How to Add a Sidebar to the Desktop in Windows 10 & 11

Home windows Vista and seven integrated sidebars for its devices alongside the proper aspect of the desktop space. Nevertheless, Microsoft has scrapped sidebars in Home windows since then. Certain, the large M might need partly re-established restricted gadgetry with a widget panel, however that’s not a sidebar.


A sidebar generally is a helpful addition to the Home windows desktop for a lot of issues, akin to including shortcuts. Would you want to revive a sidebar in Microsoft’s newer desktop platforms? In that case, attempt including one among these third-party software program sidebars to Home windows 11 or 10.


MetroSidebar is freeware sidebar software program that includes metro-style reside tiles for widgets. The writer initially launched MetroSidebar so as to add an identical metro-themed sidebar to Home windows 8. It consists of 11 default widgets customers can choose so as to add and take away from the bar. That is how one can add the MetroSidebar to the desktop in Home windows 11 and 10:

  1. Open the MetroSidebar web page on Softpedia.
  2. Choose Obtain Now for MetroSidebar.
  3. Click on Softpedia Safe Obtain (US) to start out the MetroSidebar obtain.
  4. Open the Downloads tab in your net browser and double-click MetroSide_setup.msi to open it from there.
  5. Set up the appliance and restart your PC.
  6. If MetroSidebar doesn’t mechanically begin after the restart, choose to run it out of your Begin menu. You then’ll see a brand new sidebar on the proper aspect of your desktop.

  7. So as to add tiles to the sidebar, click on the button on the backside proper of the sidebar. Choose a tile so as to add, and click on the Plus button for it.

You’ll discover the Tiles window has a Tile Retailer tab. Nevertheless, that retailer is seemingly not accessible since its tab shows a “Connection downside” message. So, you’ll must make do with the default 11 tile widgets that include the sidebar.

Nevertheless, MetroSidebar’s default tile widgets needs to be sufficient to fulfill most customers. The software program consists of climate, battery meter, Bing search, clock, media participant, photos (for slideshows), and alarm tiles amongst others. Every widget has customization choices you possibly can configure by right-clicking it and choosing Tile settings.

If you wish to add software program shortcuts to this sidebar, choose to incorporate its Launcher tile. That tile consists of shortcuts for opening Management Panel, Paint, Notepad, Calculator, Paint, Recycle Bin, and Pc. You may add extra packages to it by clicking the + New Shortcuts button (left-click the tile and drag left to scroll to that possibility). Then choose software program so as to add to the widget and click on Open.

To entry sidebar choices in MetroSidebar, click on the button on the backside of the bar and choose Settings. You may choose whether or not the sidebar mechanically opens by clicking Begin with Home windows within the MetroSidebar settings. Choose At all times on prime for those who favor to maintain the sidebar at all times seen over open home windows.

SideBar is software program designed for creating software program, web site, and file shortcuts. You may’t add any form of devices to that sidebar, however it’s the only option for organising shortcuts. It allows you to create teams of shortcuts accessible on a desktop sidebar. You may add a shortcuts sidebar to Home windows with that software program like this:

  1. Open the web site for SideBar.
  2. Click on the Sidebar model 2.0.7.4 hyperlink to obtain the software program.
  3. Double-click Sidebar.exe in your browser’s Downloads tab to carry up the installer for that software program.
  4. Click on Subsequent twice and Set up within the Sidebar for Home windows setup wizard.
  5. Choose End to exit the setup wizard and begin the software program.

Upon getting Sidebar working:

  1. Click on the SideBar system tray icon to carry up the sidebar straight under.
  2. Choose the Add Group possibility.

  3. Enter a title for a bunch within the textual content field, and choose the Click on to avoid wasting possibility.
  4. Then you possibly can add some shortcuts by clicking + on the newly added group.

  5. Enter a title for the shortcut within the Title field.
  6. Choose the Click on to browse possibility to decide on software program or consumer file for the shortcut to open. If you wish to arrange an internet site shortcut, enter a URL within the Path field.

  7. Press the Click on to avoid wasting button.
  8. Repeat the above steps so as to add as many shortcuts as you want to the sidebar.

You may change the sidebar’s place on the desktop from its system tray context menu. Proper-click the sidebar’s system tray icon to pick out Dock Location and Left or Proper. Add transparency to the sidebar by dragging the slider for the Set opacity bar setting on the menu to the left. You too can maintain the sidebar over software program home windows by choosing At all times on prime.

To customise the sidebar, press its Click on to vary settings (cog) button on the prime. Then you possibly can change the bar’s shade with the Spotlight, Textual content, Background, and Group Background shade drop-down menus. You too can rearrange the teams by dragging them throughout the Group Order field.

Desktop Sidebar is previous software program, however you possibly can nonetheless add a sidebar to Home windows 11 or 10 with it. This sidebar incorporates panels which might be a lot the identical as widgets with totally different capabilities. In contrast to MetroSidebar and SideBar, it consists of totally different pores and skin themes you possibly can select for the sidebar. That is easy methods to add a customizable sidebar to Home windows with that software program:

  1. Open the Softpedia web page for downloading Desktop Sidebar.
  2. Click on Obtain Now and choose the US mirror possibility.
  3. Convey up your net browser’s Downloads tab (press Ctrl + J in Chrome). Click on sidebarb116.exe to open the setup wizard for Desktop Sidebar.
  4. Then undergo the setup wizard by clicking Subsequent 3 times to put in Desktop Sidebar on the default path.
  5. Open Desktop Sidebar to carry up the sidebar proven straight under.

  6. The sidebar consists of quite a few default panels. Nevertheless, you possibly can add extra by right-clicking the sidebar and choosing Add panel.

  7. Choose information, media, system, communication, or panel sort within the window; and click on the Add button.

You may customise panels on the sidebar by right-clicking their titles to carry up context menu choices. Choose Transfer Up and Transfer Down to reposition them. Click on Rename to vary a panel’s title. To alter particular widget choices, choose the Panel Properties possibility.

Fast Launch is the panel on which you’ll add software program, file, and folder shortcuts. To take action, double-click Fast Launch on the sidebar to broaden. Then you possibly can drag-and-drop shortcuts from the desktop and recordsdata and folders in Explorer onto that panel for fast entry.

To alter the sidebar’s pores and skin, choose Choices on the software program’s context menu and click on Look. Then you possibly can select a distinct theme on the Pores and skin drop-down menu. The Look tab additionally consists of settings for repositioning the sidebar, auto-hiding it when not used, and making use of transparency. Press Apply to avoid wasting any choices you’ve got modified.

When you want any assist using Desktop Sidebar, take a look at the software program’s guide. Proper-click the sidebar and choose Assist on the menu. The Overview and Panels sections there present additional particulars for Desktop Sidebar’s choices and panels.

All these freely accessible third-party sidebars present invaluable new locations to stay shortcuts for opening software program in Home windows 11 and 10. As an alternative of cluttering the desktop and taskbar with shortcuts, add them to your put in sidebar. You then’ll have an altogether tidier Home windows desktop space.

Customers who miss the gadget sidebar from Vista may even recognize the extra widget tiles and panels included in MetroSidebar and Desktop Sidebar. They restore the devices in Home windows 10 and supply extra widgets in Home windows 11.

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