Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to disable the sidebar in Windows 7

What? You thought there was no sidebar in Windows 7? Well, you're sort of right. There is no visible bar running down the side of the screen, but sidebar.exe is still there, in the Program Files\Windows Sidebar folder on the drive where Windows is installed. By default it loads at startup and runs in the background to manage the gadgets that you put on your desktop. But if you don't put any gadgets on your desktop, it's just taking up memory for no reason. Here's how to keep it from starting and recover that memory:
1. Click the Start button (or press the Windows logo key) to open the Start menu.
2. In the Search box, type regedit.exe to open the registry editor.
3. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run
4. In the right pane, find the REG_SZ key named Sidebar
5. Right click and select Delete
6. Close the registry editor As always, be sure to back up the registry before making changes to it.