In Firefox Mobile for Android, when viewing the open tabs as thumbnails, there is a tiny square image (similar to a favicon) to the left of each webpage title.

I'm pretty sure it's not a favicon because a large number of websites don't display an image. Whenever the image is missing, Firefox Android simply uses a white capital letter in a coloured square, instead.

However, I'm struggling to find out what it is.

What is it? What url or <meta> element does Firefox Mobile source it from?

Firefox Mobile Tabs


1 Answer 1


If there is a favicon, Firefox will display that. If there is no favicon FireFox, (and some other apps) does its best fill the space and chooses the first letter of the URL.

In your screenshot, 2 Google pages have the Google favicon, it appears that none of the other sites have one hence the letter.

To clarify for others, this is in the view of all open browser windows rather than in Firefox showing a web page.

  • Are you sure these are favicons, @Steve? I'm pretty certain they're not. (If I had confidence they were, I wouldn't be asking the question at the top.)
    – Rounin
    Aug 7, 2020 at 10:07
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    @Rounin I am pretty certain. When I look at a bunch of open pages in the browser, that is what it looks like. Have a look at the screenshot gyazo.com/e53d4ca8f5071fdcced0ae93a2220e3d Top left corner is the favicon from my own site. Top right is the favicon from critterpedia.us20.list-manage.com/… Bottom left, cpanel has a favicon but it isn't showing. Bottom right is the favicon from another of my sites
    – Steve
    Aug 8, 2020 at 7:39
  • Re: "Bottom left, cpanel has a favicon but it isn't showing" - right. This narrows it down a bit. I've experimented a little more and I see that I was wrong and you are right - the squares are favicons (except when they're not). But I see there are websites with favicons where the favicon doesn't show. So having a favicon isn't enough... what's the missing criterion? @Steve
    – Rounin
    Aug 8, 2020 at 11:14
  • Not sure, it might be if the favicon is a .png or .ico - or the way it is implemented. You'll have to have a look at source code and see if you can figure out if there is a common link between those that do display and those that don't
    – Steve
    Aug 9, 2020 at 7:44
  • Hmm. I was hoping someone here at Webmasters SE would be sufficiently familiar with Firefox Android that they might know what the criteria are, necessary for such an image to display. Otherwise I could spend an excessive amount of time chasing multiple incorrect hypotheses... I'm guessing someone here will know what the constraints are.
    – Rounin
    Aug 10, 2020 at 20:17

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