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I'm trying desperately to find a possible replacement to the dockable sidebar in Google Desktop.

I've fallen in love with having my widescreen-estate able to "HUD" me to things like my weather, news, mail, and even the random images.

Problem is that I want more than the Google Desktop sidebar wants to give (better placement of components, more than one bar, etc...).

I figure there has to be something out there like this (at least I really, REALLY hope there is).

I would figure someone like StarDock would have done this already (with their crazy desktops and all), but I just looked over their site and didn't see anything there.

Perhaps a freeware with a big community that has tons of plugins... please?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Why not use Windows Sidebar that comes free with Windows Vista?

From the site:

Windows Sidebar is a long, vertical bar that is displayed on the side of your desktop. It contains mini-programs called gadgets, which offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. For example, you can use gadgets to display a picture slide show, view continuously updated headlines, or look up contacts.

The Windows Sidebar has been removed from Windows 7.

There's also Desktop Sidebar, which is freeware.

To run multiple instances of the Sidebar, follow these instructions:

From their Desktop Sidebar FAQ:

Open up any simple text editor like notepad. Enter the lines below or copy and paste them.

cd Program Files\desktop sidebar\

dsidebar.exe -config "Desktop Sidebar 2"


The "Desktop Sidebar 2" tells windows to run a instance of Desktop Sidebar with the name "Desktop Sidebar 2". This can be done as "Desktop Sidebar 3" or anything you like, just remeber that changing the name of it will get rid of all your settings for that instance, unless you rename it the same.

Click file > Save As > Browse to the root of your C: Drive. > Enter Sidebar.bat as the Filename > Choose All Files as the File type > Click Save

Locate the file and right click it > Chose Send To > Desktop (Create Shortcut). Now you can run the second instance of DS anytime you want to by clicking the shortcut.

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Do either of these support multiple bars or more control over the positioning and the like? – Lance May Jul 12 '10 at 20:54
Windows Sidebar, no-- I don't think so. For Desktop Sidebar, yes-- according to their FAQ which I've updated in my answer. – spong Jul 12 '10 at 21:16
This software (Desktop Sidebar) is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a bunch! – Lance May Jul 13 '10 at 18:14
note for people who are looking for a sidebar with integrated Google Calendar: doesn't exist for "Desktop Sidebar". There is a user-developed "list of events" extracting these from GCal, but nothing that looks like a real calendar, allowing to switch months or look up other activities than the ones of the next 7 days. :/ – richey Nov 20 '14 at 18:05

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