Tutorials

What Is about: blank and How Do You Remove It?

You have opened a page or tab on your browser when suddenly are shocked to see “about: blank” on your browser page. We understand how concerned you could get. You could think that your computer has contracted a virus or there might be something wrong with your browser. 

The question now arises, what is about: blank all about? Why does it show up on your browser URL field? Well, we shall impart to you some good news and some bad news. To learn more read further into this article. 

Good news

The good news about getting about: blank page is it does not pose any danger to your computer. It is in fact, a built-in page which most browsers have. This is actually similar to cache, about: settings or about: about.

Bad news

The bad news is there are some rare cases wherein about: blank page could be a cause of rare cases of malware or viruses. 

Through this article, we shall provide you more information about “about: blank” and how to configure it. 

What Is about: blank?

About: blank is not an actual page. It is just a blank screen on your browser. The question is why would your Chrome or Edge have a blank screen? The truth is having a blank page is quite useful in the following situations:

  • You would want to launch their browser without loading an actual page as a start page
  • It could prevent your browser from using excessive network resources when starting
  • The browser could not understand what to display. 
  • Clicking a link could open a new browser tab 
  • Clicking could open malicious web

These situations, as you could see are not dangerous nor risky at all. The only time that it could get risky is if you click on some link which you do not trust. 

Why Do Browser Have an about:blank Page?

Though it might not make sense to you for a page not to be displaying anything, it is actually important for web browsers. 

How browsers work:

  • Type a URL in the URL field 
  • Browser communicates to the web server and requests for the page. The code will allow the browser to display the page for you
  • Browser deciphers HTML or PHP 
  • Browser will display the page 

Though about: blank page is not needed as you could see when browsers work at their normal operation, about: blank page is important when under the following situations:

  • You are looking for free games to play online and you would need to select a link to download installation file.
  • The link that you have click contains a target=”_blank” parameter inside <a> tag.
  • The code tells your browser to download the file but displays a blank web page on your browser. 
  • File downloaded at the bottom of the about: blank page. 

Though this could be annoying for web developers, the good news is it is not dangerous. However, if you have clicked something malicious or untrusted link, the link or file could contain malware or virus. 

Furthermore, your browser could display about: blank page if the code of the web server returns to the browser is not formatted. 

When is about: blank useful?

There are some individuals who prefer to use about: blank page as their default start page. This way they could prevent any web page from loading on their browser as they first open their browser. It also ensures that it prevents any code or startup scripts to run whenever you launch your browser. 

How to set about: blank as your start page?

In Chrome:

  • Type and enter chrome://settings on your URL field
  • Go to On startup section
  • Select open specific page or set of pages
  • Select three vertical dots on the right and select Edit from the menu on your URL current default start page
  • On the Site URL field, type about: blank 
  • Select Save

In Firefox:

  • Select menu found on the upper right corner of your browser
  • Select Options
  • Select Home found on the left navigation menu
  • Select Custom URLs 
  • Type about: home into the field
  • Close menu 
  • You could also select blank page from dropdown 

In Apple Safari:

  • Select Safari
  • Select Preferences
  • Select General
  • On the homepage section, type about: blank
  • Close tab

In Microsoft Edge:

  • On the upper right portion, you will find three dots menu icon. Click it.
  • Select Settings and browse On startup section
  • Select open a specific page or pages
  • Select three dots to the right
  • Select Edit
  • Type about: blank

In Internet Explorer:

  • Select the gear shaped menu icon
  • Select Internet Options
  • In Home page section, type about: blank
  • Select Ok and close the window

How to Remove about: blank as your Start Page?

If you wish to remove about: blank page as your default startup page, all you need to do is follow the steps provided above but replace about: blank with the URL address you wish to have as your browser startup page. 

Do I Have Malware?

If you have not configured about: blank as your startup page or it frequently opens a new about: blank tab even when you are not clicking anything, there is a possibility that you have a malware or virus attacking your computer. 

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