1. When you're accessing the Web, many items are downloaded to the Temporary Internet Files (TIF), aka "cache", for possible subsequent use - those Gif files are what you're interested in preserving. Files downloaded to the TIF are static and do not stay for any great length of time - this is determined by the IE program coding. Items in the TIF are purged when you empty the cache through the browser options or it may be automatically emptied when exiting IE - determined by an optional setting.
Warning: When you first save a favorite link, its icon will be retained for use only as long as it remains in the TIF. Once the URL is purged, the favorite icon reverts to the default IE icon.
Note: Are you getting the picture yet?
2. At the time you save a link and it's got a nice icon you want to preserve, follow these steps:
a. Find the icon file in question and place it somewhere else in a personal archive.
b. After selecting a Favorites link from Explorer, or My Computer, right-click it, choose Properties, and from the context menu, click the Web document tab.
c. Click the button labeled, "Change icon....", and then select your personal "archived copy" of the icon.
4. PC Magazine first published "FavOrg", Version 19n19, November 17, 2000 which you may find elsewhere on the Web.
Note: The PC Magazine Utility Library is now available by subscription only. For just $19.97 (or $14.97 if you're a current subscriber to PC Magazine's print or digital edition), subscribers get full access for 12 months, including: great new files and updates throughout the year -- usually one per month -- access to all 130+ useful, smart utilities in the Library, and technical support.
PLATFORMS: 32-bit Windows with Internet Explorer 4 or higher
DESCRIPTION: FavOrg scans the Web sites in your Favorites list for favicons--custom icons provided by the Web site. The icons are displayed on the Favorites bar, the Favorites menu, and the Address bar. Custom icons make the Favorites list easier to scan, letting you locate a given shortcut faster. Microsoft added the custom icon feature to IE5; FavOrg brings this functionality to IE4 as well. Favicons are usually lost when you delete your Temporary Internet Files, but FavOrg preserves them. The program also lets you associate any icon you choose with a given shortcut, even if no favicon is provided. Since FavOrg must check the validity of an Internet shortcut before attempting to download the favicon, it automatically flags dead links as it goes through your Favorites list. If you like, it can update redirected links or reset dead links to the site's root.