When you visit google.com you see its favicon: google
An icon you easily associate with Google.

But now why do I also get Google's favicon on pages with no favicon? It seems to work like a fallback favicon. This way, having lots of tabs opened (with lots of Google's icon), it's always hard for me to find that one tab that has my Google search results.
So is there any way to change this fallback icon so I don't get tabs like imgur?

Chrome Version: 18.0.1025.163
Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3

I think it's a bug, not a feature. I revisited the page from the screenshot and now I get a globe icon. So I thought "wow, it must have been fixed by Google already," but just to be sure, I typed some random words into Google (like f.e. tiger and feiertag) and opened about 15 search results each in a new tab. The last two tabs had the Google icon again: enter image description here (this and that).

When I added a new tab and copy/pasted the same URL from the "broken icon tab" the icon was a globe again. So I guess there's nothing you guys can do, we'll have to wait for Google to fix it. At least we know it's a bug now...

  • 2
    I don't get google's favicon on pages without one. Instead I get a grey browser favicon for these pages. Which version do you use? I use 18.0.1025.16 Apr 22, 2012 at 11:26
  • thanks, after your message I experimented a little bit more, see my edit
    – Allisone
    Apr 22, 2012 at 16:04
  • Would this link help you replacing Google Chrome favicons ? tech-recipes.com/rx/3032/… Apr 22, 2012 at 18:14
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    I was able to reproduce the effect on my computer (Chrome 21.0.1180.89 m, Windows 7 x64). AFAIK, the reason is the following: when you click the link to, say, www.antiquariat-feiertag.de in google search results, you first go to a special google redirect page, which has the google favicon, and redirects you to www.antiquariat-feiertag.de (which doesn't have any favicon). That's why your browser thinks, it can use the google icon.
    – fiktor
    Sep 5, 2012 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


This indeed looks like a bug. Check your installed extensions (if any) in Chrome. There might be one related to favicons, that causes this problem. If in doubt, temporarily disable all extensions. Also try to clear the cache (and if this does not help also history).

  • That may be not a bug as I pointed out in a comment to the question. There are 2 reasons: 1. I successfully reproduced the same behavior. 2. There is some logic, underlying this behavior.
    – fiktor
    Sep 5, 2012 at 9:08
  • Just because you can reproduce a behavior, it is not necessarily correct. Also I don't see any logic in showing a misleading icon. Especially in a browser from Google, since they would certainly not use their own brand on foreign sites intentionally. Also I cannot reproduce this behavior in the current Chrome version with default settings. So I guess this unexpected behavior is caused by a (probably broken) extension or some other software. Maybe a anti-virus software or some external filter for HTTP content? Sep 5, 2012 at 18:42
  • I agree, that this behaviour may be misleading, and needs to be corrected, but it has the following logical explanation. Let's assume you search something in google and press on one of the search results, going to a target page without a favicon. There are 3 pages involved: (G) google search results, (S) google technical page for collecting the statistics and (T) target page. When you on G and click on the link, you first go to S (which has google favicon). S redirects you to T. Since this is some sort of redirect, browser may assume, that S and T have the same meaning and use S's icon on T.
    – fiktor
    Sep 5, 2012 at 20:11
  • To better understand, when this behavior occurs, let me describe exact steps and specs I used to reproduce it. I use Google Chrome 21.0.1180.89 (up to date) on a Windows 7 x64 PC. Step 1. Disable all extensions (but don't use incognito window). Step 2. Go to www.google.com in the browser. Step 3. Type www.antiquariat-feiertag.de in the search box and press enter. Step 4. Click on the first link (www.antiquariat-feiertag.de). Step 5. Wait (about 30s) until it loads completely and look at the favicon. I see Google favicon.
    – fiktor
    Sep 5, 2012 at 20:29
  • While your assumption could indeed explain the seen behavior, I can not reproduce this behavior by repeating your steps with exactly the same version on Windows XP using a brand new Chrome profile. I guess, most users will be unable to reproduce this, because otherwise the problem (being known since at least april 2012) would have likely been addressed by Google in the meantime. It would be interesting if you can reproduce this with a fresh profile (and also on a system without any software interfering with HTTP connections). Sep 6, 2012 at 19:26

I had this problem and used the Bookmark Favicon Changer extension.

Once installed, I went to the page with the wrong favicon, clicked on the extension in the omnibar, and pressed remove favicon.

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