Windows Vista Sidebar For Windows XP

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 15, 2008
Updated • Nov 15, 2008
Software, Windows, Windows software, Windows Vista, Windows XP

One of the more visible changes of the Windows Vista operating system was the Windows Vista Sidebar which made it possible to put so called gadgets on the Windows Desktop. Gadgets are small applications that can display all kinds of information such as RSS news feeds, contacts or system information.

Many Windows Vista users like the Windows Sidebar, others feel that it is to restricted to one part of the screen. Microsoft has already announced that they will change that behavior in Windows 7 so that users can place gadgets wherever they want on the desktop.

It was only a matter of time until someone would port the Windows Vista Sidebar to Windows XP. Joshoon managed to port the real Windows Sidebar to Windows XP by making use of Alky For Applications. You might remember Alky from the time when Windows Vista came out. That was at the same time when Microsoft announced Vista only applications and Alky was supposed to make them compatible with Windows XP (like the games Shadowrun or Halo 2)

The pack includes three different applications that are needed to install, display and maintain the Windows Vista Sidebar in Windows XP. First there is Alky For Applications which can simply be installed. Once that is done the Windows Vista Sidebar can be installed and will be operational afterwards. The pack comes with many gadgets and a tool called Gadget Gallery which can be used to add new gadgets to the sidebar.

Already available gadgets can be added by right-clicking the sidebar and selecting a gadget from the list of installed gadgets. Each gadget can be added by right-clicking it and selecting Add from the context menu.

Even more interesting than this is the ability to download gadgets from the Windows Vista Gallery site over at Microsoft. It requires some manual work but it's easily done and works perfectly fine. The gadget needs to be downloaded and unpacked. It comes with the .gadget extension but it can easily be unpacked by most unpackers. Worked fine with 7-zip.

The directory that will be created by unpacking the .gadget file, adding the .gadget extension to the root directory of it and moving it to the Shared Gadgets directory of the sidebar application.

One interesting feature is the ability to detach a gadget from the sidebar so that it can be moved freely around on the desktop.

The Sidebar requires roughly 20 Megabytes of computer memory when displaying the default three gadgets.


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  1. Will said on November 15, 2008 at 6:24 am

    How interesting! Thanks for the post Martin.

  2. garbanzo said on November 15, 2008 at 7:58 am

    works fine, but i uninstalled it after realizing most of the available gadgets are crap, and the decent ones can’t be customized very easily.

    i’ll stick with avedesk :)

  3. Josh said on November 16, 2008 at 10:57 am

    In Vista the sidebar can be placed on either the left or right of the screen or turned off so that the gadgets sit anywhere on the desktop.

    Windows 7 just removes the sidebar totally.

  4. WB3000 said on November 17, 2008 at 2:34 am

    There has been a patched version out for a long time…

  5. mahirharoon said on November 17, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    so what about windows se7en

  6. SaNty KarDona said on December 3, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    is exellent you aport

  7. manivannan said on January 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    it’s really very useful and also esy to use

  8. manivannan said on January 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    please allow to download easily

  9. Alfred said on January 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    thank you and more success

  10. Indresh said on January 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    It Is good.

  11. mauericks said on January 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    thaks !
    that so good!

  12. Anonymous said on February 3, 2009 at 1:16 am

    how to download?

  13. thach said on February 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    how to download?

  14. Nick Anetee said on February 23, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Interesting. I don’t need to upgrade to Vista just for the sidebar. My Windows XP is working well until next century (22nd)

  15. ahmed said on March 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    nice but where is the download link?

  16. Anonymous said on March 9, 2009 at 4:29 am

    I used to have alot more gadget options for sidebar when I bought this computer back in January and now I have maybe 6-7 maybe and told to download them off a website. Can someone please explain why? Thanks.

  17. Anonymous said on March 22, 2009 at 5:46 am

    wheres the download link???

  18. Dennis said on March 25, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Martin its great what you have done but you dont show the proper links to download the software?

  19. Ahmet said on March 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    please download me sidebar

  20. kenshiro said on March 29, 2009 at 9:38 am

    how to download?

  21. Ringahora said on April 1, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Can anybody tell me where to go for those cool sidebars with the items stored in them, that fade in and out when they are clicked onto? Heaps better than the boring stationary ones!!

  22. mohamed amer said on April 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    thanks alot for this

  23. lu said on April 20, 2009 at 5:04 am

    can anyone tell me where the fu.. is the download link, where to click and how to download

  24. bartman2589 said on May 23, 2009 at 12:08 am

    For all of the idiots that are so clueless that they can’t mouseover highlighted text and figure out that it’s a link. In this case the authors name (Joshoon) in the third paragraph of the page. The authors name is a link that will take you to his deviantart page where you can download the files, the download icon will be on the left side of the page and will look like a computer screen with an orange display, when you mouseover it the panel expand and you see the word ‘Download’.

    1. Mike Corbeil said on October 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

      bartman2589 wrote on May 23, 2009 at 12:08 am :


      For all of the idiots that are so clueless that they can’t mouseover highlighted text and figure out that it’s a link. In this case the authors name (Joshoon) in the third paragraph of the page. The authors name is a link that will take you to his deviantart page where you can download the files, the download icon will be on the left side of the page and will look like a computer screen with an orange display, when you mouseover it the panel expand and you see the word ‘Download’.

      End quote

      There at least no longer is a download icon at, and the download link isn’t on the left-hand-side of the page. It just a link and is in the upper right-hand corner of the page, or it at least is for me. I’m using Firefox 16.0.1 and the download link is called “Download file” with a downward pointing green arrow to the left of the link, and text saying “RAR download 14.3 MB” just beneath the link.

      It couldn’t be made easier to find.

  25. good said on May 31, 2009 at 5:20 am

    you can also use google sidebar..barely a difference

  26. zizogalal said on June 2, 2009 at 1:11 am


  27. Vlad RO said on June 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

    e super programul…. Keep up the good work

  28. Anonymous said on June 21, 2009 at 7:48 am


  29. Fazli S said on July 9, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Thanks for this hack :)

  30. gnanamuthu said on July 11, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    very goooooooooooooooood website

  31. khalodah said on July 25, 2009 at 12:20 am

    thanks !
    its so great

  32. Anonymous said on October 8, 2009 at 11:02 pm


  33. Vario said on October 21, 2009 at 11:07 am
  34. Anonymous said on October 26, 2009 at 12:56 am


  35. hi said on February 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

    guyz i dont knwo where and how to download it

  36. Anonymous said on December 15, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    It is a good service to facilitate the youngsters

  37. Ricardo said on January 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    não estou conseguindo estalar

  38. Kang said on March 11, 2011 at 6:45 am

    how to download?

  39. Jacob Leo Sunny said on July 20, 2011 at 7:18 am

    wow its a cool software.
    But from where to download?

  40. ALABI said on August 16, 2011 at 4:40 am

    it will be interesting, if a can get it at last

  41. papogi said on October 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    doesn’t work full of crap…help me how to resolved this…

  42. Mike Corbeil said on October 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Malware alert from Avira Antivir, the free version and current, updated:

    Firstly, hello.

    I just tried uploading the .RAR download file for Joshoon’s Windows Sidebar for Vista ported to XP to and the locally installed Antivir (free version and updated daily) prevented the upload, reporting a Security Alert. Antivir reports having detected TR/Patched.GY.3 in the installer file, Windows_Sidebar_Installer.exe, and I’d like to get some feedback about this.

    Seeking help asap, I also tried to directly contact Joshoon using his website,, but the website requires entering or typing over (the page says to “type over”, rather than “enter”) a security code and none is shown. If we don’t do that and click submit anyway, then the page simply refreshes and the user’s name, email address, and message are cleraed.
    And it happens with Firefox 16.0.1, updated Opera, as well as with MSIE. I tried all three and the security code doesn’t appear in any of these three browsers.

    So I hope to be able to get some feedback from the editor(s). Meanwhile, I’ll keep the sidebar download and just won’t try to install it.

    Your help or feedback will obviously be appreciated and I thank you in advance for this.

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