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Windows Vista & 7 Sidebar and Gadgets

With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft was trying to make some serious changes to its desktop operating system by adding new features as well as redesigning many of its current features. With the new look and feel of Windows Vista, Microsoft added a new feature to the desktop called the Windows Sidebar.

The Windows Sidebar is a vertical bar that is displayed on the side of the desktop and contains mini programs called gadgets which offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. The Windows Sidebar can keep information and tools readily available for you to use whenever you need them. For example you can have news headlines, a calendar, a picture slideshow or current weather displayed so you know what’s going on in real time. There are many other gadgets that you can choose from as well as the ability to download additional gadgets.

Windows comes with a small collection of gadgets but you can download many more gadgets online to do just about anything. To add gadgets from your Sidebar simply click on the plus sign on the add gadget button or right click the sidebar and choose Add Gadget to open the gadget gallery.

In the gadget gallery you will see a list of gadgets that you have installed on your computer but aren't necessarily being used. To add an existing gadget to your Sidebar simply right click the gadget and select add or drag it into the Sidebar.

To remove a gadget right from your Sidebar all you need to do is click the gadget and pick Close Gadget. You can also drag gadgets from the Sidebar onto your desktop.

To download more gadgets from Microsoft click here. Be careful about installing third party gadgets on your computer because there is always a chance that it can cause a security breach of your system.

There is also a way to configure the Sidebar making it more customizable. To see the Sidebar options, right click on the Sidebar and select Properties.

From here you can set options such as having the Sidebar start with Windows and which side of the screen you want to have it displayed on as well as see a list of running gadgets.

If your Sidebar is not running you can access it by clicking on Start, All Programs, Accessories and click on Windows Sidebar.


 

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