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Although difficult to eradicate, removing the about:blank hijacker on your home page is possible.

about:blank hijacked my homepage - how do I fix it?

This one cropped up recently, and is generating a lot of activity. Apparently it's quite difficult to eradicate.

This article: Removing about:blank Homepage Hijacker seems about the most comprehensive set of manual steps. I'm hopeful that the spyware scanners will soon catch up and automate this malware's removal. Check the search results below for ongoing activity also.

Article C2100 - July 7, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Brian Kuehn
July 9, 2004 11:50 PM

HOW to kill about:blank hijacker: USE ADWARE AWAY

I got hit with this $%^&*# piece of crap on or about 7/2/04. I went online to many of the sites where I will be posting this removal suggestion. I already had Ad-aware as I have used it for years. I did need to update, as my version wasnít current. Ad-aware found problems, but didnít manage a cure, as ďthe cat came backĒ (the hijacker returned in short order). I downloaded Hijack This; a wonderful little fast tool, that clues you into suspicious changes in the registry. That got some of the symptoms but not the root cause. The hijacker uses a hidden file that re-creates the files killed by Ad-aware and the others tools recommended on these sites. I found a couple of recommendations for running down the hidden file by using a registry editor. The idea was to find the hidden file by checking the contents of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\windowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windows\Applint_DLLS. Unfortunately, this didnít work for my infection. I used run:regedit in windows (the st
I downloaded and tried CWShredder. I downloaded and tried AboutBuster. I downloaded and tried Spybot search and destroy. I downloaded and tried Starter. I downloaded and tried ScanAbout. I downloaded and tried Killbox. All of these found some or all parts of the non-hidden malicious code. All of them failed to locate the hidden file that was the root cause.
I finally found a recommendation to download and try Adware Away. I downloaded version 2.2 on 7/7/04. This product has specific data files for many known pieces of mal-ware. It has two different specific files for killing about:blank. One is for windows2000/XP (my OS was/is windows 2000). The other file was for windows98/ME. I ran this program. Upon completion it told me to reboot and run the program again upon reboot. I did so. At long last, after 5 evenings partially devoted to getting rid of this pest, it was gone. I found a link on one of the sites I found in fighting this problem. My search request in Google was: ďabout:blank homepage hijackerĒ One of the many sites had a link to download Adware Away. I didnít note which site that was that had the link.
There is a link below to ZDNET to download a copy, although it says version 2.1 and I have version 2.2. You may have to update this version, and Zdnet says itís a 5 day evaluation version. The one I downloaded doesnít have any indication that itís a time limited evaluation version, but then I havenít had it for more than 5 days.

Many well meaning people have posted a LOT of advice on the removal of the about:blank hijacker; my experience has been that most of that advice was NOT effective. Adware Away was effective. Save yourself a lot of time and trouble and START with Adware Away. Brian Kuehn.

July 12, 2004 1:06 PM


July 14, 2004 8:01 AM

This is the best advice I have found on the net. Everyone else makes it very complicated. Adware away does the trick... so far so good. The program itself requires that you go into the specialty removers, do a general scan, and then once you find out what you have you must do the individual remover for each of those items, that is how it worked for me anyway. Don't just load up the program and hit "scan" because that will do nothing for the about:blank homepage hijacker. Thanks man.

July 14, 2004 8:04 AM

Use the following link for version 2.2,39024478,39079784s,00.htm

July 17, 2004 10:40 AM

I followed Kazankota's advice and went to,39024478,39079784s,00.htm appears to have worked perfectly. What sweet relief. Thanks

July 19, 2004 5:09 PM

i downloaded adware away 2.2 but still am havn probs wit that damn about:blank. how do you use adware away to rid of this pest? tried everything and it isnt workn, tried to follow your steps but im stuck after the scan on what to do next. please help if you can.......thankssssssssss

July 21, 2004 11:34 AM

Go here

July 21, 2004 5:19 PM

I had a terrible time trying to remove the "About:Blank" Hijacker. I tried CWShredder, Adaware, Spybot, Hijack this, etc. Finally I found the "adware away" product. I have now had now been four days with no about blank, so I think "adware away" has actually removed it permanently. (With some of the other programs, the hijack seemed to have been removed, but it came back on the very next day.)

Some boards that I read gave very complex instructions that would be too risky for someone with my knowlede to even attempt. With Adware Away, I just selected the icon for "About:Blank/Windows ME", pushed the remove button, and it was gone!! What surprises me is that none of the other (more popular) adware removal programs are able to remove the about:blank hijacker, whereas the programmers of Adware Away have apparently found the secret.

I am also amazed that I don't see Adware Away being touted on more of these boards. Perhaps that is because the About:Blank removal is apparently a new function in Adware Away.

Here is where I downloaded it from:

July 25, 2004 10:25 PM

Bless you my son. I downloaded Adware Away 2.2 and it immediately cured my problem. May you find great favor with the Lord.

Jonathan Logan
July 28, 2004 1:32 PM


If you want to get rid of About:blank in 2sec
go to and click on unistall software.
I had the about:blank problem for a wahile and I tried many ways to get rid of it that were suggested on various forums which didn't work I was just about to format, but i decided to look in the source code for the page. at the bottom of the page was the site your acutally being directed to. the link above was the base adress since I was about to format anyway i figured i had nothing to lose so I downloaded the .exe and suprisingly enough It worked.

shaun humphries
July 29, 2004 12:34 PM

get adaware away it really works , about blank it took over my computer. thanks tom you are a genius shaun

Jason McMahon
August 1, 2004 12:33 PM

I downloaded Adware Away and got rid of about:blank. However, I had to click on Hijacker Away, then About:Blank Hijacker for my OS and finally the scan button at the bottom of the window. It needed to be removed twice, requiring the rebooting of my computer and finally the program was gone. I changed my home page and everything else is back to normal. I will keep this utility in case about:blank reappears.

August 3, 2004 7:21 AM

Pest patrol fixed the problam i had.

August 3, 2004 5:53 PM


August 4, 2004 9:35 AM

I've got about:blank on my computer
It appears over my hotmail inbox everytime I use the page
I've tried AVG, spybot, about:buster, spywaredoctor,avast and ad-aware and they have all been useless
can anyone help me?

August 5, 2004 10:14 AM

Johathan Logan's advise worked quickly and easily. After running the uninstall software the about:blank problem was gone. Thank you Johathan for posting this information.

August 6, 2004 9:58 AM

The posts (grammar, spelling, verbage, etc.)as well as the link from Jon Logan appear very suspicous to me. Anyone try it?

August 6, 2004 10:12 AM

For the record I have NOT. I did visit the web page, and the link referenced downloads an executable that I was unwilling to risk just running. I like to assume the best, so I've left it up, but I agree caution is in order. --Leo

August 24, 2004 3:52 PM

cheers jon logan, u saved my ass there

August 27, 2004 1:20 PM

I tried it just then. It works no doubt.

September 22, 2004 3:51 PM

An easy fix for those of you running XP..
If you know about the time you recieved the trojan virus, use system restore, and restore your puter a day or 2 earlier and there you go..
Gone forever

September 26, 2004 9:11 PM

Adware Away 2.2.4 worked on about:blank! Thanks Brian! I tried CW Shredder, Ad-Aware, Hijack This, Spybot...nothing worked. Adware Away didn't work with the default scan option, but after using the icon for my operating system and then running the scan, then inputting the fixes on the report page, it worked. I ran the scan in Windows Safe Mode then rebooted and ran again in Safe Mode and it was gone. I ran Ad-Aware after the Adware Away, just to see what it flagged, and it came up clean after both runs.
Thanks much!

October 13, 2004 10:30 AM

If you have the full blown "About:Blank" it prevents restore from working, it also disables various anti-virus/firewall and windows update. It is definitely not that easy to get rid of. Most of the removal tools leave the hidden .dll in the registry, you need reglite.exe to unhide it. This hijacker also spreads within your machine so the rogue .dlls hide in various places. (RealPlayer is a favorite)

October 26, 2004 9:46 AM

I'd have to agree about the suspicous nature of the links given by "Jon Logan," and the responses (consistantly doubled and without a hotlink.)

I also noticed the appearance of three programs in my add/delete list (from the controll panel)of Shopping Wizard, Home Finder Helper (or something like that) and some other oddly named thing. They cannot be uninstalled and refer to a http address for thier origin. Has anyone managed to free themselves of these?

October 28, 2004 12:42 PM

Yup, Adware Away is the best thing to get rid of the f****** about:blank s***. Try it. it is guaranteed to work.....thanx Brian, u r the man !!

November 1, 2004 8:44 AM

My pc was hijacked by about:blank. I searched the web high and low for the solution on how to get rid of it. Trust me, trust me, trust me: adware away solved the problem!!!!!! Run it twice in safe mode, and your problems will be gone!!! Thanks to everyone who recommended it to me. I wanted to post another testimonial that adware away works!!!

November 15, 2004 1:47 PM


1. Click on View (Internet Explorer menu)
2. Click Source
3. Search for a string beginning with res://
4. Copy the whole string (Control+C)
5. Open Internet Explorer
6. Goto
7. Paste the link in the box provided
8. Click on "Clean Data"
9. Name of a DLL file appears along with the path to it (eg - \windows\system32)
10. Open Mycomputer
12. Change Folder option to Show Hidden Files
13. Goto the path to find the DLL file (eg - \windows\system32)
14. Close all open applications and browser windows
15. Rename this file.
16. Open Internet Explorer
17. Change home page to desired home page URL
18. Restart the computer

After restarting, check Internet Explorer. the problem should be resolved

Also sometimes, the about:blank returns after a while

Check the registry for this key:

This is what prompts to windows to load the trojan everytime any application is
run. the value of the key, is hidden


Reboot the computer.

Go back into the registry and search for the key. If it comes back, try the


Delete the APPINIT_DLLS key under the WINDOWS2 folder.


Reboot the computer

Check the registry again. The key should be gone for good.


November 21, 2004 4:11 PM

I would just like to thank Mahesh for his post of November 15, 2004 @ 01:47 PM. I have suffered from the "about:blank" problem for months now and have purchased 3 different spyware products as well as used a number of pop-up blockers and Norton Internet Security & Anti-Virus, all to no avail. I tried Mahesh's resolution (steps 1-18) and it worked first time! I only wish I'd come to this website a lot sooner (and before forking out all that money)!

Thanks again - and I certainly recommend that anyone who has this problem scroll down and try Mahesh's resolution too.

Jobless Mother
December 3, 2004 7:35 PM

I want to thank "AskLeo" for making it possible for people like Mahesh to post an unselfish resolution to get rid of the "about blank" in particular, his post of November 15.

I was so desperate searching for a way to get rid of this "about blank". A lot of people are lucky because there are so many friendly software that can detect & remove browser hijacker. Unfortunately, I am not as lucky as them as the cheapest software cost a-week groceries for my family.

I am really thankful that I had the chance to see Mahesh posting of November 15.

Again, thank you very much to "AskLeo" and most specially to Mahesh.

December 6, 2004 12:56 PM

MAHESH Thanks man the first solution worked fine what I would like to know is what is simple logic actually doing was it necessary to do that or could I have looke for the file named dpn.dll for my self ???

December 12, 2004 2:04 PM

there is a realy quick and easy way to romove about:Blank and other hyjakers produced by cool web searchits free over the net it is called
cw shredder youl find it on this website
this hijacker ile tell you how easy it is

i am 15 and i romoved it in seconds all you do is download
thene you close all progarams with alt ctrl delete
Acecpt explorer and run the progrm i garentey your problem will be gone

somtimes about blank trys to corupt progrms but CW
shredder opens in radom location so dont wory i hope this soleve all your problems

December 14, 2004 10:04 AM


Just wanted to say after spending hours searching for a solution (thankfully not spending £££) mahesh's post to fix the About:Blank works, it takes about 5mins to sort thank you very much, we are not worthy !!!cheers Mahesh.


Matthew B
December 29, 2004 8:04 PM

I'm not having any luck with this about:blank hijacker. I've tried many different things, all failing. In regards to the instructions above from Mahesh, everytime I rename the dll file in mycomputer, the underlying program names it back to the original seconds later, creating a copy. Secondly, when I try to locate and delete the "hidden" file with Reglite.exe, nothing comes up with "AppInit_DLLs" under HKEY_LOCAL.... What am I not doing? I'm the administrator, I've set the file options to read hidden files. Please help, this thing is making me crazy.

Robert Rotoloni
January 10, 2005 1:24 PM

Do you want all of these parasitic problems inherent amongst windows os to go away?get a mac!Gates has the brass ring because he handed over the anonymity that comes with personal freedom to the government and big buisness(the two that have done the most damage to our country)through the back doors in windows os.It seems anyone but myself (the owner)can do whatever they like with the software governing MY computer.My revenge?dump the third rate turd that is windows and get a real O.S..Are there entire websites devoted to single problems with Mac?Are there a wealth of software engineers fumbling to try to keep up with supposed malicious code writers affecting Macs?I liken windows (as well as most of the software engineers involved in windows) to an exterminator who infects your home with bugs then offers to get rid of them at a price.Do yourself a favor,ask yourself :if it were a car instead of a computer who would put up with such an obviously flawed product?

January 14, 2005 11:41 AM

There is a malware removal program called Adware Away, which can completely handle this issue

January 15, 2005 6:02 PM

Am I just dumb, I do not see the string that starts with res:// in my view/source. I have tried all different types of spyware removal tools, still doesnt work. Will someone tell me exactly where i will find the res://?

February 3, 2005 3:55 PM

Thanks Mahesh ! Your solution worked.

February 4, 2005 7:41 AM

Can someone tell me in a little more detail just how to use mahesh's solution ? My problem is at the beginning of his instructions. Where should I be (on what webpage)when I seach for res:// ? Also I'm wondering if the .dll file I will find by going to is the infamous "hidden file" ? Any help will be appreciated ! I have Windows Me.

Gayle Berry
February 7, 2005 6:23 PM

There is a dll file in C:\Windows\System32 that causes the repeating About:Blank virus. To identify the culprit, use Windows Explorer to navigate to the System32 subdirectory and sort the files by date. The culprit will most likely be the latest file date and that date should probably be about the time your problem started. The DLL file name will be four or five random alphabet characters. You need to delete that file but you usually cannot do it from within Windows. Restart your computer and bring it up in DOS. Navigate to the System32 subdirectory and delete the dll file found earlier. It also helps to use RegEdit and search for the same named entries and delete them in the registry (this is not absolutely necessary; just cleanup).

Shailendra Tokas
February 10, 2005 8:52 AM

about:blank problem? try this.......
After surfing and downloading many tools from the net and when they haven't worked, I downloaded Anti-Virus & Spyware from or and it simply worked. After running it, just write your desired homepage at Start Page after clicking IE Doctor at the left side bottom, click Apply and it's done. The second good thing about it is that it's free. After that I downloaded Microsoft AntiSpyware (Beta1) and it is working nicely to stop about:blank from hijacking my browser again. Although, it may not be a permanent solution but it can give a sigh of relief for the time being.

Terry Earley
February 22, 2005 9:41 AM

After spending about $29.00 a shot for 5 or 6 different spyware removers...I have decided to wack my hard drive and start over...its easier.

None of the commercial things work...and whats more frustrating did I get this?...with firewalls, Norton, Spysweeper and other things do you prevent this from coming back??

February 22, 2005 10:42 AM

Actually that's a great question. I wrote this article up based on it:

March 2, 2005 8:10 AM

I haven't gotten rid of it, but today i will try again if i can backup my registry. One thing i've noticed is that MOST of the so-called FREE fixes on so-called GEEK sites will scan for free. Then you have to PURCHASE for removal. In one forum it was referred to as a "MOB" ! Beware of these so-called free fixes, they are NOT SHAREWARE or FREEWARE !!! I learned the hardway yesterday after downloading first a 9MB program, running it and then requiring payment. I tried another "Free" 5 MB program and it did the same thing. This is extortion plain and simple. Just my two cents.

March 14, 2005 10:06 AM

About:Blank is the nastiest pest/virus/junk I've seen. Fortunately I have been able to successfully remove it from about six computers. I have not found any of the suggested anti-pest products to be able to completely remove it. Each time I've seen it, I've had to remove it manually. The only tool I've found that is the least bit helpful is Microsoft's Anti-spyware software. It doesn't fix the problem, but it gives you clues as to what files About:Blank is running or trying to start. Each time I've seen it the .dll and .exe files that you need to delete are named different. The same with the registry keys it installs.

March 30, 2005 4:52 AM

I just managed to get rid of the about:blank nuisance. It was a matter of deleting two dll files in windows/temp- se.dll and windows/system -ecmj.dll.
You need to do this before Windows starts up - won;t delete once Windows is started since the trojan program is already running.

When the system was booting, I interrupted the boot sequence and went into DOS mode. Navigated to the two sub-directories and simply deleted the two dll files. How was se.dll and emcj.dll detected as a trojan file? - through SPYBOT.

Hope this works for you fellow-sufferers.

April 3, 2005 12:36 AM

I had the same problem with about:blank
it appeard in the first day that I connected my computer to Internet. I tried various methods, but the first 1-18 steps of mahesh (which are very easy and logical) helped me to get rid of that hijacker.

the name of that dll was joib.dll

April 13, 2005 12:52 AM

Virus Away worked .... thanks

Angry user
April 27, 2005 2:59 PM

I'd like to find the @$$holes who programmed that about:blank, castrate them in the public square, rip their eyes out of their sockets, gut them with a rusty sewing needle and then jam their genitals up their orifices with a large fencepost. I hate that damn thing!

May 1, 2005 10:30 AM

Try Spyware Doctor from . Worked for me, and they provide great after sales support. You can download a version of the software from their site to scan your PC for threats / infections, but you will need to purchase the product to delete them and immunize your PC against further infection. Cost is about Euro36.

May 13, 2005 12:15 AM

I've been chasing viruses and malware for quite a while now, and haven't seen this one occur _anywhere_. Could someone post more technical definitions of what the dll's are, what they hook into, and their actions?

May 15, 2005 4:10 AM

I think I have come up with a cheap solution to the "about:blank" problem. First, run all the usual cleaning utilities (ie. spybot, ad-aware and cwsshredder). Then, using a rededit type utility, find all entries of about:blank in the registry and edit the data to your appropiate setting. The final bit is the trickiest. You have to find the dll's that start this thing in the first place (and that keep it going). Try to find any dll that has been altered since or about the same time times started to go astray. Open and view these suspect dll's with notepad and scroll down looking for suspect text. Delete these dll's.

Parmender Dahiya
May 22, 2005 4:53 AM


I was trying to remove this sucker for past 3 months but :-(

Today I found the solution on this link

If this link doesn't open then the way it was resolved is

Download this little program, do NOT run it yet!

Now disconnect from the internet and close ALL open browsers (incl. this) and other programs

Run the program above and press "start desinfection". Follow the instructions.

Reboot when done.
Good luck!

May 25, 2005 8:32 AM

Ok I have the acutall fix from Microsoft. Have had this problem on a few computers and finally got bill gates to tell me how to fix it. this has yet to fail works perfect and you dont need to download anything!!

Step 1: Use the System File Checker (SFC) to scan system components.
1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into the CD-ROM; Click Exit if the auto-menu pops up.
2. Click Start, click Run, type: cmd and press Enter.
3. Input the following commands and press Enter after each line.

sfc /purgecache
sfc /scannow

Note: There is a SPACE between "SFC" and "/Scannow", "/Purgecache", and this command will take several minutes to complete and may require access to the Windows installation source files.

Step 2: Reset the proxy list (and bypass list).
This issue can occur if the proxy has not been configured correctly. Let's first reset the proxy list.

1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
3. Click the Connections tab, click LAN Settings, and then click Advance.
4. Delete any entry in the Exceptions section.
5. Quit Internet Explorer.

6. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
7. Type the following commands. Press ENTER after each command.

proxycfg -d
net stop wuauserv
net start wuauserv

Note: If you use a router to access the Internet, please remove the router and connect the computer to the Internet directly. This issue can be likely caused by incorrect router configurations.

July 25, 2005 12:37 PM

Thank you,thank you for the info on getting rid of the problem. I was "about" ready to choke someone.

August 5, 2005 10:40 AM

Try Spyware Doctor from . Worked for me, and they provide great after sales support. You can download a version of the software from their site to scan your PC for threats / infections, but you will need to purchase the product to delete them and immunize your PC against further infection. Cost is about Euro36.

August 24, 2005 7:52 AM

Bless you my son. I downloaded Adware Away 2.2 and it immediately cured my problem. May you find great favor with the Lord

August 25, 2005 12:59 AM

about:blank is the hardes thing I had to remove from my pc since the wife told me to get rid of my Kylie screensaver. Adware Away is the only free remover I have found that actually targets all the variants of about:blank. I struggled with about:blank for hours, and this program removed it in seconds. Google for "Adware Away".

October 7, 2005 10:43 PM

to get rid of this you can go to a site called and download geek superhero... then go to tools and go to browser emergancy reset and check the 1st,2nd and 6th boxes then go okay and you should be able to change your homepage again... this site worked for me and is a great help all round :)

October 14, 2005 9:10 AM

I also toiled with this one for a couple of days. I was advised to try adaware-away, however I was reluctant as I thought I had read mixed reports on a couple of forum's. After trying everything I could that I could find on removing about:blank I finally lost my browser capability completely (my fault or about:blanks - who knows?). Anyway a trip to the parents to download Firefox from their computer. A quick install on my own PC (know sounding like a 1200cc harley revving) and I downloaded Adaware-Away. The first sweep found About:Blank 5 and cleaned it. I re-booted and ran it again and this time I came back clean.

I then checked my homepage and google had remained- so far, so good. I ran Hijack-this and removed anything with about:blank associated with it. A couple of clean's later with Ad-aware 6 and SpyBot and my machine is purring like a pussy cat and no more pop-ups saying I've won £100 worth of Argos vouchers.

If only I'd tried Adawre-Away at first.

May 2, 2006 4:42 AM

Try program from WWW.SUPERANTISPYWARE.COM They have a free antispyware for personal/home use which worked a treat for me. Tried many others but they didn't work. Got rid of about:blank and many others without me having to delve into the registry.

May 2, 2006 7:15 AM

Footnote after using superantispyware reset your home page before going online

July 21, 2006 1:02 AM

Trend Micro Anti-Spyware is the best I have used so far...It has a build in CWShredder (Cool websearch trojans) and it completely cleans out your system.

July 30, 2007 6:19 PM

If I purchase an anti spyware program will it rid my computer of spyware already invading it?

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