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Ability to see favicons in desktop shortcuts lost after upgrade from 25.0 to 38.0.5 on Windows

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This is an issue with favicons and website desktop shortcuts (.URL files).

On Windows 8.1 x64 with Firefox 25.0, creating desktop shortcuts works as expected: The desktop shortcut is created and its icon is the favicon of the website to which it links.[1]

On Windows 8.1 x64 with Firefox 38.0.5, creating desktop shortcuts no longer works correctly: The desktop shortcut is still created but its icon is now a blank white generic document icon.

For the avoidance of doubt:

1) I am creating the desktop shortcuts by dragging from the Firefox address bar to the desktop.

2) It is possible to set the browser.shell.shortcutFavicons setting to False (its default is True). When this is set to False, Firefox successfully creates desktop shortcut icons with Firefox's own icon. This is better than a blank white icon but it's still less useful than the correct favicon.

3) This happens in all profiles, both those newly created in 38.0.5 and those originally created in an earlier version of Firefox.

4) Internet Explorer 11 can create desktop shortcut files with the correct favicon.[2] It can also update a favicon earlier saved by Firefox to the correct icon.


I've seen that this bug has been mentioned before but no solution has been found so far that I have been able to find.

It is also worth noting that this is not a Windows bug. It was introduced with a new version of Firefox somewhere between 25.0 (working) and 38.0.5 (not working).

Anyone know how to fix this? I presume it is not by design. Is there a bug already listed for this? I haven't been able to find one.


Footnotes:-

1: As an aside, the favicon shown is a small version within a square white background but that's a longstanding bug and it is not the issue I am enquiring about here.

2: To create a .URL desktop website shortcut from Internet Explorer, you must shift-drag to the desktop. If you simply drag to the desktop then you'll create a .website shortcut file which offers different functionality (mainly to be able to add the shortcut to the Taskbar as if it was an application). .Website shortcuts are not of concern to us here. It is only .URL shortcut files that are of interest here.


UPDATE 1:-

I tested with each and every version of Firefox from 25.0 until I found the first one that exhibited this problem. The problem first occurs in 33.1. Versions from 25.0 to 33.0.3 inclusive were all ok (i.e. they correctly generated desktop shortcuts (.URL) with correct favicons) but 33.1 generates a blank white generic document icon.

Also, an earlier question with this same problem is here: 'What is the Mozilla Firefox support of FAVICONS policy?' https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1062106


UPDATE 2:-

I carried on testing each Firefox version after 33.1 and found that favicons did not work in versions 33.1.1 to 34.0.5 inclusive, DID work in versions 35.0 to 36.0.4 inclusive, but stopped working again from 37.0 to 38.0.6 (the current version) inclusive.

N.B. Very important: If you wish to test for yourself, you must use a different website each time. This is because Windows itself caches desktop icons (whether they are 'right' or 'wrong') and so if you drag the same website's shortcut to the desktop each time you will get misleading results.

[Edited to fix typos]

This is an issue with favicons and website desktop shortcuts (.URL files). On Windows 8.1 x64 with Firefox 25.0, creating desktop shortcuts works as expected: The desktop shortcut is created and its icon is the favicon of the website to which it links.[1] On Windows 8.1 x64 with Firefox 38.0.5, creating desktop shortcuts no longer works correctly: The desktop shortcut is still created but its icon is now a blank white generic document icon. For the avoidance of doubt: 1) I am creating the desktop shortcuts by dragging from the Firefox address bar to the desktop. 2) It is possible to set the browser.shell.shortcutFavicons setting to False (its default is True). When this is set to False, Firefox successfully creates desktop shortcut icons with Firefox's own icon. This is better than a blank white icon but it's still less useful than the correct favicon. 3) This happens in all profiles, both those newly created in 38.0.5 and those originally created in an earlier version of Firefox. 4) Internet Explorer 11 can create desktop shortcut files with the correct favicon.[2] It can also update a favicon earlier saved by Firefox to the correct icon. I've seen that this bug has been mentioned before but no solution has been found so far that I have been able to find. It is also worth noting that this is not a Windows bug. It was introduced with a new version of Firefox somewhere between 25.0 (working) and 38.0.5 (not working). Anyone know how to fix this? I presume it is not by design. Is there a bug already listed for this? I haven't been able to find one. Footnotes:- 1: As an aside, the favicon shown is a small version within a square white background but that's a longstanding bug and it is not the issue I am enquiring about here. 2: To create a .URL desktop website shortcut from Internet Explorer, you must shift-drag to the desktop. If you simply drag to the desktop then you'll create a .website shortcut file which offers different functionality (mainly to be able to add the shortcut to the Taskbar as if it was an application). .Website shortcuts are not of concern to us here. It is only .URL shortcut files that are of interest here. UPDATE 1:- I tested with each and every version of Firefox from 25.0 until I found the first one that exhibited this problem. The problem first occurs in 33.1. Versions from 25.0 to 33.0.3 inclusive were all ok (i.e. they correctly generated desktop shortcuts (.URL) with correct favicons) but 33.1 generates a blank white generic document icon. Also, an earlier question with this same problem is here: 'What is the Mozilla Firefox support of FAVICONS policy?' https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1062106 UPDATE 2:- I carried on testing each Firefox version after 33.1 and found that favicons did not work in versions 33.1.1 to 34.0.5 inclusive, DID work in versions 35.0 to 36.0.4 inclusive, but stopped working again from 37.0 to 38.0.6 (the current version) inclusive. N.B. Very important: If you wish to test for yourself, you must use a different website each time. This is because Windows itself caches desktop icons (whether they are 'right' or 'wrong') and so if you drag the same website's shortcut to the desktop each time you will get misleading results. [Edited to fix typos]

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Reported on Bugzilla: 'Bug 1178132 - Favicons do not appear in desktop shortcut (.url) files' https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1178132