Getting the Vista behaviour for gadgets back again?

    General discussion

  • using Vista, I have gadgets down the RH side. If I maximise a window, the gadgets are still visible (set to always on top) and sit to the right of the maximised window.

    Under Windows 7, there is no "sidebar" as such - each gadget is a separate entity. Which is OK until I come to maximise a window. Then the gadget is either underneath or on top of my maximised window - not outside it.

    So, is there any way to get the Vista behaviour back? I want to see my gadgets but I don't want them to be on top of my other work.

    thanks for any information

    Thursday, February 05, 2009 12:54 PM

All replies

  • hi,

    I also miss this feature in Windows 7, because I am a heavy user of the sidebar in Vista that is always visible on my desktop.
    Thursday, February 05, 2009 4:31 PM
  • No, any sidebar that you could use in Win7 would be a third party add-on. The new feature to 'Show Desktop' by pointing at the small square at the end of the taskbar will expose all your gadgets.
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    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Thursday, February 05, 2009 6:05 PM
  • Mark L. Ferguson said:

    No, any sidebar that you could use in Win7 would be a third party add-on. The new feature to 'Show Desktop' by pointing at the small square at the end of the taskbar will expose all your gadgets.

    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP

    It's worth pointing out that you can set 'Always on top' for any gagdet.

    Not what the OP was asking, but - combined with Show Desktop hover it may help meanwhile.

    Thursday, February 05, 2009 6:22 PM
  • It's not what I want. I want to be able to glance over and (for example) see how the network traffic is doing or what the date is today. I want to do this without any mouse/keyboard interaction.

    But I also don't want it to interfere with my other work. So, just having "Always on top" doesn't help me.

    Why doesn't Microsoft think about these things when developing the next generation? Surely I can't be the only person who finds the Sidebar - as it works today - a godsend....

    So, what are these third party ones? All I know if is something called "Deskside" which doesn't seem to have active development being done.

    Thursday, February 05, 2009 7:23 PM
  • Google has their Google Desktop that has sidebar-like functionality. I just can't stand their software as it is extremely annoying.
    Thursday, February 05, 2009 9:56 PM
  • Then don't use 'maximize', use a sized window to do that. You are not helpless to control what your desk looks like. Make it do what you want.
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    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Thursday, February 05, 2009 9:58 PM
  • I think if MS was to really improve the Sidebar in Win 7 they would have allowed us to "free form" Gadgets like they are in 7 or the Option to tie them to the sidebar as they were in vista.

    not just because they can be displayed next to active windows but because I dont like a cluttered desktop, in vista they could also be "Paged" I was running 12 gadgets in Vista and could display only 4 gadgets top to bottom on each page. I would just switch pages depending on what I wanted to see without having to minimize my active window.

    With Win 7 I have to have all twelve gadgets on the desktop. Theres no way I could resize a word window to a usable width and still view my gadgets.

    It's not a matter of "you cant do it so just get over it", These forums are supposed to be a disscusion of how we use windows, and what we like and dont like about the new windows 7. Supposedly, this is what microsoft want's to hear from these forums.

    I will definately be going with win 7 at RTM but I would give anything for a command line switch or a reg hack that would allow me to "page" my gadgets like I did in Vista

    Rex Geissinger

    (Running Windows Since 2.0 and Yes I still have the 4 original 5.25 Floppy's in the original Package!)
    Dont forget to mark a post as an answer if it is...
    Friday, February 06, 2009 6:12 AM
  • Thanks Rex, I think your answer matches my feelings also.


    PS - Been using Windows since v1.0 - and the one from IBM before that - and do you remember Double Take where you could switch between 2 windows in DOS?
    Friday, February 06, 2009 8:48 AM
  • Read here too, about Gadgets Problems:

    "onTop" Gadgets are always over Flyouts or Settings Menu.

    Why not a second (Vista) Sidebar in Windows 7 ?

    Or protected Zones(Resize the Desktop Workspace) ?

    Friday, February 06, 2009 12:41 PM
  • I've posted  on this phenomenon in another thread.

    I wish the sidebar had been retained (actually, retained and enhanced with the ability to be made transparent).

    I have discovered that one setting of Aero Snap is close to being an adequate substitute.  It seems that if you drag the top edge of a window to the top edge of the screen, Win7 will snap the window to (full height) × (your window's width).

    If there were a keyboard shortcut or a title bar button to trigger that snap setting...I might consider that a net improvement, even with the loss of sidebar.
    Saturday, February 07, 2009 6:18 PM
  • Personally, I really don't like the way gadgets in W7 are displayed at all.  I had heard that the sidebar was removed, but I was shocked to find that there was no option to re-enable it (especially since they spent years creating it).  I have my gadgets lined up on the side of the screen, but I feel like they're just hanging there; I liked seeing them in their subtle sidebar environment.  Also, clicking the + button on the sidebar is definitely quicker than right-clicking on the desktop to get to the gadgets gallery.  I also miss how they space themselves out in the sidebar, and that you can rearrange them just by dragging one of them, instead of all of them (like I have to do now).  For example, when I "open" the calendar gadget, it covers the ones below it; in the sidebar environment the lower ones would move down so they would still all be visible.  And no, I won't move the calendar to the bottom because that's just a workaround - I want the full functionality back.

    On another note, I have heard that if you move the sidebar program folder from Vista to W7, it works as in Vista without issue.  But I upgraded, so I can't do that.
    Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:31 PM
  • FF6M's idea of using Sidebar from Vista works a treat. So, when you do the upgrade, make sure you save the Sidebar directory somewhere first. Not the perfect solution (I would want a native W7 version) but this one does seem to work.

    Update - it doesn't reload across reboots. The gadgets do - but they all end up in the top left corner!!!! So, not quite the answer I wanted.


    Thursday, February 12, 2009 1:13 PM
  •  You can add your feature request to this thread for the forum owner to pass along to the developers.

     Sticky: Have Comments about Windows 7 Beta?
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    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:08 PM
  • OK - just done that. Thanks.

    Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:12 PM
  • This is a little off topic. When I first installed windows 7 all of the gadgets worked fine. Now after I restarted windows 7 they dissappeared. I tried going into control panel and click on gadgets and nothing happenes. Is it possible the files got corrupt after restarting windows for some reason?!

    Thank you in advance!
    The Matrix Has You
    Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:14 PM
  • Active_Matrix if you have the UAC turned off, you can't display gadgets.  Well at least not in this version of the beta.  Just throwing an idea out there.  Hope it helps.
    Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:44 PM
    DarkKnightSlayer said:

    Active_Matrix if you have the UAC turned off, you can't display gadgets.  Well at least not in this version of the beta.  Just throwing an idea out there.  Hope it helps.

    Thanks for the thought. When I get home I will give it a shot. I know with vista I did not have this problem. I hope this doesnt wind up cripiling Win7 after the beta becomes RTM.
    The Matrix Has You
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:24 AM
  • It won't.  The 7022 beta I think fixed this problem but since I don't have a copy of it, there is no way for me to see for sure.  I want to use gadgets too but I haven't liked working with the UAC so I turned it off.

    Hope this corrects your problem.
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:28 AM
  • I will check it out later, as well look for the new build. Thank you!!!
    The Matrix Has You
    Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:44 AM
  • I really don't know why the old behavior for the sidebar was tossed. Those of us who really used gadgets loved being able to see them docked to the side of our widescreen monitor while we maximized our other windows. With Windows 7, the only option to be able to glance at a useful gadget is to have them always on top, but having a gadget always on top of active windows makes no sense. Why can't there be an option to re-enable Vista behavior of sidebar/gadgets? It doesn't have to be the default, just an option. PLEASE! Just my two cents.

    Friday, May 15, 2009 1:58 AM
  • I too miss the sidebar and am confused as to why the "updated" version has less features. I tried ripping it from Vista though and it works :) I didn't have the problem that Active_Matrix has either.
    Monday, May 18, 2009 8:24 AM
  • Yes, I used the Vista Sidebar executable on the RC version and it worked OK across reboots. Maybe MS should package old and new with the final thing?

    Monday, May 18, 2009 8:28 AM
  • Never used Vista, but it seems to me you have to move the mouse to the right to see the sidebar containing the gadgets.
    In 7 I use [Winkey]G. Shows the gadgets. Suits me.


    Monday, May 18, 2009 8:36 AM
  • No, in Vista, they are just "there" and when you maximise other windows, it doesn't get overwritten (assuming you selected "always on top" for Sidebar"). This means the information is always there at a glance and no messing around with keys is required.


    Monday, May 18, 2009 8:44 AM
  • I entirely agree with all of this - The Win7 implementation is a definite downgrade.
    Being able to view the sidebar gadgets by swivelling one's eyes in their sockets is much simpler than WIN+G, WIN+SPACE, "desktop peek" or any of the other so-called solutions.  For those of us with dual (or more) screens the loss of desktop real-estate was insignificant and it would certainly be nice to have the choice of old-style or new-style gadgets (although Vista could do a pretty good approximation of new-style as well).


    Sunday, July 12, 2009 3:08 PM
  • There is a workaround to get back the Windows Vista Sidebar in Windows 7. Follow these steps:
    1. Close all gadgets on desktop.
    2. Take ownership and grant full control permissions for Administrators user group of the following files located in C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar folder:


      And inside the en-US Folder:


    3. Rename to backup the 4 files listed above.
    4. Download
    5. Extract and copy the contents of the ZIP file to their corresponding folders in C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar folder, overwrite and replace existing files if applicable.
    6. Re-add gadgets to desktop

      Once you have done this, right click on the sidebar, and in properties select to have them always be on top, now it will maximize your windows only to the edge of the sidebar and not the screen.

    Credit : Suicide Solution

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009 12:50 AM