Unleash Windows Address Bar

unleash-address-bar

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If you’re a power-user, then you like to execute tasks in the quickest way possible.  One of Vista’s tools that is greatly under-used is the Address bar, and it can do alot more than just search Indexed locations.  It can be used as a Run dialog, Search, as well as a browser.

If you have a high-resolution display (and who doesn’t nowadays), then you can make full use of this multi-purpose tool, and it can take up as much or as little desktop space as you want.  Having it always available saves you from having to click on the Start button, and you can browse through your history of previous web pages, searches, and commands.

I like to have mine scrolling across the entire desktop, right under my running programs.  Some of you may prefer to mimic the Mac and place the TaskBar on the top of your screen, which also makes the Address Bar more familiar-looking (most web browsers have their address bar at the top of their windows).

To enable the Address toolbar, right-click on a blank area of the TaskBar and select ToolBars > Address.


The Address bar now appears, but its usefulness is increased when it is bigger.  You must unlock it before you can move or resize it.  Right-click on the Address bar and unselect “Lock the Taskbar“.

You can then drag the Address bar and move it where you want it to go.  I chose to expand my entire Taskbar to two rows high, and place the Address bar on the bottom row.

You can type directly in the Address bar to search for a file, shortcut, document.  You can also type a URL and it will open in your default browser (yes, it works on Firefox).  You can also type any command without having to go to the Command Prompt (although you can spawn a command prompt by typing CMD.EXE into the Address bar.

If you click on the dropdown arrow on the right of the Address bar, you can see all of the items you’ve entered previously, which can be handy if you do the same things frequently (like quick-jumping to an article on your favorite website, OCmodshop)!

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.