Windows Vista Top Sidebar Gadgets

Windows Vista gadgets can do more than show the time and a calendar. The Windows Vista Sidebar can also be used to install gadgets that are useful such as system utilities that keep track of the resources Windows Vista is using.

Sidebar gadgets have been created that can keep track of how Windows Vista is using your hardware resources and link to 3rd party tools providing you a shortcut to getting information online. Only thing is, if you have a smaller monitor you may find the sidebar a little crowding and using precious screen space. Truth is it was meant for those with a widescreen lcd display so you can keep it running in the foreground. If you ever decide you want to permanently disable the sidebar watch my video tutorial here.

Anyhow, don't worry its not so bad for those with a regular monitor too. Below I have picked some of the best FREE Windows Vista Sidebar gadgets available. Not every gadget comes from Microsoft directly. Actually some of the best ones I have found elsewhere.

By the way in case you didn't know, here are the windows shortcut keyboard combos for using the sidebar:

  • Windows key + spacebar - Select Sidebar and bring all gadgets to the front
  • Windows key + G - Cycle through Sidebar gadgets
  • Tab - Cycle through Sidebar controls
Top Rated, Useful and Interesting Gadgets and add-ons to have:

Multi-Core Meter
Multi Meter (D) is a dual core version that shows you the usage for dual core systems.
The Multi Meter Includes also a Memory usage status.

The WebGuide Gadget allows you to connect to local Media Center or a remote WebGuide server. It allows for full access to the program guide, search, recorded TV and scheduled Recordings. You can even stream live TV when connected to a WebGuide server.
Download here

Mini Inbox 3.0 - Your Inbox messages on your sidebar. Read your email from the sidebar via a flyout. You don't even need to have Outlook open!
Download here

Hobby Lounge - Memory/Core , and hardware usage, very nice set of gadgets.
Download here

Torrent Wrangler - Torrent Wrangler V2 is a powerful sidebar gadget that allows you search 5 popular torrent trackers with one click.
Download here

Calculator -The first ever Vista calculator gadget released on the Live Gallery.
Download here

Recycle Bin - This gadget adds the recycle bin within the gadgets. You can directly view or delete the content of the basket. Drop any items you want to delete onto the basket.
Download here

PowerShell Gadget - PowerShell Gadget is a small gadget that hosts the PowerShell console window in your Sidebar. Download here

The Magic Folder - The Magic Folder is a gadget that helps you categorize and move files. When you drag a file to the gadget it will look at the file extension and place Document files (like doc, xls, ppt, etc) in the Document folder.
Download here

System Control - Aside from the normal Shutdown, Restart, Lock, and StandBy (Hibernate), you can Switch User, Log Off, Task Manager, Run Window, and Command Prompt.
Download here

Sidebar Themes are also available to customize the look.

Sidebar Styler
Windows Sidebar Styler is an application which takes advantage of various technologies introduced in Windows Vista in order to provide extensions to the existing functionality of Windows Sidebar. With the Styler you can customize the skin/theme of the sidebar for example.

Take a look here for a list of themes for the sidebar.

If its wallpaper themes your looking for check out my list here.

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