Yup, I know, why am I using Windows XP SP3. Well I’m not, it’s on my wife’s laptop.
Anyhow, with the install of SP3 a while back, we noticed that the address bar was gone from the task bar. It turns out that this was a “by design” issue rather than a bug as described in the KB article below:
To rectify the issue originally, I found a third party utility which provided an address bar, however after some recent tidying and software un-installation, it vanished!
Having looked around, there is a much better option which doesn’t require any hacking of system files as mentioned in various website, or the use of a third party tool.
To get the taskbar back, simply drag the My Computer icon up to the top of your screen and drop it. It will then create a bar along the top edge of the screen and from there you can right click, go to the toolbar list and add the “address bar”. Now, right click again and remove My Computer from this bar after which you will be left with just the “address bar”.
Finally, click to pickup the address bar and drag it off the top of the screen and down onto your real taskbar. You may have to play about with exactly where to drag it, but get it right and it will dock into the main task bar and you will have you normal address bar back.