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Customize Windows Vista Sidebar

One of the coolest features of Windows Vista is the sidebar which is an application that resides on the side of your desktop and provides information via gadgets. A gadget is a small application that provides information or a service such as weather updates or the time of day. This sidebar can be customized to provide information tailored to your needs and specifications – this article describes how to customize the sidebar to your liking.

Add a Gadget to the Sidebar
  1. Right-click on Sidebar and select Add Gadgets

  2. Double-click desired gadget to add to sidebar

Remove a Gadget from the Sidebar
To remove a gadget from the sidebar right-click on the gadget and select Close Gadget or click on X in the upper right corner of the gadget.

Change Order of Gadgets
The display order of the gadgets in the sidebar can be modified by dragging the gadgets around into the desired order.

Place a Gadget on Desktop
A gadget can be removed from the sidebar and placed anywhere on the desktop.
  1. Right- click on the gadget to detach and select Detach from Sidebar

  2. Drag the gadget to the desired location on the desktop


Keep Sidebar and Gadgets on top
You can change the display options of the sidebar so it always appears on top –that is you can always see your sidebar and gadgets regardless of what is open on your system.
  1. Right-click on the sidebar and select Properties

  2. Check Sidebar is always on top of other windows

  3. Click on OK

Change Location of Sidebar
The sidebar can be displayed on either side the left or right side of the display. In addition, if you have multiple displays you can specify which monitor will display the sidebar.
  1. Right-click on the sidebar and select Properties

  2. Check the either Right or Left for the desired screen location

  3. If using multiple displays select which monitor to use under the Display Sidebar on monitor choice

  4. Click on OK

Change Gadget’s Options
To change the options for a particular gadget, right-click on the gadget and select Options from the menu. The screen that appears will vary depending on the settings for the gadget. Also be aware that not all gadgets will have options.

Add Additional Gadgets
In addition to the gadgets that ship with Windows Vista there a thousands of available gadgets that can be added to the sidebar that range from dictionaries to games to recipes. To access and install additional gadgets
  1. Right-click on the sidebar and select Add Gadgets

  2. Click on Get more gadgets online

This will take you to the Personalize Windows Vista Sidebar website where you can browse thousands of optional sidebar gadgets – caution! though it is hard to keep the selection small as there are many helpful and informational gadgets to choose from.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Allison Nunn. All rights reserved.
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