When you start Microsoft Edge, the Start page shows the “Where to next?” text box where you can type a web address or use it to search the web using Edge’s default search engine. To see the address bar instead of the “Where to next?” search box on new tabs and in the Start page, you need to click on the gray area where the address bar is supposed to appear.
To make things easier, here is a registry edit to make Microsoft Edge always show the address bar (by default).
Missing address bar in Edge
Major web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox show the address bar with active focus by default on all pages, along with a search box in the browser’s client area. Whereas in Edge, the address bar is not displayed in the Start page and New Tab pages unless you click on the space manually to enable it.
This is inconvenient (and an inconsistent UX), at least from a desktop user’s perspective, because when changing over from an existing page with some site opened in it to a blank new tab page, you’ll most likely look for the address bar which doesn’t already exist there.
And in the new tab page, pressing Alt + D gets you to nowhere, nor does it show the address bar. This keyboard shortcut is used by many to set the active focus on the address bar, in various browsers as well as in File Explorer.
Show address bar by default in Edge
Many of us may have got used to the “address bar” for performing web searches all these years using various browsers. Using the following registry edit, you can always show the address bar instead of the Search box when opening a new tab and when starting Microsoft Edge.
1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe), and go the following location:
2. Create the following DWORD values, and set the data to 1 for each DWORD value.
3. Exit the Registry Editor.
That’s about it. Here is how Edge will look like, from now.
When the address bar appears (from where you can perform web searches), the “Where to next?” search box disappears. You can’t display both at the time — it makes sense as the address bar can be used for doing web searches, just as in every other web browser.
Automate using registry files (.REG)
Download edge-show-address-bar.reg (zipped) to automate the above registry edits. The zip file also encloses an “undo” file, in case you want to revert to the default settings.
Contents of the REG file
Here are the contents of the enclosed REG file if you want to make one of your own.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppContainer\Storage\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\ServiceUI] "StartPageAddressBarPinned"=dword:00000001 "NewTabPageAddressBarPinned"=dword:00000001
After applying the registry settings, you no longer need to click on the empty address bar slot to show the address bar.
This registry edit works in Windows 10 version 1607 and higher. Version 1607 is known as the Anniversary Update, code-named “Redstone”.
I guess these new registry edits and features get you a couple of steps closer to convincing yourself to make Edge your preferred and default browser. But we’re not there yet. Let’s wait and see what other surprises the Creators Update has to offer.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.