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How do I turn off the Sidebar in Windows Vista?

How do I totally remove the Sidebar (gadgets) from Windows Vista?

My first reaction to this question was “Ah, so I’m not alone.”

I’ve never quite gotten the Windows sidebar. Or the equivalent on the Mac
for that matter. Yes they contain cute little gadgets, widgets, or what have
you, none of which I ever use, and none that I would want to give up precious
screen real estate for.

Fortunately turning it off is pretty easy.

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With the sidebar running, you’ll see an icon in the notification area of
your Windows task bar:

Windows Vista Sidebar icon in the Taskbar Notification Area

Right click on that, select Exit, and you’ll get this
confirmation message:

Vista Sidebar exit confirmation

Make sure that Start Sidebar when Windows starts is
unchecked. Click Exit Sidebar.

That should do it. The sidebar should be off and it should stay off.

I’m not aware of any way to physically remove the sidebar code from
your installation of Windows. But aside from taking up a little extra disk
space, simply turning it off and keeping it off should have nearly the same
result.

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2 comments on “How do I turn off the Sidebar in Windows Vista?”

  1. I just turned the side bar “down” a bit so that I can keep my cute widgets (CPU meters, clock, laptop battery monitor), but they aren’t in the way. Just right click on the gadget and you can change its opacity. Dropping the opacity to 60% makes the gadget translucent. This reduces the noise enough that I find them useful.

    Reply

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