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What is about:blank?

The about:blank page, also called About Blank, is an empty page on your browser tab that appears when your browser has nothing else to show. The about:blank page can display because you don’t have a home setting for your browser or because the web address you entered doesn’t exist.

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    Because about:blank displays when your browser has nothing else to show, it’s not an actual webpage. About Blank is an internal part of your browser. To get past about:blank on any web browser, you just need to enter a valid URL or search term into the address bar.

    The about:blank page isn’t really a problem you need to solve — it can even be helpful. For instance, the About Blank address bar serves as a Google alternative on Chrome, and works just like the Google search bar.

    Along with reducing browser battery consumption, the about:blank page can act as an extra defense mechanism alongside Chrome security extensions when your browser is ambushed by malware. Instantly diverting you to the about:blank page is particularly effective against scareware pop-ups that try to frighten you into clicking them.

    Once you know how it works, the about:blank page can be a useful tool across PC, Mac, and mobile devices. It can help prevent you unwittingly visiting unsafe websites and serve as a kind of search engine, too.

    Is about:blank a virus or malware?

    About:blank isn’t a form of malware, and there’s no such thing as an aboutblank virus, so the About Blank page itself is no cause for concern. But malware can cause it to appear more often as your browser defaults to a blank link to protect against computer viruses.

    If about:blank starts popping up regularly, or alongside other potential signs of malware like device crashes or sluggish performance, that could be a signal that something’s wrong with your device. Even if you suspect that something may be a fake virus warning, if you’re ever in doubt, run an antivirus scan to be sure.

    But when about:blank opens up, it’s usually for reasons totally unconnected to security, such as:

    • A misspelled or buggy URL

    • Internet connectivity issues

    • Cache problems

    • A corrupt webpage

    • Clicking on something that’s still loading

    • Too many browser extensions open

    You can’t get rid of the about:blank page completely, since it’s the default page the browser shows when it has nothing else to display. But there’s no need to stress about removing it — some people even like starting browsing sessions with a “nothing” page!

    If you do think your device has been infected with malware, check out our guide to removing a virus from your computer or getting rid of mobile malware.

    Is the about:blank page useful?

    The About Blank page certainly has its uses. Since about:blank is completely empty, it loads extremely quickly and can serve as a good homepage for slow devices or when you have a slow connection. It also works well as a blank Google search page for those who want to start fresh each time.

    About Blank is useful for:

    • Slow connections

    • Low-battery emergencies

    • Starting browsing sessions without tabs from previous sessions loaded

    • Minimalist appeal and fewer distractions

    The “blank” after “about:” tells the browser to give you a blank page, but you can tell the browser to do other things by typing different words into the address bar. In Chrome, for example, about:downloads brings up your downloads page, about:apps brings up your apps, and about:newtab opens a new tab. The specific commands you can use depend on your browser of choice.

    If you like a minimalist, clutter-free browsing experience, or want to experiment with any of the potential uses of About Blank, you can try setting about:blank as your homepage.

    Set about:blank as your homepage

    About:blank uses minimal resources, so setting the about blank page as a homepage can be handy if you’re low on power or have a slow computer. Some people simply prefer the look and feel of the about:blank page, and use it along with blocking Chrome popups to maintain a clutter-free, minimalist browsing experience.

    You can set your homepage to about:blank on newer browsers like Chrome and Firefox, as well as on older browsers like Internet Explorer.

    How to set about:blank as your homepage on Chrome


    1. Open Chrome.

    2. Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right of your browser window and select Settings. (To see how the About Blank page works first, try typing about:settings.)

      Opening settings in Google Chrome.

    3. Click On startup.

      Opening "On Startup" in Google Chrome settings

    4. Select Open a specific page or set or pages.

      Selecting "Open a specific page or set pages" under "On Startup" in Google Chrome settings

    5. Type in about:blank and click Add.

      Entering about:blank as the homepage URL in Google Chrome.

    How to set about:blank as your homepage on Safari


    1. Open Safari, click the Safari Menu, and select Preferences.

      Accessing Preferences from within the Safari browser menu.

    2. Click the General tab and set your homepage to about:blank.

      Altering the desired homepage URL within the General Preferences tab on Safari.

    How to set about:blank as your homepage on Edge


    1. Open Edge, click the three horizontal dots, and select Settings.

      The settings page in Microsoft Edge.

    2. Click Start, home, and new tabs. Select Open these pages, then click Add a new page.

      Adding a new page to set up new tabs in Microsoft Edge.

    3. Type about:blank and click Add.

      Setting up about:blank as a new homepage in Microsoft Edge.

    How to set about:blank as your homepage on Firefox


    1. Open Firefox, click the three horizontal lines, and select Settings.

      Accessing the Firefox browser settings.

    2. Click Home and then click Custom URLs next to Homepage and new windows.

      Selecting a custom URL within the Firefox browser homepage and new windows setting.

    3. Type about:blank and press Enter.

      Entering about:blank as the custom URL for homepage and new windows in Firefox.

    Using about:blank as your homepage should help your computer speed up, but too many browser extensions can also bog your device down. Remove Chrome extensions you don’t use and see if it improves performance.

    Removing about:blank

    Removing the About Blank page completely isn’t possible, because it’s part of your browser. But you can remove about:blank as your startup page. If you’re worried it may be a symptom of a malware infection, use the best antivirus software to flush out viruses, worms, trojans, and other infections.

    If you’re trying to visit a website and access is denied for security reasons, you may see about:blank#blocked in your browser. Like the normal About Blank page, about blank blocked cannot be completely disabled. Whenever a browser detects a threat, it will prevent the page from loading. When that happens, your browser has to display something, so it displays about:blank#blocked instead.

    You don’t need any program to stop about:blank from opening. All you need for free about:blank removal is to change your browser settings.

    How to remove about:blank on Chrome


    1. Open Chrome, click the three vertical dots, and select Settings.

    2. Click On startup, and select Open a specific page or set or pages.

    3. Remove about:blank as a start page.

       Removing about:blank as startup page

    How to remove about:blank on Safari


    1. Open Safari, go to the Safari menu, and click Preferences.

      Accessing Preferences from within the Safari browser menu.

    2. Click the General tab.

      Altering the desired homepage URL within the General Preferences tab on Safari.

    3. Remove about:blank as your homepage and type in a different page instead.

    How to remove about:blank on Edge


    1. Open Edge, click the three horizontal dots, and select Settings.

    2. Click Start, home, and new tabs.

    3. Select Open these pages, go to about:blank, and click delete.

      Removing about:blank from the Edge homepage

    How to remove about:blank on Firefox


    1. Open Firefox, click the three horizontal lines, and select Settings.

      Accessing the Firefox browser settings.

    2. Click Home and select Custom URLs next to Homepage and new windows.

      Selecting a custom URL within the Firefox browser homepage and new windows setting.

    3. Click Restore Defaults.

      Clicking Restore Defaults to remove about:blank as the custom URL for homepage and new windows in Firefox.

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