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What is favicon.ico and why does my browser request it secretly?

Document ID: 117995

Updated: Jul 17, 2014

Contributed by Josh Wolfer and Siddharth Rajpathak, Cisco TAC Engineers.

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Question:

Why does my browser silently send requests for 'favicon.ico' file for multiple domains?

Environment
: Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA), all versions of AsyncOS

You may have noticed that when you browse to different domains, your browser is sending requests for http://<your.domain.com>/favicon.ico, behind the scenes 


Modern browsers will show an icon to the left of the URL. This known as the 'favicon.ico' and is typically fetched from website.com/favicon.ico. Your browser will automatically request it when browsing to different sites. If your browser receives a valid favicon.ico file, it will display this icon. If it fails, it will not display a special icon.


In either circumstances, browsing is not affected.

More information on the favicon can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favicon

Updated: Jul 17, 2014
Document ID: 117995