It wasn’t so long ago that Microsoft finally withdrew all support for Internet Explorer. I only mention it because it was one of the first browsers to adopt a blank page as its home page. In fact, if you didn’t specify a homepage for Internet Explorer, it would use the about:blank page as the default.
Nevertheless, what if you’re encountering an about:blank page on your Chromium or Mozilla (Quantum or Gecko) based browser. Is it cause for alarm? How do you remove it? This guide will provide you with the answers to these questions.
What Is the About Blank Page?
As we’ve implied in the introduction, the about: blank page was the original home page for most browsers. This was before speed dials and special start pages. Because back in the day, most browser developers didn’t know what to use as a home or start page, they used the about:blank page.
Funny enough, this was still true for Internet Explorer 11. If you did not specify a home or start page, it would automatically assign the about:blank page. The ”about:” prefix is/was used to access internal browser pages.
For instance, Firefox allows you to access its settings by typing about:preferences and its advanced settings by typing about:config. You can use both to solve the ”a web page is slowing down your browser” error.
So, the about:blank web page acts as an internal “ghost” page devoid of any content. In most cases, there is no cause for alarm. But there are rare instances when you should worry.
How Does the About Blank Page Look?
These days, most browsers (except for google) don’t display the about:blank URL in the address bar. Both the address bar text-field and main web page panel will be presented as blank. However, the tab name will read as Blank Page. This is how you identify the about:blank page.
About Blank Page a Virus?
In essence, the about:blank is harmless, and it has a purpose. However, in some instances, it may indeed be an indicator of an ongoing browser issue (or a resolved one). Sometimes when your browser (especially if it’s a legacy browser) isn’t able to display a web page, it may divert you to the about:blank page.
Sometimes, a corrupted browser may randomly redirect you to this page. Browser corruption may occur from some wayward experimentation on your part or malware tampering with the browser’s configuration files.
It’s less likely to happen these days as modern browsers are far more secure than their predecessors. But if you find that your home or start page is set as about:blank, there are a few things you can do to fix this.
How to Fix About Blank
If your browser is behaving strangely and redirecting you to pages like about:blank, the first thing you need to do is find any malware or software that may be causing your browser to act erratically.
Google Chrome also has an in-built feature that allows you to clean up your computer. To access it, you can do the following:
- Click on the three-dot Hamburger button on the top right-hand corner (⋮)
- Select Settings
- Select Advanced from the left panel
- Click on Reset and clean up from the left panel
- Select Clean up computer from the main panel
- Click on the Find button
Google Chrome will search your computer for any harmful software, processes, or corrupted settings and clean them up. Once it’s done, we recommend that you restore settings to their original defaults. As you can surmise from the above image, you can access that option from the Reset and clean up category.
To restore Firefox to its original settings, do the following:
- Run Firefox
about:supportinto the address bar and hit Enter
- Click on the Refresh Firefox…
- Click on Refresh Firefox on the warning dialog
This should restore Firefox to its default state, and in turn, it should fix the about:page issue. Web browsers such as Vivaldi require you to manually delete or rename the data folder to restore it to its default settings. If you want to restore Vivaldi to its default settings, do the following:
- Make sure that Vivaldi is closed
- Open the Windows Run dialog (Winkey + R)
%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Vivaldiinto the text field
- Click on the OK button
- Rename the User Data folder to User Data_Backup
Note: You can move the data folder to another location or completely delete it if you’re perfectly comfortable with losing all your settings for your browser.
We also recommend updating or completely reinstalling your web browser. This will ensure that you have the latest stable version of your browser with the latest bug fixes.
How to Change Your Home/Start Page To/From the About Blank Page
After you’ve scanned your computer for malware and reset your browser, you may still encounter the about:blank page as your home or start page. On the other hand, perhaps you want to change your home or start page to the about:blank page. Since each browser works differently, each will require different steps:
- Run Google Chrome
- Click on the Hamburger button on the top right-hand corner (⋮)
- Click on Settings
- Select On startup from the right-hand panel
- Choose one of the available three options
If you want to set the about:blank page as your default startup page:
- In the On startup category, select Open a specific page or set of pages
- Click on add new page
about:blankinto the Site URL text field on the Add a new page dialog
- Click on the Add Button
If you want to set the about:blank page as your home page, do the following:
- Open Settings
- Click on Appearance from the left panel
- Click on the radio dial next to the Show home button to enable it
- Click on the radio button next to the Enter custom web address field
about:blankinto the text field
Note: If you don’t want about:blank to be your homepage, you can simply type in a home address URL of your own or elect to use Chrome’s New Tab Page as your homepage.
With Firefox, it’s even easier:
- Run Firefox
- Click on the Firefox Hamburger button on the top-right corner
- Click on Settings
- Select the Home category from the left panel
- Under New Windows and Tabs, you can set Homepage and new Windows and New tabs as you see fit
Note: To set your homepage and new windows as the about:blank page, simply select Blank Page from the drop-down menu. It works the same for new tabs.
Since browsers like Opera and Vivaldi are Chromium-based, they work similarly to Google Chrome. You can adjust and apply the same steps to them.