronous code is easier to follow and debug, async is generally better for performance and flexibility. Why "hold up the show" when you can trigger numerous requests at once and then handle them when each is ready?  Promises are becoming a big part of the JavaScript world...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Prevent Page Zooming in Mobile Browsers

    Ever since I got my iPhone, I've been more agreeable in going places that my fiancee wants to go. It's not because I have any interest in checking out women's shoes, looking at flowers, or that type of stuff -- it's because my iPhone lets...

  • By
    Web Audio API

    The Web Audio API allows developers to load and decode audio on demand using JavaScript.  The more I evaluate awesome games for Firefox OS TVs, the more I get to learn about these APIs that I normally wouldn't touch.  The following is a very basic introduction to the WebAudio API...


  1. Michael Tully

    The exact same thing annoyed me in the exact same environment, thanks for the heads up Dave :)

  2. Hi david,
    Favicon is the thing which people generally forgot to add in site and they got very massive 404 error for that, which is not shown to user but affect the site loading time, Thanks for easy and quick solution…


  3. It’s also probably worth noting this could be used for making dynamic icons without saving data to your host. Like a pretty graphic that displays the user’s name? Just throw the href attribute into the src attribute of a image tag.

    IE6 is the only browser I have found this not to work on.

  4. Thats pretty cool, i’ve seen the base64 images like that before, does anyone know the full browser compatibility for using that?

  5. This is the best solution, no more calls to /favicon.icon!

  6. The W3C Validator uses this technique, too, to show if the site is valid or not in the URL bar.

  7. Did you use any converter to turn your favicon into a long base64 string?

  8. I’m pretty sure Data URIs don’t work in IE7.

    However, now that IE9 is out, SCREW IE7!

    And IE6 has been dead to me for nigh on 3 years. Except where I’m currently working. : (

  9. Thanks a lot :), have a nice day sir!

  10. I’d really like to hear more about that… is it possible to change the favicon using JavaScript while the page is loaded? That would be neat for WebApplications stuck in an unopened tab to notify the user that something has happened, for instance with aninstant messenging thingy.

  11. Peter

    Surely that should be “debugging the hell out of me”?

    Sorry… couldn’t resist!


  12. JR

    Beware of Internet Explorer!!!

    As someone have said, this doesn’t work in IE6 or 7. In IE8 and above works.

    Nevertheless there are solutions to integrate images this way with MHTML

  13. Interesting article! Do you know about setting base64 favicons globally with .htaccess? My website is configured to include the favicon regardless of what file you’re viewing, including images, CSS, and JavaScript files.

  14. thanks a lot dude. i manage to change my favicon with this tutorial.

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!