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What Is about:blank or about:blank#blocked? How to Remove It?

what is about:blank in browser

Did you open Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser on desktop just to receive about:black status with an empty webpage? Before you freak out and start reinstalling the browser, let us stop you right there. There is nothing to worry about. Here’s what about:blank or about:black#blocked mean and a trick to remove it.

What Is about:blank?

Most modern browsers such as Safari, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc. have about:blank webpage built-in. Similarly, how you type about:settings or about:downloads to open the browser Settings or Downloads menu, about:blank will open an empty blank page.

You may wonder, what’s the point of adding a black page in a browser in the first place? There are quite a few reasons behind this behavior.

aboutblank page

Gone are the days when we used to have a simple homepage in a browser. Now the default homepage is jam-packed with weather information, news, wallpapers, crypto wallet (looking at you, Brave browser), and more.

When you first open the browser, the app tries to load such information and may feel slow or sluggish to you. To stop the practice, you might have set about:black as the default homepage in your browser.

During web browsing, about:blank also occurs in the following scenarios.

  • The browser isn’t able to understand what to open so it showcases about:blank page.
  • Selecting a download button or link opens a new tab to start the downloading process and display the about:blank page.
  • Clicking an unverified malicious link opens a blank page and starts downloading bogus files.

The third scenario is what you need to avoid while browsing the web. If your preferred browser has strict security protocols, you may end up seeing about:black#blocked. Here is what does it mean.

What Is About:blank#blocked?

Some of the privacy-focused browsers do come with strict privacy protocols to block access to links that it detects risky or malicious.

Since the browser is unable to render content, it ends up displaying about:blank. To showcase how the original target is blocked due to security reasons, the element blocked is attached in the address bar and you end up seeing about:blank#blocked.

If you frequently notice about:blank#blocked, it’s time to review your browser’s security settings and installed extensions. We will go through that later in the post.

How to Remove about:blank from Your Browser

If you notice about:blank opening at browser startup, you can simply change the default page opening at startup or select New Tab page to open. Here’s how. For reference, we are using the Google Chrome browser in the example below.

Step 1: Open Google Chrome on desktop and click on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner.

open chrome settings

Step 2: Go to Settings and select On startup from the left sidebar.

Step 3: You can either add a new page to open at startup or select the Open a New Tab page option.

change startup page in chrome

From now on, Chrome won’t open with about:blank status in the address bar.

Review Installed Extensions

Some malicious or outdated extension in your browser might have overtaken the browsing experience and it can be the real culprit behind about:blank web pages. You should review installed extensions in your browser and remove unnecessary ones from the list.

Step 1: Open Google Chrome and click on the More menu at the top.

Step 2: Select More tools and open the Extensions menu.

open chrome extensions

Keep the familiar extensions such as note clipper, password manager, Grammarly, etc. Remove the ones that you no longer need or are familiar with.

remove chrome extensions

Disable Strict Browsing in Microsoft Edge

Based on Chromium, the default Windows 11 browser comes with a Tracking prevention tool. By default, the tracking is set at Balanced but if you have changed it to Strict, it may interfere with your browsing experience.

Strict tracking prevention will block the majority of trackers from all sites and some parts of sites might not work and it can lead to about:blank#blocked error.

You need to go back to the Balanced approach in the Tracking prevention menu. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Microsoft Edge browser and go to Settings.

open edge settings

Step 2: Select Privacy, search, and services from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Click Balance and restart the browser.

disable strict browsing in edge

Is It Malware?

Even after going through the above steps, you still notice about:blank frequently, chances are, your PC is might be affected by malware.

The default Windows Security tool is capable enough to remove malicious files from the computer.

Open Windows Security and go to Virus & threat protection menu. Run a quick scan, remove bogus files, and start browsing without any issues.

scan windows PC

Stop Getting Blank Pages

You can’t completely remove about:blank from any browser. That’s not how it works. Instead, you should understand what’s it all about and take the necessary steps to stop receiving blank pages in the browser.

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