WTF… Where did my sidebar go?
Its a question many of us have been asking ourselves since Windows 7 was released.
When the Sidebar was released in Windows Vista; it was a case of either you liked it or you hated it. I was one of those people who liked it because it made Widgets/Gadgets usable to me.
Before the Sidebar, I never used Gadgets because it required me to clear my desktop to see them, and I wasn’t one to memorise shortcuts or even wanted to do that to check something as simple as the time or see how much RAM I had left.
The Sidebar had this nifty feature where you could make it stay above all windows and keep that gadgets docked there, on top of windows as well. The windows when maximised would never go below the sidebar or on top of it, it would align to the side of the Sidebar as it would to the edge of the screen.
In Windows 7, Microsoft removed the Sidebar entirely instead of making it optional. Not only was this stupid, but it warranted someone being kicked in the balls.
In an attempt to thwart these change in events, I found 2 ways to reinstate the Gadget Sidebar In Windows 7. However one of them requires some major hacking of windows files and there are still some incompatibilities with Windows 7 even after you get all of that done. It can be found here Reinstate Vista Windows Sidebar on Windows 7; use at your own risk. The other solution is much simpler and is relatively pain free.
The Gadget Sidebar Gadget ~ Windows 7 Sidebar
A developer, Helmut Buhler, developed a Gadget that replicated the main function of the Vista Sidebar. Called Windows 7 Sidebar, it emulated the Vista Sidebar, while adding a Window-Manager with Live-Thumbnails. The extra features are potentially useful, but are well placed so they are easily ignored if you don’t want to use them.
Overall this is a great standby option until Microsoft decides to officially bring back the sidebar.