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Force Favicon Requests to Correct Location

For whatever crazy reason, perhaps evil-doing site scanners, requets to a web server for a favicon in all known crevasses of the site are fairly common. Since that file probably only actually exists in the root directory of your site, these requests result in a 404. If you server up a fancy, user-friendly 404 page, this can add up to a ton of bandwidth for no good reason.

This code will make those requests serve up the real favicon instead, saving bandwidth:

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/favicon\.ico [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} favicon\.ico    [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) [R=301,L]

Another common one is requests for a file called ajax-loader.gif, probably evil scanning looking for poorly made ajax applications in which to exploit. Make sure that file really does exist and force all requets for it to that real location.

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/images/ajax\-loader\.gif [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ajax\-loader\.gif           [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) [R=301,L]


  1. An alternative is to just die() out if your 404 page detects the request is for ‘favicon.ico’.

  2. Something very beautiful Thank you for offering distinctive .

  3. Sylenix
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi Chris!

    Thanks very much for this snippet. I was able to solve that YSlow bug for favicon because of this.

    Thanks a lot!

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