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I have some world clock gadgets in my Windows 7 sidebar that are quite useful for me to be able to glance over and look at on my second monitor. In Vista you could make the whole sidebar 'always on top' and other windows on the screen wouldn't maximize over the top of it, or under it. In Windows 7 gadgets are now free floating. You can make each gadget 'always on top' but this just means they render over the top of any maximized window on the screen.

Does anyone know of a way to make the Windows 7 sidebar function like the Vista one? I tried changing the compatibility of sidebar.exe to Vista, but it seems security permissions/properties for things under 'Program Files' are very difficult to change.

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You could always use the new "Desktop Peek" feature to glance at your Gadgets. Just put your cursor over the lower-left corner. Although I'll admit this isn't as convenient as having the gadgets always visible, but that's about the closest you'll get, probably. – Sasha Chedygov Jul 29 '09 at 0:28
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In short, No. At least not by default.

You have three options:

The Hacky Way

Make a folder in /Program Files called VistaSidebar. The full path should be C:\Program Files\VistaSidebar. Copy the Sidebar from a Vista machine into the new folder on the Windows 7 machine. Sidebar, on Vista, is stored in C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar. Close down Sidebar, and open sidebar.exe from the VistaSidebar folder.

You should get the old Vista sidebar. You can then just go into the Sidebar preferences and set 'Start Sidebar when Windows starts'.

I have not actually tested this myself, but it should work. Some gadgets may not work.

Using 3rd Party Apps


Download and install DesktopCoral and configure it to make a completely transparent bar at the side of your screen, then just move your gadgets over under the 'sidebar'.

Google Desktop

Download and install Google Desktop and use the Google Desktop Sidebar.

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This solution might work for you as well:

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=! works great! – Matthew Lock Aug 11 '12 at 0:50

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