What is about:blank?
There are several reasons why your web browser might display an about:blank webpage. There could be a problem with your browser settings, your computer could be infected with adware or a browser hijacker that changed your settings, or you could be visiting a website that displayed a pop-up advertisement.
The about:blank page is not malicious but it is something that needs to be addressed on your computer or the sign that you should avoid specific websites. Websites that usually display an about:blank webpage are known to utilize malicious advertising networks that display pop-up advertisements. Legitimate advertising networks do not produce pop-up advertisements. Websites that use an advertising network that displays the about:blank webpage often bolster malware, adware, spyware, and other malicious threats.
Adware and browser hijackers will also cause your browser to display a plain white and blank about:blank page. The browser hijackers modify browser settings and oftentimes will open up or redirect you to an about:blank page. Adware will typically display the about:blank page when it is attempting to generate a pop-up advertisement or failed to do so.
Browser hijackers will change the homepage, default search engine, and new tab URL to a new one. This will cause internet searches performed in the address bar to redirect to a new website. It will also cause affected browsers to start on a different website and redirect to the website when a new tab is opened.
How did about:blank infect my computer?
The about:blank webpage does not essentially infect computer systems. Adware, browser hijackers, and other malicious programs are known to download and install without user consent or knowledge. This is usually caused by a third-party download manager, third-party programs, or trojan downloader that has initially infected the computer.
Adware and browser hijackers that display the about:blank webpage are also sometimes offered as a custom installation by freeware and other content such as codecs, media players, download managers, and updates; However, the installation process typically does not allow the user to reject about:blank from installing and the program will install anyways.
It is important to avoid installing free programs online that offer this program as an installation because they are not usually safe to download themselves.
How to remove “about:blank” webpage
- Step 1: Uninstall potentially unwanted programs
- Step 2: Remove browser add-on and extensions
- Step 3: Remove about:blank from search engine
- Step 4: Remove about:blank from homepage
- Step 5: Remove malware with Malwarebytes
- Step 6: Clean up and repair settings with CCleaner
Step 1: Uninstall potentially unwanted programs
1. Go to the Control Panel on Windows Start Menu.
2. Click Uninstall a program (or Add and remove a program) in the Programs section.
3. The Programs and Features window will open. This window contains a list of programs installed on your computer. Search for suspicious and unwanted programs in the list of installed programs. Once a program you want to remove is located, double click it to begin the uninstall process (or select the program and click Uninstall). To sort programs that were recently installed on your computer click the “Installed On” tab. This makes it easier to identify problematic programs that may have been contracted around the same time you started to notice symptoms of this infection.
Step 2: Remove browser add-ons and extensions
1. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon and go to More tools > Extensions.
2. Search for suspicious extensions in the list and click the trashcan icon next to each one.
1. Open the Menu and click Add-ons.
2. Search for suspicious add-ons and click Remove next to each one.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Go to Tools (Alt+X) and click Manage add-ons.
2. Search for suspicious add-ons, select one individually with your mouse, and click Remove.
1. Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
2. Search for suspicious extensions in the list and click the Uninstall button next to each one.
Step 3: Remove about:blank from search engine
In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove about:blank search engine from the list of search providers by highlighting the selections and clicking remove.
In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons > Search Providers and remove about:blank search engine from the list.
In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to about:blank search engine to remove it.
Step 4: Remove about:blank from homepage
In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove about:blank from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove about:blank from the Home Page field and replace it with your preferred URL.
In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings.Click “Set pages” under the On startup option. Remove about:blank and replace it with your preferred homepage URL.
Step 5: Remove malware with Malwarebytes
- Open your browser window and download Malwarebytes 3.0 Premium or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
- Open the executable file (mb3-setup.exe) to begin installing Malwarebytes.
- Select your language, click Next, then select “I accept the agreement,” click the Next button several times, and then click the Install button to install Malwarebytes. Click Finish once the install process is complete.
- Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button on the Dashboard to begin scanning your computer.
- Click the Quarantine Selected button once the scan is finished.
- If Malwarebytes says “All selected items have been removed successfully. A log file has been saved to the logs folder. Your computer needs to be restarted to complete the removal process. Would you like to restart now?” click the Yes button to restart your computer.
Step 6: Clean up and repair settings with CCleaner
- Open your browser window and download CCleaner Professional or CCleaner Free.
- Open the executable file (ccsetup.exe or other) to begin installing CCleaner.
- Click the Install button to begin stalling the program.
- Click Run CCleaner to open the program when installation is complete.
- Select the Cleaner tab and click the Analyze button.
- When the Analyze process is complete click the Run Cleaner button to clean all files.
- Next, select the Registry tab and click the Scan for Issues button to scan for issues in your registry.
- When the scan is complete click the Fix selected Issues button and Fix All Selected Issues button to fix the issues.
- Next, select the Tools tab and click Startup. Examine each area, search for suspicious entries, and delete any suspicious startup entries by selecting the entry and clicking the Delete button.
- Next, click Browser Plugins and search each internet browser for unwanted browser add-ons and extensions. Click the extension you want to delete and click the Delete button to remove it.