Clearing All Favicons From Firefox 3 Cache [How-To]

One would assume that clearing all the favicon.ico files out of Firefox 3 would be a simple task.

It isn’t.

Clearing your cache doesn’t work because the icons aren’t stored there. Rather it’s in a SQLite database called places.sqlite in your Firefox profile directory.

There are three ways to clear all favicons.

First method: Create a new Firefox profile. This is very annoying to do because you have to reset all your preferences for the new profile.

Second method: Delete all bookmarks, clear cache, start over. This is equally as annoying if not more.

Third method: Manually empty moz_favicons table from places.sqlite. With a Firefox plugin, this works and doesn’t require you to reset anything else.

(Fourth method: Use Favicon Picker plugin? Nope. This does not clear the cache for favicons all at once. Individual, yes. All at once, no.)

Here’s how to do the SQLite method:

Step 1.

Download the Firefox add-on SQLite Manager and install it.

Step 2.

Launch SQLite Manager by clicking Tools then SQLite Manager, like this:

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Step 3.

From within SQLite Manager, click Database (top left) then Connect Database to bring the open dialog up. In the File Name field, type in %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox, like this:

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Press enter once.

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Above: Open the Profiles folder.

There should be one profile folder present with an "odd" name like aDPa7219.default. Open that one up. When you do, you should see something similar to this:

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Above: If you see this, open up places.sqlite.

Step 4.

Right-click the moz_favicons folder on the left and choose Empty Table, like this. DO NOT use "Drop table" as that will delete it entirely. You DO NOT want to do that. Choose to EMPTY it.

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Click Yes when asked if you’re sure you want to delete all the records from moz_favicons, like this:

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Step 4.

Close the SQLite Manager.

Close Firefox including any other Firefox windows you have open.

Restart Firefox.

All favicons are now cleared. Every single one of them. It’s a beautiful thing.

Final notes

None of your bookmarks will be touched; they will all still be there.

The places.sqlite file will still be at the same size it was before. So if you were expecting the file to get smaller, it won’t. However the favicon cache is cleared and that’s what matters.

Happy browsing, everyone.

Comments

  1. Paramedic says:

    A better and easier option is available for several versions of Firefox, including version 3.0. Install “Delete Bookmark Icons” from http://www.sephiroth-j.de/1/mozilla/index_en.php . You can choose to delete ALL bookmark icons when you go to “Bookmarks”, then “Organize Bookmarks”, then use the pull down menu from “Organize.” You will find an option to delete all bookmark options, or just one bookmark icon. In addition, if you only need to delete one or two icons, then forget going into the whole “Bookmarks” menus. Just right click on any bookmark icon and the right-click menu gives you an option to delete only that icon. The extension/applet deletes only the icon(s), not the bookmark(s). Simple. On another forum, there is a discussion about editing the Firefox configuration files by typing “about:config” in the address bar. You can read the entire discussion at http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=268450 . In addition, there is “Favicon Picker” for Macs. By the way, please get rid of the pop-up to subscribe to a newsletter! Just add a link/banner/ad on the left or right of the page. I have just about decided not to return to your web site, because of the nagging pop-up. I believe it is turning more people away, rather than keeping readers. Sorry, just being honest.

  2. Thanks for the article, really helped me out. I went in and deleted just the one I wanted rather than the entire batch.

  3. And if this doesn’t work? AND IF NOTHING ELSE WORKS?! (sorry.. exasperated.) I’ve tried pretty much everything anyone has suggested and favicons still wont show up for wikipedia, facebook, anilinkz, and more. I would deal, except I like to keep my bookmarks toobar as just the icons, no text, so I have more room. That doesn’t work so well if the icons won’t show up. Any ideas/suggestions?

  4. Found this via G. So much trouble I thought and tried the following with Firefox 3.5:

    1) opened Organize Bookmarks (Ctrl+Shift+B),
    2) searched browser history for pages of the sites I wanted to refresh the favicon for,
    3) deleted those pages from History,
    4) restarted Fx.

    Worked for me.

  5. Despite the “easier” ways of refreshing favicons, this was a great article to get people understanding more about what is under the hood in firefox plus giving us a snappy little tool for SQLite! Thank you for this tutorial, it is greatly appreciated!

  6. This is the only method that work for me, I tried other mentioned without sucess. I do it in Win 7 and need run FF with Administrative Privileges to Empty the table. Many Thanks ! (excuse my english)

  7. Christine says:

    Sweet…thanks!

  8. Mnlichtenstein says:

    Oh, that was fun! Thanks!

  9. this method does not work for me on ff3.6
    filepath for mac users is ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/x.default/places.sqlite

  10. Looks good so far I wondered how to remove the old favicons from my blogger powered websites with pagination and this appears to do it. Will let you all know after a reboot. Only 90% sure so far.

  11. This is not working for me in Firefox 3.6.12.

  12. Thant’s fantastic! Finally I’ve got my favicons back. Thank you so much

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