If your computer keeps displaying browser popups that have the address About:Blank, then you could either have a problem with your browser settings, were visiting a site that displayed a popup, or have adware or hijackers installed installed that are displaying these popups. No matter the reason that you are seeing these types of popups, the about:blank page is not malicious and is only a symptom that there is something that needs to be addressed on your computer or sites that should be avoided.
Below I will go into more detail about what About:Blank pages are, what causes them to be displayed, and then suggestions on resolving the display of these types of popups or alerts.
What are About:Blank pages?
All modern browsers, which include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, & Safari, support a Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) URI, or Uniform Resource Identifier, scheme called "about".
The about identifier, which can be typed into a browser's address bar, is meant to be used to access a browser's internal information such as settings, resource usage, jokes, Easter eggs, or any other information output a browser developer wants to add.
The about:blank page is not malicious in any way, but as it is commonly used by popup advertisers and adware, people may become concerned when they see them. I have outlined the various ways that about:blank may be shown in a browser below and suggestions on how to resolve them below.
What causes about:blank popups?
Sites that use about:blank popups for advertising.
Occasionally, though, these about:blank popups will not be properly changed to an advertisement, and visitors will be left with these blank popups that have the address of about:blank. These types of popups are not a problem and you can just close them.
To avoid seeing these types of popups, you can use a pop-up blocker, which are bundled in most browsers.
Your browser in intentionally being set to use about:blank as the startup page?
It is not uncommon for people to configure their browser to automatically open the about:blank as their startup or home page. This is because it allows the browser to open very fast, as no default web site is loaded, and then they can navigate to whatever site they wish. If this is the case, and you do not wish to continue using about:blank as the start page, you can simply go into the browser's settings and remove about:blank as the default home page.
Corrupt Browser Settings
It is also possible for a browser's settings to be corrupted or misconfigured. In this rare case, about:blank may show due to this. If this happens you can simply reset your browser to default settings in order to replace the configuration with a default working one.
Steps on how to restore the settings of the most popular browsers can be seen in the guide below.
The computer is infected with adware or hijackers
Last, but not least, there are certain adware and browser hijacker infections that will display popups that show about:blank as the address or change your home page to about:blank. By using about:blank pages, infections have a blank canvas that can be used by installed malicious toolbars, browser helper objects, and executables to display what they want.
If your computer is constantly being shown about:blank pages or you cannot stop your browser from displaying them when you open the browser, then there is a good chance you have an infection installed. To clean your computer for free, you can use the removal guide below.
What should I do if I continuously see about:blank popups?
If you are just seeing browser about:blank popups when you visit certain sites, then the solution is to just avoid these sites or make sure you have a popup blocked enabled. On the other hand, if you are just using your computer normally, not visiting adult sites, and your browser opens on its own to display about:blank popups, then there is a good chance you are infected with some type of unwanted program.
To be safe, I would then suggest you use the guide below to scan for unwanted programs or infections and remove them for free.
Self Help Guide
If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.
To remove About:Blank Popup, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Print out instructions before we begin.
- STEP 2: Use Rkill to terminate suspicious programs.
- STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes AntiMalware to Scan for Malware and Unwanted Programs
- STEP 4: Scan and clean your computer with Zemana AntiMalware.
- STEP 5: Use AdwCleaner to remove adware from a computer.
- STEP 6: Reset browsers back to default settings.
- STEP 7: Use HitmanPro to scan your computer for badware
- STEP 8: Run Secunia PSI to find outdated and vulnerable programs.
This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.
To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with About:Blank Popup and other malware. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.
Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:
Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.
Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-126.96.36.1999.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.
When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.
MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.
We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware and unwanted programs that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings button on the left side of the screen and you will be brought to the general settings section.
Now click on the Protection tab at the top of the screen. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.
At this screen, please enable the Scan for rootkits setting by clicking on the toggle switch so it turns green.
Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.
Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.
MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.
You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the selected items. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.
You can now exit the MBAM program.
At this point you should download Zemana AntiMalware, or ZAM, in order to scan your computer for any any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Zemana AntiMalware from the following location and save it to your desktop:
Once downloaded, close all programs and open windows on your computer.
Now double-click on the icon on your desktop named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.exe. This will start the installation of Zemana AntiMalware onto your computer.
When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, Zemana will automatically start and display the main screen.
You will now be at the main screen for Zemana AntiMalware as shown below.
Above the Scan button, please change the scan type to Deep Scan and then click on the Scan button to start the malware removal scan.
Zemana AntiMalware will now start scanning your computer for malware, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
When Zemana has finished finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any programs that have been detected. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image below.
Review the scan results and when you are ready to continue with the cleanup process, click on the Next button to delete or repair all of the the selected results. Once you click on the Next button, Zemana will remove any unwanted files and fix any modified legitimate files. If you receive a warning that Zemana needs to close your open browsers, please close any web browsers that may be open and then click on the OK button to continue.
Zemana will now create a System Restore Point and remove the detected files and repair any files that were modified.
When the process is complete, you will be shown a screen that says Completed. At this screen, you can now close the Zemana AntiMalware screen and continue with the rest of the instructions.
Now please download AdwCleaner and save it to your desktop. AdwCleaner will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. You can download AdwCleaner from the following URL:
When AdwCleaner has finished downloading, please double-click on the AdwCleaner.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. Once you double-click on the icon the AdwCleaner program will open and you will be presented with the program's license agreement. After you read it, click on the I agree button if you wish to continue. Otherwise, click on the I disagree button to close the program. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
If you selected to continue, you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Now click on the Scan button in AdwCleaner. The program will now start to search for known adware programs that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display all of the items it has found in Results section of the screen above. Please look through the results and try to determine if the programs that are listed contain ones that you do not want installed. If you find programs that you need to keep, then uncheck the entries associated with them.
For many people, the contents of the Results section may appear confusing. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed,please continue with the next step.
To remove the adware programs that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button on the AdwCleaner screen. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to close any open programs before it starts to clean.
Please save your work and then click on the OK button. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.
Please click on the OK button to let AdwCleaner reboot your computer.
When your computer reboots and you are logged in, AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer.
Please review this log file and then close the Notepad Window.
If you are still having problems with About:Blank Popup then you should also reset your browsers back to their default configuration. Please note that this method will remove all add-ons, extensions, toolbars and other customizations but will leave your bookmarks and favorites intact.
For each browser that you have installed on your computer, please click on the browsers icon below and follow the displayed steps to reset that browser.
In order to remove About:Blank Popup completely you will need to reset Chrome back to its initial settings. Doing these steps will erase all configuration information from Chrome such as your home page, tab settings, saved form information, browsing history, and cookies. This process will also disable any installed extensions. All of your bookmarks, though, will be preserved.
To reset Chrome, open the program and click on the Chrome menu button () in the top right-hand corner of the window. This will open the main menu for Chrome as shown below.
Now click on the menu option labeled Settings as shown by the arrow in the picture above, which will open the basic settings screen. Scroll down to the very bottom and you will see a Show advanced settings... option as shown in the image below.
Click on the Show advanced settings... option to open the advanced settings screen. Scroll to the very bottom until you see the reset button as shown in the image below.
Now click on the Reset settings button as shown in the image above. Chrome will now open a confirmation dialog asking if you are sure you wish to reset your browser.
To reset Chrome, click on the Reset button. Chrome will now erase all your personal data, browsing history, and disable all installed extensions. Your bookmarks, though, will remain intact and still be accessible. You can now close the Settings tab and continue with the rest of the instructions.
In order to remove About:Blank Popup completely you will need to reset Internet Explorer back to its initial settings. Doing these steps will erase all configuration information from Internet Explorer such as your home page, saved form information, browsing history, and cookies. This process will also disable any installed toolbars and add-ons. All of your bookmarks, though, will be preserved.
To reset Internet Explorer, open the program and click on the Internet Explorer menu button () in the top right-hand corner of the window. This will open the main menu for Internet Explorer as shown below.
Now click on the menu option labeled Internet options as shown by the arrow in the picture above, which will open the Internet Options screen.
Now click on the Advanced tab as shown in the image above. This will open the Advanced Settings screen.
Now click on the Reset... button as shown in the image above. Internet Explorer will now open a confirmation dialog asking you to confirm that you wish to reset your browser.
In the reset dialog shown above, please put a check mark in Delete personal settings and then click on the Reset button. Internet Explorer will now erase all your personal data, browsing history, and disable all add-ons and toolbars. Your favorites, though, will remain intact and still be accessible.
Once the Reset process has been completed, click on the Close button. You will now be prompted to restart Internet Explorer to complete the reset. Once you have restarted Internet Explorer, you can continue with the rest of the instructions.
In order to remove About:Blank Popup completely you will need to refresh Firefox back to its initial settings. It does this by removing all add-ons and personalized configuration settings. All of your bookmarks, though, will be preserved.
To reset Firefox, open the program and click on the Firefox menu
button () in the top right-hand corner of the window. This will open the main menu for Firefox as shown below.
Now click on the question mark button () as indicated by the arrow in the image above. This will open up the Firefox help menu.
Next click on the Troubleshooting Information option as indicated by the arrow in the image above. This will bring you to a Troubleshooting page.
To begin the refresh process click on the Refresh Firefox.. button. When you do this a confirmation will be shown asking if you wish to perform a Firefox refresh.
To refresh Firefox, click on the Refresh Firefox button. When the refresh process is finished you will be shown an Import window that will automatically close. When that closes, Firefox will be open and state that it has been refreshed.
You can now click on the Let's go! button to start using Firefox again.
In order to completely remove About:Blank Popup you will need to reset Safari back to its initial settings. Doing these steps will erase all configuration information from Safari such as your Top Sites, saved form information, browsing history, and cookies. This process will not erase your bookmarks or extensions, which will still be available after you reset Safari.
To reset Safari, open the program and click on the gear () in the top right-hand corner of the window. This will open the main menu for Safari as shown below.
Now click on the menu option labeled Reset Safari as shown by the arrow in the picture above. This will open a window that allows you to select all the items you wish to reset.
Keep the check marks in each option and then click on the Reset button. Safari will delete all of your personal data and then open a blank page, which means the process has finished.
It is important to note that this process does not delete your Bookmarks or any installed Safari Extensions. If you wish to remove your Safari Extensions as well, you can download this batch file, which will reset Safari and delete all installed extensions, while still retaining your bookmarks.
Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:
When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.
Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.
Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.
You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.
Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.
As many malware and unwanted programs are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:
Your computer should now be free of the About:Blank Popup program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:
Are Your Protected?
While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Zemana AntiMalware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.
Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Purchase the full-featured version of Zemana AntiMalware, which includes second opinion malware scanner when other solutions do not work, cloud scanning, and super-fast scan time, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Purchase the full-featured version of HitmanPro, which includes discover viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware and other malware on up-to-date and fully protected computers using cloud protection and behavioral detections, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.