I just got a Galaxy S3, and I'm finally being forced to confront an aspect of ICS that I've hated from the moment it showed up on my Xoom: the fact that pressing the 'menu' button no longer drops down the URL field, and instead you're forced to scroll all the way back up to the top and pull it down to get at it.

Is there any known way to re-enable the original behavior (press the menu button at any time, see the "url" field drop down in editable form regardless of whether or not the page was scrolled all the way up to the top)?

Yes, I know about the "Labs" shortcut of swiping from the side. I find it extremely awkward and frustrating to use. Like many things in ICS, it uses gestures that lag in their initial visual presentation, then exhibit hair-trigger sensitivity for their selection and confirmation behavior. Half the time, I'll begin the swipe to bring it out, then give up 150ms later when it doesn't appear (only to have it show up after I've already let go), and about 25% of the time, my thumb ends up triggering the wrong target after bringing it out.

Update: pressing and holding the 'menu' button semi-works, but not quite. Sometimes, it makes the URL bar visible and selects the URL, but fails to bring up the actual soft input area (Graffiti). Sometimes, it makes the URL bar appear, makes the soft input area appear, then hides the URL bar the moment I let go of the menu button. For the moment, the problem is somewhat moot... I installed Chrome, and quit using the stock browser altogether due to the remote-wipe vulnerability (in the semi-naive hope that Chrome's alleged non-permission to make phone calls might prevent it from triggering).

  • 1
    Can you please make your question less "rant-y"?
    – ale
    Sep 17, 2012 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


You don't need to scroll all the way to the top to see the URL field in the standard browser.

At any point in the page just pull the screen down very slightly and it pulls the URL bar at the top down with it, it should then stay visible for about 2 seconds unless you tap in the bar. This is also the easiest way to access any other tabs that you've got open.

  • Unfortunately, that didn't seem to work (AT&T Galaxy S3, ICS 4.0.4). I tried it with Quick Controls both enabled and disabled, without success. If it matters, Labs/Full_Screen was un-checked.
    – Bitbang3r
    Sep 4, 2012 at 19:21
  • My Galaxy Nexus had ICS on it when I got it, and that did work, and it's still working now I'm running JellyBean. I've got both Labs Quick Controls and Full Screen disabled. Sounds like Samsung may have removed that way of accessing the URL bar as part of their TouchWiz customizations.
    – GAThrawn
    Sep 5, 2012 at 11:01
  • Sigh. Does Android's license require Samsung to release buildable source to their stock browser, Touchwiz-customizations and all, or merely that they furnish the AOSP source from Google with the equivalent of a note saying "we made some changes to the binary shipped with phones"? I posted a question about obtaining the browser source at XDA so I could try grafting 'menu button to trigger URL field emergence' back into it myself, and it landed on the ground with a dull, squishy thud... rarely a good sign.
    – Bitbang3r
    Sep 5, 2012 at 15:37
  • One more place you could check would be in the browser's debug settings menu, see android.stackexchange.com/questions/5999/…
    – GAThrawn
    Sep 5, 2012 at 16:13
  • Hmmm... I've been over those settings quite a few times, and don't recall seeing any that affected the way the URL field gets summoned into view. Is there any particular one I might have overlooked, or maybe one that ended up getting compiled out by Samsung? Before you mentioned Touchwiz, it hadn't even occurred to me that the stock browser might have been heavily-modified by Samsung.
    – Bitbang3r
    Sep 6, 2012 at 3:58

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