Home > Posts > Launching & Searching from the Windows taskbar (PC & web)

Launching & Searching from the Windows taskbar (PC & web)

Did you know you can visit website addresses (URLs), open recent folders, URLs and commands and search your computer and the Internet right from the Windows taskbar? Just right click some empty area of the Windows taskbar and select Toolbars submenu, then check the “Address” toolbar there to show it (It’s best to also install any Windows Search enhancements offered as optional updates from Windows Update first btw – http://update.microsoft.com).

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However you may be disappointed to find that the toolbar has a label saying “Address” at the left side of the search textbox which takes up precious screen space on your Windows taskbar. After a long time I found out (you may need to install latest Windows Updates if this trick doesn’t work for you) that there’s an easy (but not so easy to find though) trick to hide that label. You right click on the label or drag-handle at the left side of the toolbar (not elsewhere on the toolbar like on the textbox or the green “go” button) and deselect “Show Title”. If you don’t see such option make sure you deselect “Lock the Taskbar” first (and lock it back if you wish after finishing). Now if only you could also get rid of that green “Go” button (not very useful with the keyboard since you can press ENTER key to search – unless you use touch screen or mouse only)…

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When you enter some terms in the textbox you see a popup list with an option at the end saying “Search for…” – that one can be used to search the internet for the term. If you enter say “zoomicon.com” and press ENTER or the green go button instead of selecting the “Search for zoomicon.com” from the popup list you’ll just be taken to http://www.zoomicon.com, that is the address toolbar behaves more or less like the one in Internet Explorer. To search locally you can enter “search:” there and press ENTER to open the Windows Explorer local search pane for example on Windows Vista.

Note that you can enter a partial search term there and press the “dropdown” button at the search textbox to see recent URLs, folders or commands you’ve launched from the Windows Explorer address-bar there (I tend to enter CMD at a folder’s address-bar to open up a command-line window with the current directory set at that folder).

If you leave the search box empty and press the dropdown button you effectively see a list of most recently used folders, URLs and direct commands on both Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer address bars.

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