The address bar or url bar is an essential part of any web browser. It not only lets you enter web addresses that you want to visit but also provides you with information about the site you are currently on. Depending on the browser you are using, it may also offer additional functionality like the ability to search the web by just typing in your search term or managing preferences for a site you just visited. Last but not least, it may also give you an indication whether you are on a secure connection or not.
Removing the address bar for specific sites is something that I do not like at all. While it may give you 20 or so pixels of extra height for page contents, it removes information from the browser and blocks your access to the search bar at the same time.
I have had my issues with Google manipulating the address bar in Chrome lately. Instead of displaying the address I was on in the url bar, it displays the search term that I entered instead giving me no indication about the site I was on.
Mozilla too has been removing the address bar in Firefox for select internal pages such as about:addons or about:permissions. How this looks like? When you load an internal address, usually starting with about:, you are directed to a page without address bar. So, no url that is highlighting where you are, no back and forward buttons, no search form, and no other element that you may display in the bar.
If you want to search, you have to open a new tab or switch to another tab. If you want to go back, you can't use the buttons and need to know the keyboard shortcuts to do so, and if you want to verify that you are indeed on an internal page, you can't verify that either as there is no address displayed in the browser.
If you prefer that the url bar is visible at all times in Firefox, you may want to install the extension Always Awesome Bar as it enables it again on all pages of the browser it has been disabled on.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.