If you see “about: blank” in your web browser‘s address bar, you’re viewing a blank page embedded in the web browser. “About: blank” in any browser means one thing – a blank web document is open. This is normal if you have opened a page with no text, pictures, or anything else. This is part of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and other browsers.
There’s nothing wrong with “about: blank”. Many people prefer to use “about: blank” as their home page, ensuring that their web browser always opens with a blank white screen. However, empty browser windows can also be a consequence of slow Internet, as well as other phenomena. And some of them can be dangerous. Well, let’s take a closer look at what is “about: blank” page and why it keeps popping up.
What is about: blank?
This is a blank page embedded in your web browser. The “about:” part of the address tells the browser to show internal, embedded web pages. For example, in Chrome, you can type “about: settings” in the address bar to open the settings page, or “about: downloads” to view Chrome’s list of downloads. It sounds as simple as clearing the cache in your Chrome browser on Mac.
When you type about: blank in the address bar and press Enter, your web browser will load a blank page with nothing on it. This page isn’t from the web, it’s built into your web browser.
Many people use about: blank as their home page. This gives you a blank page every time you open your browser. To achieve this, all you have to do is go into your browser settings and tell it to open with “about: blank” instead of another web page.
Web browsers can also open an “about: blank” page if they start up and don’t know what else to display. After all, the browser always has to display something, and loading “about: blank” is the way to display a blank page.
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What are the risks of “about: blank”?
The fact that sometimes it indicates the presence of uninvited guests on the PC – malicious programs that spy on users and show ads. A PC is most likely infected if the following symptoms occur along with “about: blank”:
- Spontaneous changes to the browser home page.
- Ad windows and banners appear on sites that aren’t present when opened on other devices.
- Redirects to third-party resources. For example, an online casino page opens instead of Facebook.
- Opening of “about: blank” pages only instead of specific sites, such as search engines or anti-virus resources.
- Failure to load any web pages when other programs, such as messengers, are properly connected to the Internet.
- Spontaneous opening of browser windows with advertising and phishing content (designed to steal data by imitating, for example, a login page to a social network).
- Ad banners and pop-up windows on the desktop.
- Spontaneous installation of browser panels and extensions, adding bookmarks, and changing settings.
- Unintentional installation of “left-behind” programs on your hard drive.
“About: blank” may be the only sign of a malware infestation. After all, users most often find out about stolen data when they lose access to important resources, such as an email account, a social network account, a personal account on a bank site, etc. For this reason, it’s very important to properly manage your saved card data in the browser.
How you can get rid of about: blank
You can’t get rid of or remove “about: blank”. It’s part of your web browser, and it always will be. However, you never have to see it again if you don’t want to. If you see “about: blank” every time you open your web browser, and you prefer to see your browser’s new tab page or any other web page, all you have to do is change your browser’s home page.
In Google Chrome, go to “Menu” and open “Settings”. Scroll down to the “Launch Chrome” section and select “New Tab” or remove “about: blank” from the web pages that open on launch and select your favorite web page.
In Mozilla Firefox, click Menu, Settings, and Home. Select the desired home page for new windows and new tabs. Make sure that “about: blank” or “Blank Page” isn’t selected here.
In Internet Explorer, you can change this in the “browser properties” window. Of course, you shouldn’t use Internet Explorer anymore. Even Microsoft recommends leaving IE behind. However, it may still be necessary for some older business apps and other outdated software. Click the gear-shaped menu button and select “Browser Properties”. Remove “about: blank” from the homepage field at the top of the General panel. Enter the address of the desired home page.
How did advertising software that opens about: blank windows get into your PC?
Most likely, adware was installed on your PC when you were installing a new free program, such as an e-mail client, pdf file creator, video player, and so on. This happened because very often adware viruses are integrated into installation packages that are distributed by various large free and cracked software hosting sites, as well as by torrent tracker sites.
Even uninstalling the program that brought the adware virus to your PC won’t remove the intrusive “about: blank” windows. Adware can only be removed from your PC manually or with specialized programs as described in the instructions below.
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How to find the culprit in the browser
Since there are various reasons why blank web pages open, you should first determine where the source is located: on the web, on the site, in your browser, or in your operating system. This determines how to solve the problem. The error is most likely on the site if:
- The site (all or the same page) opens with “about blank” on different devices, in networks of different Internet providers when visited under IP addresses of different countries.
- The inaccessibility of the site is reported by other web resources and media (if it’s a large and popular portal, such as a social network).
If a blank window opens when you click on a link, try to go to the same page in another way, for example, through a search engine. Normal opening indicates that the link isn’t working properly.