The little rss icon – what makes it glow?

About once or twice a day, we get an email from someone asking why it is that IE 7 isn't detecting an RSS feed on a particular page that clearly has a feed associated with it.

Usually, this means that there's an RSS or XML button somewhere on the page. The user can visually tell that there's a feed, so why can't IE?

Well, feed auto-discovery works in a very simple way. Instead of trying guess the intent of the publisher and trying to figure out whether there's an little orange (or blue, or burnt sienna, for that matter) icon, IE will look for a specific "link" element in the HTML of the page that needs to be added by the publisher. We have published a short guide to what we're looking for here:

So, if a page doesn't have that "link"element, then IE7 won't detect the feed. Most sites that have RSS or Atom support include this element, but some haven't gotten around to it yet. So, if you find one, be sure to send them the link to the guide above.

Alternatively, if a site does have all the right information, please add the site to our feedback wiki, and we'll investigate it.




Comments (6)

  1. DeepICE2 says:

    The blogs.msdn homepage does not light up.

  2. aweiker says:

    Your link to the article is bad when viewed in an aggregator as it doesn’t include the full URL.

  3. Chris says:

    How do I view RSS feeds after I subscribe to them.  I have searched the Index and Help, and can not find a way to view the RSS feeds to which I subscribed.  Does IE 7 offer anything like the Sage add-in for Firefox?

  4. Shinji says:


    Why I can´t add url feeds manually on IE7?

    I need to wait the RSS Service to find feeds in pages?

    It’s not cool.



  5. Philip says:

    My 5 cents is the following: This is a bad idea, since many use page generators/portal tools (I.e. Sharepoint) where added components (pages, code, webparts) are responsible for the actual RSS generation.

    Sure, the LINK element can be written alongside the code that shows the RSS button – But! The LINK element can be used only within the HEAD tag, which prohibits this strategy and requires some sort of injection into the generation process.

    Requiring something to modify the page generation process (injecting a link element into page) is sometimes not feasible.

  6. Eric says:

    When viewing the built in RSS viewer in Internet Explorer 7 there is a right column. Would you explain how to add a Date, Author, Title? Most of the feeds that I have been looking at are blank.

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