Creating favicon.ico with the GIMP

I liked this guy's answer a lot -- doesn't mess around w/ command line stuff and allows the creation of transparent favicons.


creating a transparent favicon.ico with Gimp
I'm always forgetting the steps to do this properly. Here you go:
1) open a favorite image that you'd like to turn into a favicon to appear in your browser's location bar
2) click Image->Mode->RGB
3) using the erase tool, erase any areas of the graphic that you'd like to be transparent
4) using Image->Scale, resize the image to 32x32, the proper size for a favicon
5) first save the file as a GIF
- Gimp will popup a dialog that says "GIF can only handle grayscale or indexed images"
6) select * Convert to Indexed using default settings
7) click Export
8) save a copy as .ico. It will give you a number of choices for bits/pixel:
1 bpp, 1 bit alpha, 2-slot palette
4 bpp, 1 bit alpha, 16-slot palette
8 bpp, 1 bit alpha, 256-slot palette
32 bpp, 8 bit alpha, no palette

Choose 4bpp. However, I have seen with some images that 8bpp needs to be used.
9) upload to your website and enjoy!

Free Tag:


I followed your steps, but the resulting icon is not visible in Windows 7 in Explorer or when uploaded.

Maybe this is due to the final step of setting 4bpp (also tried 8bpp), I see 8 layers and I make the same selection for each layer. Should I merge all of the layers before saving?

I am going to try opening the GIF that I saved, it shouldn't have layers. I will post back.

Tried 8bpp and 4bpp and it didn't work. I was right about the GIF having only 1 layer. Apparently, even though I did the save as gif step, GIMP maintained the xfc with all the layers.

I am going to try one of the online generators. I wanted this tutorial to work b/c I find the online versions to be somewhat limited. They want a 16x16 image, and it makes the design look awful.

Thanks anyways, good exercise. I am a limited gimp user (love drupal, btw)

That's odd -- it's always worked for me.  See the favicon on - made it using this method...

Thank you soo... much for the step by step instructions!! It worked perfectly. I used 48x48 and 8bpp. Icon looks great.

I tried and tried and for some reason I couldn't get the favicon to show up transparent following a bunch of other people's instructions. But AMAZINGLY yours worked. Not sure if was the GIF saving part or the 8bpp that did it but either way, it worked! Thanks so much!

I thought that the scaling was 16x16....

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