Enable the Address Bar In Windows XP SP3

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 19, 2008
Updated • Sep 24, 2015
Windows, Windows XP

Microsoft removed the address bar in Windows XP Service Pack 3. The address bar was a toolbar of the Windows Taskbar that worked as a quick launcher for websites and files. There are actually a few possibilities to bring back the address bar in Windows XP Service Pack 3.

The first one is the easiest to accomplish but its results are unfortunately only temporary. Start by moving a folder from the Windows Start Menu to the top of the desktop. If you do it right a new bar should appear on the top of the computer screen.

Right-click that bar and select Toolbars > Address which should add the entry Address at the right side of the bar. You can now access the address functionality there permanently or move the Address Bar back to the Windows Taskbar.

The problem here is that a reboot or log off will remove the address bar again. The advantage of this method is that it does not require the manipulation of system files.

The second option is to replace the browseui.dll file which handles the interface with a previous version that still included the Address Bar. This requires access to the Service Pack 2 version of browseui.dll.

The file is a system protected file which means that you need to replace it the following way:

  • Reboot the computer
  • Press F8 during boot process to load the advanced boot menu
  • Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt
  • type xcopy C:\browseui.dll C:\Windows\System32\ with c:\browseui.dll being the location of the SP2 version of browseui.dll

The Address entry should be visible again after rebooting the computer. The change is permanent with this method. There is however no guarantee that other features or functions that have been implemented in SP3 in the file continue to work after applying the change.

The third and probably best option is to install a third party address bar which does not tamper with system files. MuvEnum Address Bar provides access to a new address bar that makes use of an increased functionality such as multiple Internet search engines or access to history and bookmarks of multiple web browsers while retaining all the original features of the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Address Bar.


It can be selected as a Toolbar by right-clicking on the Windows Task Bar, moving to Toolbars and selecting MuvEnum Address Bar from the menu.

Enable the Address Bar In Windows XP SP3
Article Name
Enable the Address Bar In Windows XP SP3
Find out how to add the address bar back to Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Paul said on December 29, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    is there any way to recover the addresses that were in the address bar after the conversion to SP3? I am not sure where these are stored, I don’t see them in my favorites.

  2. pin said on October 5, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I believe this should work:

    1- My Computer, View, Toolbars, uncheck “Lock the Toolbars” if checked.
    2- View Toolbars, Address bar. (word Address will appear somewhere on the right).
    3- drag to reach under other bars, and try to align it to the most left if needed.
    4- Done.

    1. Anonymous said on November 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      thanks a lot

    2. steve said on November 22, 2010 at 5:46 am

      thanks. that worked.

  3. Kris said on November 20, 2008 at 9:02 am

    There is an easier way, without any file renaming shenanigans….. it involves simply just creating a new toolbar, undocking it, then changing it to an address bar and dragging back on to the taskbar. Job done.

    1. Yanay said on December 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      Good one!

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.