Desktop Experience feature RRS feed

  • General discussion


    Desktop Experiece feature


    Since Microsoft has released windows server 2008 with its beta versions and they disable most of the common windows features/services such as Windows Media Player, Disk Cleanup and Windows Photo Gallery. So, most of people were asking about these feature did Microsoft remove this feature? OR, it’s a bug in windows server 2008? The answer is all these feature is launched in windows server 2008 and Microsoft didn’t remove it. Simply, the solution is windows Desktop Experience feature.

    The Desktop Experience feature is a new feature in the Windows Server 2008. The Desktop Experience includes most of applications and features that are provided in the Windows Vista. If you use Windows Server 2008 as your primary operating system you might want to have some of these Windows Vista features available for your daily use.

    What’s in the Desktop Experience Feature?

    The Desktop Experience feature includes the following Windows Vista components and features:

    Windows Calendar

    Windows Mail

    Windows Media Player

    Windows Aero and other desktop themes

    Video for Windows (AVI support)

    Windows Photo Gallery

    Windows SideShow

    Windows Defender

    Disk Cleanup

    Sync Center

    Sound Recorder

    Character Map


    How to install Desktop Experience?


    1. Open Server Manager: click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and click Server Manager.

    2. In the Features Summary section, click Add features.

    3. Select the Desktop Experience check box, and then click Next. and then click Install.


    Sunday, October 14, 2007 7:57 AM

All replies

  • Thanks it was very helpful

    Sunday, October 14, 2007 10:37 PM
  • Hi Sherif, When I RDP to Win 6 Server (RC0) the taskbar is showing Win2K style.

    The rest of desktop is Vista Basic as I turned on _everything_ - desktop experience, themes service, RDP to not limit color depth etc. etc. ra. ra. raaa.


    So why is the taskbar looking like Win2k?   RDP to Longhorn Beta 1 gave me the cool looking taskbar. So, has something changed?


    Many thanks,



    Monday, October 15, 2007 3:01 AM
  • So, the Windows Sidebar is gone forever ?


    I noticed that it was still present in Beta 3, but that it was removed in the Release Candidate. Too bad that it has been removed, it might have been useful to some people Smile


    Tuesday, October 16, 2007 8:08 PM
  • The problem with the Sidebar is that it is only accessible via the System Tray and Control Panel and not the Taskbar itself.


    Tuesday, October 23, 2007 2:12 AM
  • With the Sidebar in W2k8 Server 2008 it could become the OS choice for many people. Could be a reason why MS killed the SB.





    I hate to see it go, and i dislike that knowbody from MS clears this up... they should become more transparent....

    Sunday, November 25, 2007 6:23 PM
  • I won't cry over niceities such as Vista Sidebar because any of those plug-in's available didn't seem to do much and the only one I was interested in was the check-mail-before-download one but to have to take up screen real estate just for that I'd rather do battle with the stupid things in my system tray.
    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 1:03 AM
  • I've wondered that I can't find the sidebar properties in control panel anymore and not in the start menu -> programs -> accessories!!!. I used to do so before. I am puzzled (I am currently using an RC version of Windows Server 2008) so I rebooted to Windows Longhorn Server Beta 3 (I installed an x86 Beta 3 and an x64 RC) and I can find it!! So where is the sidebar gone?

    Saturday, December 22, 2007 3:20 PM
  • Hi Michael,

    >So where is the sidebar gone?
    This I can not answer. But here on my system sidebar is also n/a:
    Windows Server RC1 - 2008 Datacenter, 64 bit
    6001.17119.amd64fre.longhorn.071210-1916 Service Pack 1, v.735

    Until someone replies:
    You could copy the directory with the sidebar.exe from the LH beta3 32 bit and hope it runs on the 64bit RC
    If it does not work, you still have to wait for an answer (or install beta3 64 bit and try the same for that sidebar.exe - perhaps with dependency viewer to copy missing system files)

    Erkan YILMAZ

    Sunday, December 23, 2007 6:53 PM

    Thank you very much..this solved my problem.
    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 11:34 PM
  • I did not find this helpful.

    I understand for non-server products the desire to accommodate the lowest common denominator.   However, this is the server product, and such efforts are not only WASTEFUL, they hinder those who can RTFM/do a google search, or have be reduced to performing; "msiexec [guid] /uninstall" for previous offenses, such as this,  from MS.

    Seriously, would it be that difficult to provide a more granular feature list so in order to get subjectively useful features, like a templates (besides folder, WTF!?!) and/or diskcleanup, and not be encumbered with Windows Media Player?

    I guess what I'm getting at is the if MS is going to create KLUDGE solution like "Desktop Experience" at the VERY least provide a back-door/Advanced/expert/I have conscious thought/ mode to these "solutions"\ features or at least a sub-tree for those so inclined.

    Then again maybe I'm setting my expectations to high; given the MS still assume that server's only have a C: drive (eg C:\inetpub).

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 3:09 AM

    1. Open Server Manager : click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and click Server Manager.

    2. In the Features Summary section, click Add features.

    3. Select the Desktop Experience check box, and then click Next. and then click Install.


    Hi S.T.
    Please, help me. I was looking in the Server manager, but cannot find the Features Summary you've mentioned. For some reasons when I open Server manager the Computer manager pops-up. When I open the Server Manager from the System32 folder, it just stops working after 2-3 seconds. What is the problem?Is this an installation problem? What do I do wrong? Is there anything to do with the KB973540 and KB968816 updates? How to enable the Desktop Experience?
    Thank you for the help in advance.

      Stopped working

    Problem signature:
      Problem Event Name:    CLR20r3
      Problem Signature 01:    mmc.exe
      Problem Signature 02:    6.0.6002.18005
      Problem Signature 03:    49e01c0a
      Problem Signature 04:    Microsoft.Windows.ServerManager
      Problem Signature 05:
      Problem Signature 06:    49e037dd
      Problem Signature 07:    1f31
      Problem Signature 08:    0
      Problem Signature 09:    System.NullReferenceException
      OS Version:    6.0.6002.
      Locale ID:    1033

    Monday, November 16, 2009 7:47 PM
  • It's very useful. That's why I love Microsoft.

    Thank you very much.

    Thursday, December 3, 2009 3:32 AM
  • Thanks, that was helpful. But how can I remove unwanted programs which are installed by the desktop experience feature? I only need the photo gallery on my terminalserver.

    Regards. Claudio.

    Saturday, January 9, 2010 7:37 PM
  • Hi Claudio,

    Did you find an answer to your question; I'm having the same question.

    Thanks in advance,

    Kind regards,

    Daniel Brans
    IdenTa BV
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 1:19 PM
  • Ok, I was looking at the list of enabled features with the Desktop Experience, but I would like to know if Windows 7 style gadgets are available for use with Win2k8. I would like to install a CPU / Memory monitor gadget but I can't see anywhere that you can add them or enable that sort of feature. I have the desktop experience enabled and I finally managed to get the Aero theme loaded (after having to enable the themes service). I'm running Server 2k8 Standard x64 SP1. Thanks.
    Monday, April 26, 2010 4:20 PM
  • Thanks Guys,

    I'm another one wanting my Sidebar Gadgets for CPU meter and temperature, as well as network speeds on my Server 2k8 Standard x64.

    Really miss my W7-Vista Sidebar Gadgets! 

    Desktop Experience & Themes are enabled, now all I need is the Sidebar!


    Thursday, December 16, 2010 2:43 AM
  • Hi


    have you found how to delete unwanted programs in the desktop feature?



    Thursday, June 16, 2011 11:46 AM
  • desktop experience feature is not found in server features on my OS
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:42 AM
  • Thank you for you , from chiangmai Thailand
    Friday, February 24, 2012 9:22 AM
  • Hi everyone,

    while trying to enable the Desktop Experience on a Windows Server 2008 ( I'm making it because I need the webdav client on this machine) , the installation failed, with no particular messages a part from "Installation failed".

    I the event viewer I read

    The client-side extension could not remove computer policy settings for 'Power Options for 2008+ Servers because it failed with error code '0x8007000d The data is invalid.' 

    I googled a little bit but I found nothing. Does anyone have suggestion on this? Thank you so much,

    Friday, June 1, 2012 1:44 PM