Friday, December 5, 2014

How to enable or disable the Sidebar in Windows Vista

The Windows Sidebar, introduced with Windows Vista, is a way to have one-click access to websites and widgets right from your desktop. Some people love the Sidebar and some people hate it. Whichever camp you happen to fall in, enabling or disabling the Sidebar is a painless process.

To disable the Sidebar:

1. Right click on the Sidebar icon in the notification area (a computer screen with different colored blocks on its right side).
2. Select Exit from the menu.
3. If a confirmation window appears, click Exit Sidebar.

To enable the Sidebar:

1. Click the Vista orb and type "sidebar" into the Search bar.
2. From the search results, select Windows Sidebar. (If Windows Sidebar is the highlighted item, you can just hit <Enter>.)
3. The Sidebar will appear, in the same place and with the same widgets as the last time you used it.

An alternate way to enable the Sidebar:

1.Click the Vista orb.
2. Select All Programs.
3. Select Accessories.
4. Select Windows Sidebar.

To configure the Sidebar to load automatically every time you start your computer:

1. If it's not already enabled, enable the Sidebar (using either of the methods described above).
2. Right click on the Sidebar icon in the notification area.
3. Select Properties.
4. Put a check mark in the box next to "Start Sidebar when Windows starts."
5. Click either OK or Apply.

If you have the Sidebar set to load automatically and then you disable it, it will still run every time you start your computer, unless you remove the check mark next to that option in the Sidebar properties.

(Originally posted on, January 2011)

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