How to Turn off Windows 7 Sidebar

Written by oliver w. jones
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How to Turn off Windows 7 Sidebar
The Windows 7 sidebar is easy to remove. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

The Windows 7 sidebar is a vertical bar on the left side of your Windows desktop. The sidebar can contain several small programs, or gadgets, that provide quick information at a glance. Gadgets include a calendar, clock, system performance meter and many others. You decide what, if any, gadgets are displayed in the sidebar. However, there are two methods for completely removing the sidebar if you do not want it on your desktop.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Windows 7

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    Turn Off the Sidebar Using the Control Panel

  1. 1

    Click the "Start" icon and select "Control Panel."

  2. 2

    Click the "Programs" link.

  3. 3

    Click "Turn Windows Features On or Off" under the "Programs and Features" section.

  4. 4

    Scroll down until you find "Windows Gadget Platform" and remove the check from the box.

  5. 5

    Click "OK" then click the red "Close" button to close the Control Panel.

  6. 6

    Restart the computer. When Windows has loaded, right-click anywhere on the desktop. Notice that the "Gadgets" option is no longer available on the menu. Any existing gadgets will be gone and you can no longer add new ones.

    Turn off the Sidebar Using the MSConfig File

  1. 1

    Click the "Start" icon. Then type "msconfig" in the Search field and press "Enter."

  2. 2

    Click the "Startup" tab.

  3. 3

    Scroll down until you find "C:\Program files\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe /auto Run." Remove the check from the box. Click "Apply" then click "OK" to close the window.

  4. 4

    Restart the computer. The sidebar and any gadgets have been deleted.

Tips and warnings

  • MSConfig, or Microsoft System Configuration Utility, is a program for troubleshooting and managing the Windows start-up process. Be careful editing the MSConfig file. Any mistakes you make can cause serious problems when Windows starts.
  • To turn on the sidebar, repeats the steps listed above and reselect the check box.

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