How to Favicon in 2021: Six files that fit most needs

Last modified on December 26, 2020

It is time to rethink how we cook dinner a house of favicons for novel browsers and stop the icon generator insanity. Currently, frontend builders decide on to take care of 20+ static PNG files fantastic to command a puny net pages model in a browser tab or on a touchscreen. Read on to seek for  take pleasure in a smarter methodology and undertake a minimal house of icons that fits most in vogue desires.

The favicons proved to be a additional exhaustive matter that somebody might nicely need for, so I additionally summarized a full article in fantastic two code snippets for these that suffered ample and know precisely what to diagram. Aloof, I counsel geeking out to the leisure of it!

Extraordinarily fast model

As an totally different of serving dozens of icons, all you will want is fantastic 5 icons and one JSON file.

In your HTML, for the browser:

 rel="icon" href="/favicon.ico">
 rel="icon" href="/icon.svg" sort="picture/svg+xml" sizes="any">
 rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/apple.png">
 rel="manifest" href="/manifest.webmanifest">

And in your net app manifest:

// manifest.webmanifest
  "icons":  [
    { "src": "/192.png", "type": "image/png", "sizes": "192x192" },
    { "src": "/512.png", "type": "image/png", "sizes": "512x512" }

That is it. If you are going to should understand how I arrived at this, which compromises I wanted to take pleasure in, and the best possibility to manufacture a house esteem this from scratch in a step-by-step vogue, tune in for the leisure of the article.

Long model, the place all of the items is defined

“Perfection is executed, not when there might be nothing additional to add, nonetheless when there might be nothing left to take pleasure in away.”

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey

An idea of a favicon, fast for “common icon”, had been round attributable to the early 2000s. We all seek for these fantastic tiny photographs in your browser’s tab bar that assist expose starting web sites apart daily. Customers ask your net pages to have a favicon. It’s one in all these tiny points that diagram fully totally different people take pleasure in you severely.

Even Apple, which regularly had some fantastic pink meat with icons that don’t attain from Cupertino and downplayed favicons in Safari for years, had in the atomize given up and now reveals them correctly all of the system in which by all of its devices.

Must you moreover mght can simply have a public-going by net pages, it has to have a favicon. Sadly, what customers discover as one icon—is basically hundreds of them.

So it is miles commonplace to offload the grueling exercise of producing wished files for the ever-rising itemizing of reveals and devices to favicon generator devices. No human in their fantastic ideas would need to exhaust hours creating them by hand. We are proper right here to manufacture web sites, as a minimal, not diagram browser distributors elated.

A set of favicons generated by a popular online generator

An area of favicons generated by a common on-line generator

As a creator of NanoID and a proponent of minimalistic starting supply, I are inclined to suppose in a fairly fully totally different course. What is the most ambiance apt house of net pages icons? Which codecs are outdated? Which icon sorts can also simply even be changed with tiny compromises?

So, I house out to type a minimal itemizing of favicons that will work in all circumstances and in all browsers, barring some edge circumstances the place this might nicely silent work, fantastic not 100% completely.

The Final Favicon Setup

As an totally different of creating many photographs with fully totally different sizes, I decided to depend on SVG and browser downscaling. If you might be interested by effectivity, I'm proper right here to house the doc straight:

  • browsers obtain favicons in the background, so a larger favicon picture doesn't have an have an effect on on net pages effectivity;
  • SVG is a immense possibility to lower picture measurement for photographs that is not going to be presupposed to be bitmaps in the first characteristic; for a great deal of logos, the ensuing file will probably be grand smaller than a PNG;
  • With fantastic three PNG photographs in this minimal house, you moreover mght can use developed devices to optimize their measurement. It solves a problem for Net customers that don’t have limitless files plans.

Right right here comes the minimal house of icons that I acquired proper right here up with in my study and word. It'll silent work with all common browsers and devices, former and novel.

I. favicon.ico for legacy browsers

ICO files the reality is have a listing construction and can pack files with fully totally different resolutions. I counsel sticking to a single 32&occasions;32 picture, until the one you moreover mght can simply have doesn’t downscale successfully to 16&occasions;16 (turns into blurry, to illustrate). In that case, you moreover mght can demand your designer to attain up with a specific model of the model that is tailor-made to fit tiny pixel grids.

Don’t glean tidy with folder static asset folder construction and cache busters. net pages will should silent have a favicon on Some devices, esteem RSS readers, fantastic demand /favicon.ico from the server and don’t trouble searching elsewhere.

II. A single SVG icon with gentle/gloomy model for novel browsers

SVG is a vector structure that describes curves as antagonistic to pixels. On immense sizes, it is miles additional ambiance apt than raster photographs. 72% of all browsers enhance SVG icons as of this writing.

Your HTML web page will should silent have a  impress in its with rel="icon", kind="picture/svg+xml" and href with a hyperlink to SVG file as attributes.

SVG is an XML structure and can have a 

impress that describes CSS. As any CSS, it's going to have media queries esteem @media (prefers-color-device: gloomy). This might will allow you to toggle the similar icon between gentle and gloomy system themes.

III. 180&occasions;180 PNG picture for Apple devices

Apple contact icon is an picture that Apple devices will use if you add the webpage as a shortcut to your dwelling present on an iPhone or iPad. Your HTML web page will should silent have impress in a .

iPads since iOS 8+ require a 180&occasions;180 decision. A amount of devices will downscale the picture, nonetheless if we provide the supply with a lawful-ample high quality, the downscaling gained’t damage the cease-particular individual (I’ll attain encourage to it later).

Small command: an Apple contact icon will seek for higher if you add a 20px padding across the icon and assign some background colour. You moreover mght can use any picture editor for that.

IV. Web app manifest with 192&occasions;192 and 512&occasions;512 PNG icons for Android devices.

  • Web app manifest is a JSON file with all important features for a browser to arrange your net pages as a system software. The structure acquired proper right here from Google for its PWA initiative.
  • Your HTML web page will should silent have a  impress with a hyperlink to manifest file.
  • Manifest will should silent have an icon area that hyperlinks to two icons: 192&occasions;192 displayed on a dwelling present and 512&occasions;512 that will probably be former as a splash present as PWA is loading.
  "icons":  [
    { "src": "/192.png", "type": "image/png", "sizes": "192x192" },
    { "src": "/512.png", "type": "image/png", "sizes": "512x512" }

Did we overlook somebody?

There are, of course, additional favicon flavors obtainable, a few of them fairly obscure, so let’s seek for the system in which our setup fares with them. Presumably, it’s time to verbalize farewell to some much less profitable codecs obtainable.

Windows Tile Icon

Microsoft Edge former to enhance a specific icon structure to pin web sites to Originate Menu. For most trendy variations of Windows, proper right here is no longer required.

Safari Pinned Icon

Safari former to have a separate requirement to command an icon in pinned tabs. Nonetheless, since Safari 12, we are able to use a typical favicon for pinned tabs. Even doesn’t use the cowl-icon anymore.


A type of (now outdated) tutorials will include a favicon.ico into HTML esteem this:

Be warned that shortcut is not, and by no means turned as soon as a well-behaved hyperlink relation. Read this unbelievable article by Mathias Bynens from ten years in the past that explains why we by no means wished shortcuts and rel="icon" is fantastic comely.

Yandex Tableau

Yandex Browser is a Chromium-essentially primarily based browser from the suited Russian search engine. In Russia, it has a 20% market piece. It has a efficient characteristic that permits net pages to command stay files in widgets on a dwelling present by a specific JSON manifest equipped by the yandex-tableau-widget hyperlink. Nonetheless, the characteristic proved not to be very fashionable, and now Yandex has eradicated the technical documentation for it from its net pages. Current icon manifests will work fantastic as successfully.

Opera Soar

Opera Soar, an experimental browser for iOS, former to require a specific 228&occasions;228 icon. The browser left the App Retailer in 2017, and I doubt it has survived loads of iOS updates since then.

Now, as we waved lawful-bye to fallen comrades, let’s seek for  type an closing favicon house for these that are silent standing.

Easy  manufacture our Final Favicon Characteristic

Right right here’s the best possibility to manufacture our closing, minimalistic favicon house in six fast steps. All you will want to originate is an SVG file for the model that you the reality is need to use.

Step 1: Put collectively the SVG

Invent determined that that the SVG picture is sq.. Delivery the supply file in your system viewer and check the picture’s width and peak. It is simple to regulate the SVG measurement in any SVG editor. In Inkscape, you moreover mght can commerce doc measurement in File → Document Properties and heart the model utilizing Object → Align and Distribute.

Place your file as icon.svg. Now let’s fiddle with our SVG, so it performs successfully with in vogue system themes. Query your designer how the colors needs to be inverted in a gloomy theme (for B&W logos, you fantastic commerce shadowy to white).

Now, starting your SVG file in a textual problem materials editor. Get dangle of a  with gloomy or missing personal. Add a CSS media ask that triggers on theme adjustments and commerce personal to the colors you need:


Step 2: Get an ICO file

Delivery your icon.svg file in a raster graphics editor. I counsel GIMP; it’s free and multi-platform.

Get dangle of rendering SVG to raster. Characteristic width and peak to 32 pixels. Export file to favicon.ico utilizing 32 bpp, 8-bit alpha, no palette settings.

Scale the picture down to 16&occasions;16 and check icon visibility. If it turned too blurry, it'll probably be higher to demand your designer for a customized puny model of the model.

To include a separate 16&occasions;16 model of an icon:

  1. Delivery favicon.ico with 32&occasions;32 icon.
  2. Get a novel layer with 16&occasions;16 measurement.
  3. Set apart a 16&occasions;16 model of an icon into this sediment.
  4. Export the file. GIMP will set up each structure as a separate model of an icon.

Step 3: Get PNG photographs

Delivery your supply SVG file in a raster graphics editor over once more and type a 512&occasions;512 picture. Export it as icon-512.png.
Scale the picture to 192&occasions;192 and export it to icon-192.png. Now scale the picture itself to 140&occasions;140 and house the canvas to 180&occasions;180, and export as apple-touch-icon.png.

Step 4: Optimize PNG and SVG files

Basically the only instrument to optimize SVGs is SVGO. Bustle:

npx svgo --multipass icon.svg

Squoosh is a immense net app to optimize raster photographs.

  1. Delivery your icon-512.png in Squoosh.
  2. Alternate Compress environment to OxiPNG.
  3. Allow “Decrease palette”.
  4. Characteristic 64 colors.
  5. Compare ahead of/after by transferring a slider. If you seek for a incompatibility, enhance the number of colors.
  6. Place the file.

Repeat these steps for icon-192.png and apple-touch-icon.png.

Step 5: Add icons to HTML

You'd like to add hyperlinks to favicon.ico and to apple-touch-icon.png into your HTML.

For static HTML:

  My net pages

Nonetheless, we counsel utilizing a bundler to generate cache busters (include file’s hash in a title as a fingerprint). If you might be utilizing Webpack with [html-webpack-plugin]:

  1. Get index.html template.

  2. Add template to plugin alternate selections:

    novel HtmlWebpackPlugin({ template:  "./idea/index.html" });
  3. Make clear HTML template with hyperlinks (examples use ERB former to include files, nonetheless can also simply even be your templating language of choice):

        My net pages
         title="viewport" content material="width=device-width,initial-scale=1">
         rel="icon" href="/favicon.ico">
  4. Spend copy-webpack-plugin to copy favicon.ico with out together with a hash to file title.

Free Tip: Separate icon for staging

Favicons are a efficient possibility to distinguish your manufacturing ambiance from a staging one. I purchase utilizing an totally different icon for staging immense environment friendly in heading off pricey confusions.

Get a favicon-dev.ico with the similar model, nonetheless invert the colors (or diagram one factor else that is suited to you). Identical for SVG, type icon-dev.svg.

Now, exchange icons in your HTML template depending on course of.env.NODE_ENV==='manufacturing' situation:

      My net pages

Step 6: Get a net app manifest

For static HTML, type a JSON file named manifest.webmanifest:

  "title":  "My net pages",
  "icons":  [
    { "src": "/icon-192.png", "type": "image/png", "sizes": "192x192" },
    { "src": "/icon-512.png", "type": "image/png", "sizes": "512x512" }

Link it in your HTML:

  My net pages

With Webpack, you moreover mght can use webpack-pwa-manifest plugin:

  plugins:  [
    novel WebpackPwaManifest({
      title:  'My net pages',
      icons:  [
        { src:  unravel('./icon-192.png'), sizes:  '192x192' },
        { src:  unravel('./icon512.png'), sizes:  '512x512 }

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