I updated favicons for a bunch of my websites. Refreshing the website does indeed show the updated favicon in the browser tab, however the bookmarks for those websites still have the old favicon.

Short of deleting and re-adding each bookmark, is there any way to get Chrome to refresh the bookmarks of each website? Why doesn't just visiting the website update the bookmark icon too?

  • Are you using Chrome's bookmark sync feature? If not give that a try as it may cause the favicons to be updated.
    – Keith Kemp
    Jan 6, 2012 at 8:52
  • i am using it already
    – pdeva
    Jan 6, 2012 at 10:29
  • Have you tried this chrome extension? It's the only for massive refresing. chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bookmark-favicon-changer/…
    – Revious
    Dec 6, 2014 at 14:56
  • Note: sometimes .ico files actually contain two scaled images (e.g. 32x32 and a 16x16) so updates to one will not show up on the other.
    – Kzqai
    Jan 27, 2016 at 17:12

10 Answers 10


Have you tried clearing the cache then restarting Chrome? Try that first. If it doesn’t work, then you’ll have to force it as follows.

  1. Close Chrome
  2. Open your User Data folder
  3. Delete the Favicons file
  4. Run Chrome
  5. Visit sites to force the icons to be re-downloaded
  • 22
    But it requires to visit hundred of sites... is there another method?
    – Revious
    Jul 9, 2014 at 8:00
  • 1
    You can try setting a bookmark while having Chrome Sync enabled and set to sync bookmarks. In my experience, it automatically touches every single bookmark, causing them all to float to the top of the history, and ostensibly, also refreshing their icons. I posted a bug-report about this behavior a while back, so they may or may not have fixed it.
    – Synetech
    Jul 22, 2014 at 16:48
  • 1
    I do not have a favicons file
    – niico
    Oct 6, 2016 at 18:37
  • 1
    Current version seems to stick things under a "Default" folder off the root user data folder. The favicons file is there, and if you delete it (while all Chrome windows are closed), it will refetch them the next time you visit the sites). Nov 28, 2017 at 19:26

Did you try to force the refresh when you are on the page and press Ctrl + R?

[EDIT] (Credits to James, see his comment) try to refresh and empty the cache with Ctrl + Shift+ R

[Source on Google Chrome Help Forum]

  • 5
    tried. didnt work
    – pdeva
    Jan 6, 2012 at 10:30
  • 15
    To expand on this, if you do Shift+Ctrl+R, then it'll reload without cache, therefor refreshing your favicon. I just tried it myself and it worked.
    – Baub
    Jun 29, 2012 at 1:55
  • 2
    This method only works if the icon in your cache was loaded via a <link> attribute in the <head> of your website. If you don't have that, the favicon seems to get stuck in limbo - and is not associated with the page's cache. I think that's the reason why, anyway, but I'm not 100% sure. I know that ctrl+shift+r is definitely NOT a 100% solution though. Oct 4, 2013 at 23:11

My issue was that despite deleting the favicon for a locally hosted site, Chrome still displayed it.

This comment on a Chromium issue says:

Favicons are not stored in the cache, they're stored in one of the SQLite databases. So they don't get cleared with the cache. This is a good thing since all your bookmarks would lose their icons until you visited them again.

This explains why clearing my cache did not solve the problem.

Here's what I did to clear the favicons for my site:

  1. Closed Chrome in order to release its file locks
  2. Downloaded the appropriate SQLite command-line shell for my OS
  3. Extracted the archive
  4. Opened my user data directory
  5. Deleted the Favicons-journal file
  6. Copied my Favicons file into the same directory as the SQLite command-line shell
  7. Opened Command Prompt
  8. Changed directory to that which contains the SQLite command-line shell
  9. Executed sqlite3 from Command Prompt
  10. Ran the SQL which follows this list
  11. Moved the Favicons file from my SQLite command-line shell directory back into my user data directory
.open Favicons

IN (

IN (


Adjust this to suit the URLs which you wish to clear the favicons for. In my case, the targeted URLs were along the lines of http://localhost:8000/.


Actually all you need is to browse to www.site.com/favicon.ico and you will see the cached old icon, click refresh (ctrl+shift+R) or (ctrl+F5) and you will see the new one. Go back to www.site.com and enjoy the new favicon.

  • ctrl+R will not work because it is the same as F5, the correct one is ctrl+shift+R which is the same as ctrl+F5.
    – mastazi
    Sep 5, 2020 at 3:50
  • 1
    @mastazi edited, thanks! Apr 6, 2022 at 17:55

Looked through suggestions to change “stuck” favicons in my bookmarks bar. I took the easy way out and installed the extension Bookmark Favicon Changer.

It took me 5 minutes to fix the problem that had been bugging me for months – and that’s including deleting the extension after use!

  • Note: As of July 2023, this extension hasn't been updated since 13 June 2014. Aug 1 at 6:25

Here's a surefire solution on how to solve the chrome icon problem. However, this procedure will take some time & effort.

  1. Clear all browsing history incl. cache with chrome's History cleaner

  2. Close chrome - Re-open

  3. Click on each URL (revisit each webpage) in the Bookmark Manager followed by a page refresh (reload):

    a) Bookmarks bar

    b) Other Bookmarks

    c) Imported Bookmarks (non IE bookmarks)

  4. Under Bookmark Manager->Organize Export Bookmarks to HTML file into the folder of a newly created directory of your choice. Name the file folder therein 'Chrome bookmarks'

  5. Do not close chrome before doing the next step!

  6. Go to "C:\Users(User name)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default"

  7. Copy the two files 'Favicons' and 'Favicons-journal' into the newly created file folder 'Chrome bookmarks'

  8. For the time being make a note of the size of the 'Favicons' file you just saved

  9. For testing purposes: before closing the chrome browser run chrome's History-> 'Clear browsing data'

  10. Close browser - Reopen

Testresults: In all likelihood the 'Favicons' file located in "C:\Users(User name)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default" will show a file size much lower (~20-30k) than the one you saved into the exported file folder.

To resolve the missing icon problem: copy/paste the two saved 'Favicons' files from the new folder (see 4. above) to "C:\Users(User name)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default". Restart chrome. Your icons should be in place now nice and neatly. Just remember to check the file size of the default 'Favicons' file every once in awhile, especially after adding new bookmarked webpages. Then just copy the larger size default file to your 'Chrome bookmarks folder'. Voilà! This should work for most users.

For ease of recovering future lost icons add these two file locations to the Windows explorer's Favorites bar:

a) 'Chrome bookmarks'

b) "C:\Users(User name)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default"

PS in future use a browser history cleaner utility i.e. ccleaner. Avoid using chrome's History cleaning feature


I solved this on my machine going into chrome config data and deleting a file called "Local State". Did this on a Linux box and it solved my problem. On Linux this file lives at: /home/(User name)/.config/google-chrome/ I think on windows this is C:\Users(User name)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\ (at least on my Windows 7 box it is).


Please try this before doing all that. Close Chrome. Open Task Manager. "End Task" on all remaining instances of Chrome. Restart Chrome.

Works for me.


Opened Chrome today and most icons in my bookmarks bar were replaced by the grey default icon.

To reload all the icons, I right-clicked one of them, selected "Bookmarks manager" from the context menu, right-clicked "Bookmarks toolbar" in the manager's sidebar, and then "Open all in new window". Confirm, wait a few minutes while Chrome is working hard ... now all icons are there again.


I know this thread is old, but this is a common problem so I will help out any lurkers:

I was looking for the same thing and found there was no easy way, so I made my own tool.

  1. Delete your C:\Users\(Username)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Favicons file.
  2. Import your "Bookmarks" file (which is in the same folder) into the tool I made.
  3. Press "Load Pages".

The tool will literally open all your bookmarked pages at once, which is quite a heavy load, but after that, you'll have all your icons refreshed :).

The tool also only works if your default browser is set to Chrome.

Link to tool: http://www.fast-files.com/getfile.aspx?file=79770
Feel free to scan for viruses or whatever.

You're welcome.

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    Jan 17, 2017 at 11:15

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