Microsoft drops support for Windows 7 Gadgets and Sidebar

The message from Microsoft is clear. They are not going to support Windows 7 Gadgets in its futuristic OS i.e Windows 8. The message can be seen below.

More about Windows 8 Desktop Apps

Desktop gadgets

Because we want to focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows, the Windows website no longer hosts the gadget gallery. Gadgets installed from untrusted sources can harm your computer and can access your computer’s files, show you objectionable content, or change their behavior at any time. If you are concerned about the safety of gadgets you’ve downloaded in the past, you can learn more about gadgets and steps you can take to protect your PC. Some info for developers: You can now use your HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript skills to build modern apps for Windows 8. To get started developing modern apps, go toWindows Dev Center.

According to “”, the actual reason behind removing the  sidebar and gadgets was different. It appears that there were vulnerabilities in Sidebar Gadgets, and Remote Code Execution was possible which could be a secure threat to the computer.


Articles that will improve your Windows 7 information and knowledge

In its Security Advisory 2719662, Microsoft thanked Mickey Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg for working with them regarding this security loop hole. The two security researchers made a point that instead of sending an executable, you can just send a “sidebar gadget” to hack into  your computer or do a security breach of your Windows system.

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Very sooner, Microsoft recommended Windows 7 and Vista users to disable the Sidebar gadgets and also released an automated “Fix It”. The Fix It will automatically and quickly disable the Sidebar and the Desktop Gadgets. “Fix It”  can be downloaded from KB2719662.

How to Disable the Windows 7 Gadgets & Sidebar Manually?

Open Control Panel > Uninstall Programs > Turn Windows Features on or off.


Here uncheck the Windows Gadget Platform and click OK. This will turn off the Windows Gadget Platform and the Gadgets. You may have to reboot. Now if you right click on the desktop, you will see that the Gadget option does not exist.

Windows Desktop Gadgets are a sort of mini-applications which are based on CSS, Script and HTML. These Windows 7 Gadgets are used to display information like CPU, RAM usage, system properties, RSS feeds or to launch and control applications. You can also use Windows 7 gadgets to display a picture slide show or view continuously updated headlines.


A Windows SideShow Gadget is one written by programming against the Windows SideShow Platform API. Windows SideShow is a technology introduced in Windows Vista that enables Windows PCs to drive a variety of auxiliary display devices connected to the main PC.

In Windows 7 you will not find Windows SideShow in the Control Panel, unlike in Vista. But the SideShow icon appears when you install a compatible device.


While in Windows Vista, the Sidebar starts multiple instances of the sidebar.exe process. In Windows 7, only one instance of the sidebar.exe process starts. Moreover, this single instance does not start until a gadget is added to the desktop.  

Want to know more about Windows 7 Applications tweaks

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The Gadget Picker starts, or a new user session starts with existing gadgets on the desktop. If the Gadget Picker is closed with no gadgets added to the desktop, or the last gadget is deleted from the desktop, the sidebar.exe process stops automatically.

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