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Since updating from 16 to 17, desktop shortcuts created by dragging show generic Windows icon instead of Firefox-page icon.

Posted

Upon upgrading from FF 16 to 17, I can still drag the icon that's to the left of the url to the desktop (or even to the XP Quick Launch Bar, Folder Shortcuts, etc.) to create an internet shortcut to the current page. However, with 17 this method produces a shortcut that shows a generic Windows icon instead of a Firefox-page icon. Even though a generic Windows icon normally denotes "no program associated," these still open with FF when double-clicked. But it doesn't look right. (BTW, all the shortcuts created by this method in FF 16 or lower retained the FF-page icon with the upgrade to 17.)

Any ideas why this changed and how to fix it so it looks the same as before?

Pending resolution of this (and another issue) I went back to FF 16, and it works normally again. However, the shortcuts that were created while I had 17 still show the generic Windows icon.

fixed in Firefox 21 - locking this old thread

Modified by the-edmeister

Chosen solution

This issue has been finally addressed here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=827784

An option "browser.shell.shortcutFavicons", accessible through about:config, has been added that allows one to choose the old behavior of using generic FF icon (thus without any favicon) for shortcuts created dragging an URL from the address bar to the desktop (or whatever other directory/folder).

I would like to publicly thanks Josh Yuan for coding and Brian R. Bondy for sponsoring this fix that will be issued with Firefox rev 21.

Apparently the fix is already available with Nightly releases.

Read this answer in context 8

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.5 r502
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 11.6.6.636
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape "9.5.2"
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 11.6.5.635
  • IE Tab 2 Plug-in for Mozilla/Firefox
  • 6.0.12.709
  • Npdsplay dll
  • np-mswmp
  • Office Plugin for Netscape Navigator

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:16.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/16.0

More Information

ToMeGuN 0 solutions 3 answers

Having the same thing happened here. Obvious bug, i hope they get it fixed soon.

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10753 solutions 96760 answers

That is a problem with the default browser setting that hasn't worked properly.

You can try to redo the default browser (temporarily make another browser the default) and/or check the registry keys in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to see if the specify the correct icon.
In Windows XP you can also do this via the Control Panel > Folder Options > File Types.

ToMeGuN 0 solutions 3 answers

Tried that already with Google and IE to no avail. just started this after 17.0 update.

Question owner

cor-els suggestions didn't work for me, either.

I'm not one of those people who is prone to a knee-jerk "I'm done with Firefox!" response, but given that this is about the 6th such issue I've had pop up in the last several months, I think it's time to finally try another browser. Every time Firefox updates there's some unpleasant surprise. That used to be the exception, but unfortunately it seems to have become the rule.

jigasquid 0 solutions 9 answers

Ditto here:

XP-SP3 FF v17

After install of FF v17, all new shortcuts dragged to desktop render as generic windows icon, not FF.

Question owner

Back to FF 16 at the moment, but meant to mention that when I was still using 17 I tried Safe Mode (add-ons disabled) to see if that solved the problem, but it didn't.

Modified by Rick216

tofof 0 solutions 4 answers

Further details about this problem:

  • New behavior in FF17
  • 'Generic' shortcuts no longer use icons that are compatible with windows 7 adjustable scaling.
  • Not only are the icons fixed-size, the generic firefox icon used when there is no favicon appears to be a 16x16px upscaled icon.
  • Standard-sized favicons are centered inside a white square

In the attached image, observe two newly-created shortcuts (one to a site with a custom favicon, one to a site without) next to a shortcut created using firefox 16.

This change is a step backwards. Having no option to make my shortcuts all be recognizable as internet shortcuts (by looking the same) is bad. But fixed-size icons? Really? Those should have been deprecated for the windows releases since 2007.

FFmurphy 0 solutions 30 answers

Same problem here, spent numerous hours to find a solution to no avail. Extremely annoying.

Firefox tells me I'm on the RELEASE update channel, but this is quite obviously a beta (if not even alpha) version with completely untested "features". If someone knows any way to get rid of this nonsense behavior (config setting to use default icon for desktop shortcuts?) please let us know.

Question owner

I found that if I use the deskCut extension, which adds desktop shortcut creation to the context-menu, the resulting shortcut still has a Firefox icon even though dragging doesn't any more. While this extension is very handy and also supplies a *temporary* workaround, I mention it primarily as a potential diagnostic, as the fact remains that the strange and annoying FF17 bug discussed here needs to be fixed.

Modified by Rick216

jigasquid 0 solutions 9 answers

Great tip Rick216 - thank you! A good interim solution that works fine on my xp system.

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10753 solutions 96760 answers

Dragging the Site Identity Button creates a HTML file with the source code of the page that you see and such a file gets the icon for such an HTML file .
Using the deskcut extension creates an internet shortcut that links to the website's address and thus gets a different icon associated with a .url file extension.

tofof 0 solutions 4 answers

Cor-el,

Please see my previous attached image. I'm afraid it just doesn't match what you're saying. All three pictured shortcuts are of type "Internet Shortcut (.URL)" - none larger than 300 bytes. None are HTML doctypes. All were created via the same process - dragging the site identity button to the desktop.

Furthermore, saving a page off to an HTML file (page only vs complete doesn't matter) produces a file with the 'old' proper icon (the rightmost in my example of three). It does not produce the new behavior that we are complaining about.

Deskcut does provide a temporary workaround. It also creates a shortcut file of type "Internet Shortcut (.URL)" - the same as dragging the identity button - but with the proper icon.

I've verified all claims I've made while running FF in safe mode and am confident that dragging from the left side of the url bar produces a shortcut, not an html file, just as it always has. The contents of these files all begin with "[InternetShortcut]" if viewed in ascii mode. They are not html files.

Modified by tofof

Question owner

Cor-el: Maybe I'm not following, but if dragging the Site Identity Button creates an HTML file with the source code of the page, then why do the properties for ALL of my Firefox desktop shortcuts show 4KB (size on disk) and filetype "internet shortcut?" This is true for both FF 16 and 17, regardless of whether the shortcut shows the Firefox icon or generic Windows, and also regardless of whether it was created via deskCut or dragging.

EDIT: I now see that tofof had just made some of the same points, plus more. My actual shortcut sizes (not size on disk) are all in the same range tofof cites.

Modified by Rick216

riotar 0 solutions 5 answers

The new Internet shortcut created with FF17 is IMHO an attempt to support Windows 8 "Metro". Let's compare the structure of the ".url" created by FF17 and shortcut created with IE9 with extension ".website". Both contain more information than just URL line (different from old .url) The new .url from FF17 should create current website icon on the Win8 Start screen. However, this is not supported for .url type in older Windows and it creates empty icon on XP and favicon in a square on Vista and Win7. There would be some regedit hacking necessary to fix it. Maybe there is something in FF config to revert the behaviour, but I found nothing.

tofof 0 solutions 4 answers

Riotar is 100% right, and I can't believe I didn't see it when I was opening them in ascii mode earlier.

The new shortcut files contain:
[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://www.google.com/
IDList=
HotKey=0
IconFile=C:\Users\Tofof\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ycnnz065.default\shortcutCache\C05L23CXJzZZGJUBfx_Mdw==.ico
*IconIndex=0

Whereas the old ones were simply:
[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://www.google.com/

Obviously, the icon being set to the icons in new shortcutCache folder (which didn't exist on my system prior to ff17) is the culprit.

EDIT:
In the same vein, preventing that folder from being created results in the default 'broken' icon (plain white page on win7) being used, as the browser does no verification that the path it writes into the shortcut is ever actually valid. Strike one for a quick workaround.

Modified by tofof

riotar 0 solutions 5 answers

From changelog for FF17, it's related to the following. Devs are not mentioning a way to disable the behaviour if anyone do not want to use it.

Bug 110894 - Use favicons on webpage shortcuts in Windows https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=110894

Bug 753021 - Favicon shortcuts should be centered with a white background https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=753021

cyxceven 0 solutions 2 answers

On WinXP the .ico files in the "shortcutCache" show up as the default icon in windows explorer (file manager) and paint. But they look fine in paint.net or GIMP. Perhaps these newer icons Firefox generates aren't in the format XP expects?

FFmurphy 0 solutions 30 answers

What tofof and cyxceven were pointing out here conforms to what I wrote already in an earlier post to another thread dealing with the same issue: [The appearance of my website shortcuts on my desktop has changed]

"[Restoring a backup image] does NOT solve the problem at all. As soon as you reinstall FF 17 you'll end up ate the same point.

When creating a desktop shortcut FF now tries to use the favicon of the site and to save a copy under ...\<your_profile>\shortcutCache\... creating an INVALID .ico file that Windows XP cannot read.

Try to open any of these shortcuts' properties, click on "Change Icon" and you'll get an error message saying ...\shortcutCache\<random_file_name>.ico does not contain any icons."

You can also verify this by looking in the named folder, seeing that XP isn't able to generate previews of the .ico files FF17 stores there just at the time you are creating an internet shortcut by dragging a link to your desktop.

I've read the reports that riotar linked to above as well and couldn't find any way to disable this "feature" either ... so if cor-el (alas, neither his first post nor his second approach were related to the actual problematic behavior of FF17 when creating drag&drop desktop shortcuts, like some of you have mentioned before) or someone else gets hold of a config setting to use the default icon for desktop shortcuts, it'd be really cool to share it with us! (y)

Also thanks @ Rick216 for the workaround, but I'm afraid Mozilla might use this – and the fact that even XP SP3 might no longer be supported by FF in the not too distant future – as an opportunity to rather sit out the problem. AFAIC I'm back on FF16 again (also due to some other bugs concerning the incompatibility of FF17 with TMP) and everything's fine now, except for the drawback of security gaps until these issues hopefully will get resolved.

__

That's about what I thought I had posted at work but apparently forgot to send after preview, so I had to collect the remains from my mental cache.

rtm51 0 solutions 3 answers

cyxceven is correct: the shortcutCache folder contains the ICO files, created by Firefox, that Windows XP can't understand. I opened one in an image editor (IrfanView in my case), and immediately re-saved it, overwriting the original. The new version of the icon then appeared in the folder (white square with small favicon in the middle). The corresponding URL shortcut on the desktop soon followed suit.

The second time I tried this however, the Windows icon cache prevented the desktop icon from updating, so I forced a rebuild of that, after which the desktop icon displayed as intended.

That's a bit of a convoluted workaround, so I think I might try Rick216's method using the DeskCut extension.

Hopefully the developers can get Firefox to create icon files that Windows XP can understand, perhaps in addition to the new format?

On a side note, I'm not convinced by the new white square format. I can appreciate the desire to get away from the pixelated enlarged favicons, but a blank white square just looks unfinished - even rounded edges and some kind of outline would help.

FFmurphy 0 solutions 30 answers

"cyxceven is correct: the shortcutCache folder contains the ICO files, created by Firefox, that Windows XP can't understand."

... is what I already confirmed and elaborated above.

"Hopefully the developers can get Firefox to create icon files that Windows XP can understand, perhaps in addition to the new format?"

They would just have to use the standard format of .ico files that any Windows version can decode. I agree with you on the white border format, but enlarged icons like MSIE creates for desktop shortcuts would just do. Apparently they're resizing the favicons by using some resampling method which looks ok to me.


Firefox 17.0.1 has just been released, I can't see this bug being addressed in the overview list of changes and known issues, plus the link to the verbose release notes – at this moment – is dead. This version is also not listed on the release notes index page: [Mozilla Firefox Release Notes]

What's going on there?

Modified by FFmurphy