Photographs courtesy of Toby Watt - lawyer, friend and photographer extraordinaire...


Welcome to IE-Vista

Dedicated to providing advice and support to users of IE7 and IE8


All about Favorites


  Click here for information about favicons 


The Favorites Center

Internet Explorer 7 no longer has separate History, Search and Favorite panes.  Instead, the History and Favorites panes have been combined with a Web Feed (RSS) pane in a new feature called the Favorites Center:

Note: there is no longer a Search Pane; this has been replaced with a search toolbar.

There are several ways to open the History, Feed or Favorites panes.

History pane: Ctrl H
RSS pane: Ctrl J
Favorites pane: Ctrl I

(Note: to open the above in "pinned" mode (see below for examples) add "shift" to the key combination above)

You can also open the Favorites Center by clicking on the Favorites Center icon on the toolbar:

Under normal circumstances, the Favorites, History and Feed panes will automatically close as soon as you click on a link.  You can avoid this by clicking on the locking button (which replaces the traditional push pin).

If you want to close the pane, simply click on the close button

Adding and managing Favorites

Click on the Add to Favorites button (or use the Alt Z key combination)

Add Tab Group to Favorites will create a Favorites Group containing all Web sites that are currently open in Internet Explorer.  You will need to give your new Tab Group a name.

A tab group looks like a folder.  The arrow that you see will not appear until you highlight the Tab Group using your mouse.



Favicons are the tiny, unique icons that appear in Internet Explorer's Address bar with many Web sites.  There are a few reasons why Favicons will not work at a Web site, which I will discuss below, but first, let's look at a few different Favicons:


Community Server:



How do I add a favicon to my Web site?

A favicon.ico file must be 16x16 pixels - any bigger and IE will ignore the file.  You then save favicon.ico to the root of your Web site and IE will automatically search for and display that icon. 

You can also save an *.ico file to the root of your Web site using any name you want, and then and add a link to your Web site pages as follows:

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="http://name_of_your_site/icon_name.ico" >

Important note:  You *cannot* take a graphic file, shrink it to 16x16, save it with an ico extension and expect it to work.  You need to create the ico file using an icon editor - there are many freeware and shareware icon editors available, but please be careful when choosing a freeware product - watch out for bundled adware or malware.  Visual Studio, if you have it, can create ico files.

Problems with Favicons

If your users cannot see your site's favicon, please check the following on your site:

  1. Make sure that your favicon is a true ico file, and that it is 16x16 pixels

  2. IE stores favicon.ico in the temporary internet files folder, therefore you should not use no-cache directives. Do not use <META HTTP-EQUIV="Pragma" CONTENT="no-cache"> and <META HTTP-EQUIV="Expires" CONTENT="-1">

  3. Using ASP?  Don't use:

    <% Response.CacheControl = "no-cache" %>>
    <% Response.AddHeader "Pragma", "no-cache" %>
    <% Response.Expires = -1 %>

If everything is ok with your site, then you need to ask your visitors to empty their cached IE data.  Be pedantic and tell them to make sure that your site is not being displayed when they empty the cache.  Also, tell them to check their IE settings. Make sure that:

  1. Their IE cache size is between 50 and 150 megabytes - any larger is too big.

  2. Their cache setting is not to "automatically" check for newer versions of a Web page. Tell them to change their setting to every time they visit a page, or every time they start IE.  The "automatically" setting is notoriously buggy, causing problems such as missing favicons, and the error "page cannot be displayed".