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Using the Sidebar and Gadgets in Windows Vista

Discover how to easily use the Sidebar and Gadgets in Windows Vista


 Using the Sidebar and Gadgets in Windows Vista

 One unique and brand new feature that was introduced in Windows Vista is the Sidebar and Gadgets functionality for your desktop.  The Sidebar is an application that remains open on your desktop that will have Gadgets in them that you are able to view or interact with.  These Gadgets will be much like items that you might have on your smart phone screen showing you the time, updated stocks, RSS feeds, and other small applications that you are able to use.

This Sidebar generally sits off to the right side of the screen taking advantage of the larger space that most people have on high resolution monitors to provide additional information and functionality to your desktop.  If you want to use this, it's very easy to do in Windows Vista by following a few simple steps.

To open the Sidebar if it's not open already, you will click on Start, then All Programs, Accessories, and finally Windows Sidebar to open the application.  If you ever should close the application, this will get it back open for you again.

Once it's open, you can customize it with Gadgets.  Gadgets are the small programs that will run on the Sidebar.  At the top of the Sidebar will be a plus sign that you can click on.  This will bring up available Gadgets that you will be able to open up and use.

Once you find a Gadget that you want to use, simply double click on it to install it to the Sidebar.  You can also drag and drop the Gadget if you would like that better.

You can also take a Gadget off the Sidebar and leave it on the desktop running all by itself.  You will have to select the move button at the bottom of the Gadget to place it anywhere you want.  This is for users who might want to place the Gadget in a different location or for users that do not like having the Sidebar open all the time.

Windows Vista comes with a variety of Gadgets for you to use, but there are many more that you can download online.  Most Gadgets are free although there are some paid ones available as well.  If you want more Gadgets, perform a search on the internet to be able to find what might be available for you.  There are thousands to select from.  Once you see what other people are doing, you might want to add similar functionality.

A word of warning for those with slower machine is that the Sidebar and Gadgets are going to be using system resources.  If everything is sluggish, you might turn these off to be have better functionality with your computer.

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