What is that:blank page in your web browser?

You’re probably pretty familiar with your browser’s address bar, that text box that contains the URL of the web page you’re on right now, but you may have been surprised to see about:blank there instead of an actual web page address.

Common sense has probably already helped make it obvious that the blank part of about:blank is clearly related to the fact that you are seeing a completely blank page in your web browser.

You can try it yourself right now. Simply open another browser tab or window and type the following exactly, then click or tap Enter :


No spaces, no http or www – just the two words with a colon in the middle. A blank page should “load” immediately.

Easy enough… but what’s the point?

Why do browsers have an About:Blank page?

Technically speaking, browsers that have an about:blank page have one because it’s a part of the about URI scheme , a quasi-standard set of rules for handling internal commands that the browser has chosen to implement.

In other words, about:blank is just one of several about:[command] options available within the about collection , each of which can be used to execute a particular function within the browser itself. Preferring the command with about makes it clear to the browser that you want to do something local, internal, not visit an actual web page.

Running about:blank in almost any browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari, and even mobile browsers, will display a blank page. It is actually the only about command that is well supported in all browsers.

Some common ones include about:about , which lists all or more of the available commands about the browser, about:plugins , which shows the content of installed plugins and add-ons, and about:cache , which shows information about what is stored in the browser. cache.

Most browsers will translate these about commands into more custom internal URLs, but as far as we know, that never happens with about:blank .

Why would you use About:Blank?

It seems like such a useless feature – loading a blank page – but it’s probably the most commonly used about command in a browser, and for good reason.

A very common reason for using about:blank is as a home page. The home page is a starting point for your navigation, and while sometimes a search engine, webmail page, or news site is a good starting point, even the moderately powered user will soon find that the same page that it loads over and over again as new browser windows are opened can become very annoying.

Opening a new window and having the page load instantly, since it’s blank, gives you more freedom to decide what you’re doing with it this time .

A blank home page via about:blank is also useful if you’re on a low-bandwidth or pay-as-you-go (metered) connection. It saves a lot of time, and often money, in these situations because a web page that won’t necessarily be used isn’t automatically loaded over and over again every time the browser is opened.

Check out our tutorials How to Set a Start Page on Windows and How to Set a Start Page on a Mac if you’re interested in changing yours to about:blank .

Is it: Blank Malware?

No, absolutely not. Seeing about:blank in your browser does not necessarily mean that something is wrong.

That said, seeing it as your home page when you didn’t set it that way, or seeing it all the time when you meant to go to other real websites, could mean something is wrong and could mean malware is or was involved in some way. some way.

When malware is implicated in the about:blank page , there are often other symptoms that point to it, such as random text set up as hyperlinks on the websites you visit, fake virus pop-ups, and other strange software installed on your computer that you don’t know about. remember putting there.

At worst, an unexpected about:blank home page is a symptom of a problem or a consequence of a malware cleanup. If you can, just change the home page back to the one you had. If that doesn’t work, or you have other reason to believe your computer is infected, run a full scan for viruses and other malware.