Tip & How-To about Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1: Windows

Windows Vista: How to enable or disable the Sidebar

The Windows Sidebar, introduced with Windows Vista, is a way to have one-click access to websites and widgets right from your desktop. Some people love the Sidebar and some people hate it. Whichever camp you happen to fall in, enabling or disabling the Sidebar is a painless process.

To disable the Sidebar:

1. Right click on the Sidebar icon in the notification area (a computer screen with different colored blocks on its right side).
2. Select Exit from the menu.
3. If a confirmation window appears, click Exit Sidebar.

To enable the Sidebar:

1. Click the Vista orb and type "sidebar" into the Search bar.
2. From the search results, select Windows Sidebar. (If Windows Sidebar is the highlighted item, you can just hit Enter.)
3. The Sidebar will appear, in the same place and with the same widgets as the last time you used it.

An alternate way to enable the Sidebar:

1.Click the Vista orb.
2. Select All Programs.
3. Select Accessories.
4. Select Windows Sidebar.

To configure the Sidebar to load automatically every time you start your computer:

1. If it's not already enabled, enable the Sidebar (using either of the methods described above).
2. Right click on the Sidebar icon in the notification area.
3. Select Properties.
4. Put a check mark in the box next to "Start Sidebar when Windows starts."
5. Click either OK or Apply.

If you have the Sidebar set to load automatically and then you disable it, it will still run every time you start your computer, unless you remove the check mark next to that option in the Sidebar properties.

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Is there a way to get back my original homepage? I have an Acer and I was using the homepage that came with the package, with widgets etc. I clicked on a button and lost my homepage and I don't know how to retrieve it. Google comes up now which I don't want. Thanks


Usually the homepage on a new PC is either Microsoft, or your computers own homepage.
If you have lost the sidebar in windows vista, or the widgets in windows 7. Right click on the desktop, you should find the option to restore/add widgets

Jul 21, 2010 | Acer Aspire One PC Notebook

4 Answers

I accidently erased my sidebar with the clock-how do I bring it back? Secondly, I enlatged a picture of an object on a website and now it always appears when I open the computer as a saver-how do I get rid of it?


2 problems for 1!

Look up "Windows Sidebar Properties" in the Control Panel (classic view) and turn on the sidebar to start with windows, and always on top. Check the other properties to make sure they are doing what you want.

Don't quite know what you mean by "enlarging an object on a website", and do you mean it's now showing as the screen saver image? If so, you can go into Control Panel, Personalization, Screen Saver - and select a different screen saver, or "(none)"; or if the image is actually on the Desktop, the settings for that are also off the Personalization window.

Lots of other useful things in Control Panel, might be worth spending a little time getting to know what's there?

Sep 13, 2009 | Dell Vostro 1400 Intel Core 2 Duo T5270...

1 Answer

Slow performance - Frequent Hanging of system


Do you run the Aero them with the glass windows effects etc. and have the windows sidebar running? I have found that this tends to slow down my computer a lot.

To turn off Aero:
  1. Right click on an empty area of the desktop
  2. click personalize
  3. click window colour and appearance
  4. select colour scheme:"windows vista basic"
  5. click ok
To turn off sidebar:
  1. go to start-> control panel
  2. Click windows sidebar
  3. deselect "start sidebar when windows starts"
  4. click ok
  5. on the task bar right click the windows sidebar icon
  6. click close

Mar 08, 2008 | Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

3 Answers

how to restore windows vista side bar


2 solution for this problem

1) start - all programmes - accessories - windows side bar or

open the Start menu and in the search line type this word: sidebar
and hit Enter key

Feb 27, 2008 | Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

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