How to Replace an Internet Explorer Address Bar

Written by barry shaw
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How to Replace an Internet Explorer Address Bar
URL and Address Bar (adress bar image by Wiktor Osiecki from

The Address Bar on a web browser displays the current website address a user is viewing. The address, also known as the URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, consists of the access protocol (http), the domain name ( and possibly a path to a specific file. The Address Bar is critical to navigating around the Internet. If it is missing, there are a couple of ways to restore it.

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  1. 1

    Activate the menu bar by right-clicking on the toolbar at the top of the Internet Explorer browser. If you see "File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, Help" the menu bar already is active. If you do not see the menu, click "Menu Bar" once, which places a check to the left of the Menu Bar while simultaneously activating it. You will then see the words "File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, Help" at the top of the browser.

  2. 2

    Click "View," mouse down to "Toolbars" and click once on "Address Bar" if there is no check to the left. If there is a check mark to the left of Address Bar that means it is already open and is on the IE toolbar. Chances are it's very small and either in the far left or far right corner at the top of the browser. Click once on the small address bar and drag it toward the middle to expand it.

    In Firefox click "View", "Toolbars", and select "Navigation Toolbar", this places a check to the left and will display the address bar.

  3. 3

    Another way to replace the address bar is by deleting the WebBrowser registry key. Click "Start," then "Run," type "regedit" in the Open box and click "OK." Locate the registry key, "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar." Right-click on the WebBrowser key, click "Delete" then click "Yes." This will restore the default settings and replace the address bar.

  4. 4

    It's a little tougher to replace the address bar in Internet Explorer 8 and is not really something a novice computer user should attempt. Access the scripts and icon files from a file called "IE8 with nav controls.txt" (see resource link). This file gives you the functions of "back.html" and "back.ico", which allow you to keep your forward and back buttons but removes the address bar. Place the script in a folder on the C: drive called "IENav." Use the included "Custom Registration key" to create the necessary paths that are added to your computer's registry. Run the "Custom Registration file" from the folder you created. You do not need to reboot your computer. When the process is complete, your address bar will be hidden with the new navigation controls located on the command bar.

Tips and warnings

  • If you replace your address bar by modifying the Registry, follow Step 3 to the letter, otherwise problems might occur.

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