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What is about:blank Page in a Browser

About Blank page in Google Chrome.
Samyak Lalit | October 25, 2016 (Last update: September 22, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Most of you would be familiar with the about:blank webpage in context of a web browser like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome etc. But have you ever wondered what exactly is this about:blank page? Is it really just a blank web page or does it have any other importance? Today we will ponder over the existence of about:blank webpage and its usefulness.

Right at the onset, let me tell you that about:blank is indeed just an empty webpage. A number of popular web browsers implement this webpage for those web users who do not want to load a particular website when they first open their browser (or a tab). I also keep my browser set to load about:blank by default because of two reasons:

  1. Browser loads quickly and get ready for surfing to begin
  2. When I open new tabs (and I open a lot of them!… as much as 50 of them sometimes) I want to be able to go to the desired site asap. A default blank page is great for this.

In those parts of the world where bandwidth is still an expensive commodity, it is better to set blank page as default as it will save your precious data pack. Some people use heavy portal sites like MSN and Yahoo! as there default page. I don’t think it is a very good idea. You don’t want to load the same page as you go on opening new tabs. It will not only eat into you data pack, but also it may distract your from what you were going to do in the browser.

About Blank page in Google Chrome.

About Blank page in Google Chrome.

What is about:blank page?

Well, lets now go a bit deeper. This page is part of the about URI scheme which is implemented by many browsers. Here URI basically means a naming convention. About is a sort of naming convention for the pages that are there for the internal use of the browser. So, blank is not the only such page, there are others too:

  • about:cache
  • about:addons
  • about:config
  • about:credits
  • about:about

And there are many more. Not all these pages are available in all the browsers. Developers implement these pages in different ways. But about:blank is implemented by almost all popular browsers to show an empty document.

This document does not contain any HTML and thus nothing is shown.

How to Change or Set about:blank page?

If you just need to visit the page once, you can type about:blank in your browser’s address bar and hit enter. However, if you want to automatically load this page whenever you open the browser, you will need to set it as your default home page. For this, follow steps as below:

  • Firefox: Settings menu > Options > When Firefox starts
  • Chrome: Settings menu > Settings > On startup
  • Internet Explorer: Settings menu > Internet Options > General > Home page

I hope that this article clarified your doubts regarding about:blank page. Should you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section. TechWelkin team will try to assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!


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