Closed Bug 272534 Opened 18 years ago Closed 14 years ago

Image Placeholder Icons: "Loading" and "Broken" Icons Both Replaced with Single "Red Dot/Diamond" Icon While Browsing


(Core :: General, defect)

Not set





(Reporter: 73kbq4e02, Unassigned)




(2 files)

User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0

Sometimes when browsing for awhile, the icons for loading/broken image
placeholders* both get replaced with a single "red dot/diamond" icon**.  This
icon (in my personal opinion) does not look as good as either of the standard
image placeholder icons, does not clearly represent an "image" icon, and also
makes it harder to determine whether or not an image is loading or broken (at
least on pages which have slow-loading images).

I am not sure what causes it to appear, and the time it takes for it to show up
seems to vary - sometimes it will not show up at all, sometimes it will show up
after a few minutes of browsing, and sometimes it will show up immediately.  The
icons remain like this for the remainder of the browsing session.

(More detailed descriptions for the icons have been moved to here for clarity:

* - Both of these icons have the top-right corner folded and creased inward, are
gray with a white border, and have a green circle, blue square, and pink right
triangle in them; the "broken image" icon has a large tear in it, running from
the right center side to the bottom left side.

** - This icon is square-shaped, much smaller than the regular image placeholder
icons, has a gray border on the right and bottom sides, and has a large red
diamond/dot in the center of it.)

Restarting the browser will fix this problem, but only temporarily - this can
still be reproduced the next time it is run, although it may take a longer (or
shorter) amount of time of browsing around for it to show up again.

Reproducible: Sometimes
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Browse through various sites and open various browser windows and sidebars.
(I am sorry, but I am unable to be more specific with this step, as I do not
know exactly what causes both of the image placeholder icons to suddenly change
to a single, different icon.)

2. Visit a page that will show the "loading/broken image" placeholder icons (or
at least the "broken image" placeholder icon).
3. Repeat the above steps if the icon(s) remain unaffected.
Actual Results:  
Both the "loading image" and "broken image" placeholder icons are replaced with
the "red diamond/dot" icon.

Expected Results:  
Both of the image placeholder icons should remain unchanged.
Attached image Image Placeholder Icons
The icons are as follows:

Top Left: "Broken Image" Icon
Bottom Left: "Loading Image" Icon
Right: "Red Diamond/Dot" Icon
This page has (intentionally) broken image links, so that you will be able to
see the image placeholder icon(s).
This is very interesting - I have noticed that this affects Thunderbird as well
(if displaying remote images is disabled).

I actually recall having seen it there for quite awhile, but (until now) never
gave much thought to the fact that its icon for loading/blocked/broken pictures
is identical to the "red dot/diamond" icon I saw in Firefox.
Assignee: bross2 → nobody
Timothy, are you still seeing this using Firefox I'm unable to reproduce. Be sure to try with a clean profile.
Whiteboard: CLOSEME - 04/10/07
No, I'm not seeing it right now...but that is more or less due to this bug not showing itself that often in Firefox (, with both current and clean profiles).  I think that it may still be there, though, as I can also reproduce it in Thunderbird (, with both current and clean profiles).  Not only that, but I can reproduce it every time in Thunderbird if:

* "Block loading of remote images in mail messages" is enabled, and a message containing at least one remote image is opened.

* "Compose messages in HTML format" is enabled, and an image is added with a location that doesn't exist.

In both of the above cases, the "red dot" icon appears instead of the "broken image" icon.  If this is also present in Thunderbird 2 (or, at this point in time, Beta 2), it's probably still in Firefox 2 (and above) as well.
If this is happening in Thunderbird too, it's a core bug, so sending it there.
Product: Firefox → Core
QA Contact: general → general
Whiteboard: CLOSEME - 04/10/07
I just wanted to put this out there that I too have recently received this "red diamond" image placeholder icon.  I'm not sure what could have caused it.  The only thing that I did recently was the about:config pipeling way to make Firefox run faster, but I tried undoing that and I still get these little diamonds.

It's not that big of a deal as long as it's not some sort of weird virus/tracking thing.  I do prefer the other normal icon however.
It goes away if I clear my cache/history, but shows up again after a minute or so of browsing.  I've also tried to reinstall Firefox (though not a complete uninstall).

I am using Firefox
I don't have Thunderbird installed, so I'm sure about it happening there.
Confirming and updating OS/HW based on the dupe.  I've hunted for the red dot icon in the tree for ages and haven't ever found it, so I don't know where it's coming from.

In Camino some of us see this more frequently when session saving restores a large number of tabs on startup (I haven't seen the correct icon in my daily use in months), so maybe the right icons are not getting loaded properly at startup in some (as yet unknown) situation?
Ever confirmed: true
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Hardware: PC → All
I have the same problem with red dots before images are loaded, both in Firefox and K-meleon 1.02.

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060917 K-Meleon/1.02
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
It seems like the problem could reside in the profile. In fact, there must be some settings that become corrupted disallowing to Firefox to find the "res" directory. I carried out some experiments and I came to this conclusion. By the way my OS is Windows XP SP1 with Firefox

1) I run Firefox in safe mode. The red dots are still there. So this implies that the problem is not related with plugins or themes.

2) I created a new clean profile. When I run Firefox with the original profile I still get the red dots. But when I run Firefox with the new profile I get the correct image placeholders.

3) I renamed the files loading-image.gif and broken-image.gif located in the "res" directory. I run Firefox with the new clean profile and I get the red dots! So this implies that the red dots are displayed by Firefox when it can't find the correct "res".

I hope this information allows you to get insights about the nature of the problem and its possible fix.
I devised a solution that worked for me. This solution bring me back the correct placeholders. Now, the red dots have gone.

Please try the solution and give your feedback. Remember to backup your profile directory!!

1) Run Firefox using the profile manager: "Firefox.exe -ProfileManager".
2) Create a new clean profile, name it "temp" for example. Select your default profile and start Firefox.
3) Close Firefox.
4) Find your profiles folder, it may be located in "C:\Documents and Settings\[your username]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles".
5) Into this folder you will find a folder for each Firefox profile. Find the default profile folder, it could be called something like "[something].default".
6) Rename the 'localstore.rdf' file (located in the default profile folder) to 'localstore.rdf_original'.
7) Go to the recently created "temp" profile folder.
8) Copy the 'localstore.rdf' file (from the clean profile) to the default profile folder.
9) Run Firefox, your plugins will be disabled but don't worry. Now go to You must see the correct broken image placeholder, and no red dots.
10) Close Firefox.
11) Find your default profile folder. Delete the 'localstore.rdf' file.
12) Rename 'localstore.rdf_original' to 'localstore.rdf'.
13) Run Firefox using the profile manager and delete the "temp" profile.

Now Firefox must display the correct image placeholders and the red dots must be gone,
Good luck!!
It seems that the origin of this problem about red dots is multifactorial. But nowadays there are evidences (also confirmed by me) towards the problem with red dots caused by the new iGoogle personalized homepage. To know more look at this discussion:
I can confirm that leaving my home page at *but* changing my start page to "blank page" will not give me the red dots, but using my home page as my start page will cause them.

Firefox on Debian Etch 4.0
FWIW, I started having this problem, too, and was able to get rid of it by resetting "permissions.default.images" with about:config (from 3 to 1). (I found  info about this option at

I don't have AdBlock installed. I use iGoogle, but not as my home page. (I did notice that at some point the plus signs on it became invisible, but still functional. Now that I've reset "permissions.default.images", they're back.)

My guess is that an update to one of my extensions caused the probem for me, but I'm not sure.
appearance of red dots depends on what image FF loads first of all, right after it was started. that's why changing homepage might make red dots appear. see my analysis in bug 430613, comment #23
Now that we have Torvin's analysis in bug 430613, I think we should just dupe this bug there (and maybe improve that bug's summary).
Closed: 14 years ago
Resolution: --- → DUPLICATE
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