About:blank is a page web browsers display when they have nothing else to display.
It’s not something you “get rid of.”
The problem, of course, is that about:blank can show up unexpectedly, and people get confused about why, and what to do next.
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- “about:blank” is a blank page built in to your web browser.
- “about:blank” is displayed when the browser has nothing else to display.
- “about:blank” is not malware, but it can result from malware being present or having been removed.
- You can use “about:blank” as a fast browser homepage if you like.
About:blank isn’t really “about” anything. The word “about:” is a keyword some browsers use as a way to enable some functionality or display standard pages. You can read more about “about:” in this Wikipedia article.
About:blank displays a blank page.
That’s it; about:blank is nothing more and nothing less than a blank page built in to your browser.
Most browsers have to display something in the browser window, and Internet Explorer is no different. If IE can’t figure out anything else to display, it displays about:blank.
About:blank is not malware, but…
Since I keep hearing from people assuming otherwise, let me be extra clear:
about:blank is not malware
The problem is, IE can choose to display about:blank because of malware.
Again, about:blank is not malware; at worst, it’s a symptom of malware. Malware sometimes breaks things, and IE becomes unable to display a page, in which case it displays about:blank.
The solution in these cases is to run up-to-date scans for malware.
Malware removal and about:blank
Since malware can break your browser and leave it in a confused or broken state, it can be left in such a state after malware is removed.
What that means is that the process of removing malware might cause the browser to become confused. Perhaps it was displaying a page provided by the malware which, once removed, leaves the browser nothing to display. The result is, you guessed it, about:blank.
The solution is simple: change your homepage back to what you want it to be.
About:blank as your browser home page
Your browser homepage is the page you see when you first run the browser or hit the “Home” button. Frequently, the default home page for Internet Explorer is set at msn.com or some other Microsoft-related property.
You can set the homepage to be whatever you like. “About:blank” is one option, specifically because since there’s nothing to display — it’s a blank page, after all — it’s displayed very quickly.
Click on the gear icon in the upper right of Internet Explorer, and then click on Internet options in the menu that results.
The resulting Internet Options dialog will open to the “General” tab, which has a section labeled “Home page”.
As in the example above, the default home page is a Microsoft URL.
To change it to “about:blank”, click in the edit box containing the link, and replace it with “about:blank”.
Click the OK button to close the dialog box and save the setting.
Now, click the Home button in IE. The result? About:blank.
Now your browser will (quickly) return to about:blank whenever you click the Home button and when you first open the browser.