You face a completely blank page and the address bar at the top of your screen displays about:blank . You wonder what this page is and what the title in the address bar means. Is your computer having a problem? Is it a virus? Should I get rid of this page and if so, how?
We are going to answer all your questions about this blank page, but before that let’s dissect this about:blank address . The latter consists of two English words, separated by a colon.
The term “about” means “about” and “blank” can be translated as “empty”. Colons are used to separate the beginning of a request (protocol), such as “http:” or here therefore “about:”, and the associated address.
When you browse the Internet, the “http:” protocol allows you to make the connection between your computer and the server on which the desired address is located. The element following the colon is the address of the site you are browsing. For what follows “about:” it’s the same thing, but for internal requests, as we will see.
The “about:” functionality of browsers
Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is therefore essential to start by discussing the “about:” functionalities of web browsers . And yes, about:blank is initially made up of the request “about:”, which can be followed by different words, other than “blank”, which then display other specific pages.
“about:” just like “http:” is a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) scheme . In other words, when the information in your browser’s address bar begins with “http”, it means that your browser must connect to external servers to look up the information (in this case, a web address).
The “about:” request, on the other hand, only concerns internal elements. Concretely, the browser does not need an internet connection to retrieve the requested data. For example, “about:plugins” allows you to obtain the list of plugins installed on the browser.
There are many other requests of this type on browsers, such as “about:cache”, “about:dns” or “about:config”. The majority of browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer…) use the “about:” URI scheme. However, depending on the browser, the term to indicate before the colon may be different. Thus, the Opera browser uses “opera:” instead of “about:”.
What is about:blank?
about:blank is a blank page so it’s not on the web, but is actually a feature of your web browser .
Chrome, Firefox or even Microsoft Edge use this feature when there is no page to display . This allows in particular to open a new tab, without the need to use the bandwidth of your connection.
Some Internet users are used to using this browser feature as the home page . So when they open a new window or tab, there is no lag or latency as no web page load needs to initiate.
In addition, it allows you to open a blank page, devoid of any information or advertising , which is quite pleasant these days!
If your computer is old, slow or low on resources, you might want to set the about:blank page as your default home page. This will offer you a faster loading of your browser and thus to start browsing more quickly to go to another site.
Conversely, if you wish to avoid the about:blank page which is already configured, in this case, you will have to choose another page of your choice. For example the Google home page if you regularly search the internet.
It could not be easier. You just need to go to your browser settings and search for the term default browser and then check Open a specific page or set of pages . You can then set the address of the page you want to open automatically, other than about:blank .
Is it a malicious program (malware)?
We can read here and there that about:blank is a virus, a malware that would harm your computer and your data stored there. However, there is no direct link between this blank page and possible viruses that would like to attack your computer.
If you have read the explanations given above, you have normally understood that an about:blank page is an internal page in your browser . However, if you suspect that your computer is infected, it is important to take steps to avoid excessive damage. For this, we invite you to download software like Adwcleaner which will detect and remove the problem.
But it could be a problem
Although an about:blank page does not directly pose a threat to your computer, you should nevertheless remain vigilant. In most cases there is no danger, but in others it could be a sign that your computer is infected .
Indeed, when this empty window is displayed too frequently it can be caused by malware , malicious software present on your computer. You will then have to take certain steps to get rid of this software.
Simply suppressing the appearance of the page, as it is possible to do in your browser settings, will not be enough to solve the problem at the source. You will need to use software that will remove the malware in question and protect you in the future.