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Definition: address bar

The input field in a Web browser that is used to locate a website or start a search. After typing a URL into the address bar and pressing Enter, the home page of the site is retrieved. If the URL of a specific page or document is entered, that item is delivered instead of the home page. Also called an "address field" or "URL bar."

Alt-D or Command-L for Desktop Browsers
Go to the address bar quickly by pressing Alt-D or Control-L in Windows or Command-L in the Mac.

Address Bars and Search Boxes Merged
Early browsers had separate fields for the address bar and queries. Today, all browsers have only one input field and automatically detect a URL from a search. At most, the user has to click a results list one more time. See search box, address and URL.

An Early Browser
In this early Firefox example, the address bar and search box were separate. See favicon.

All Merged Today
In modern browsers, such as this Chrome example, the address and search bars are one input field. If a URL is entered, the site is retrieved. If a company name is typed in, the company is the first result in the list and requires another click or tap to retrieve its website.