An address bar is a text field near the top of a Web browser window that displays the URL of the current webpage. The URL, or web address, reflects the address of the current page and automatically changes whenever you visit a new webpage. Therefore, you can always check the location of the webpage you are currently viewing with the browser's address bar.
While the URL in the address bar updates automatically when you visit a new page, you can also manually enter a web address. Therefore, if you know the URL of a website or specific page you want to visit, you can type the URL in the address bar and press Enter to open the location in your browser.
NOTE: The URL typically begins with "http://", but most browsers will automatically add the HTTP prefix to the beginning of the address if you don't type it in.
The appearance of the address bar varies slightly between browsers, but most browsers display a small 16x16 pixel icon directly to the left of the URL. This icon is called a "favicon" and provides a visual identifier for the current website. Some browsers also display an RSS feed button on the right side of the address bar when you visit a website that offers RSS feeds. In the Safari web browser, the address bar also doubles as a progress bar when pages are loading and includes a refresh button on the right side. Firefox includes a favorites icon on the right side of the address bar that lets you add or edit a bookmark for the current page.
The address bar is sometimes also called an "address field." However, it should not be confused with a browser toolbar, such as the Google or Yahoo! Toolbar. These toolbars typically appear underneath the address bar and may include a search field and several icons.
Updated: November 18, 2010