How to Add a Sidebar to Your Windows Desktop


A Windows sidebar was a graphical control element located on the right side of the desktop. An integral part of Windows Vista, it functioned as a container for mini-programs called “gadgets”.

Even though Microsoft discontinued it on the latest versions of Windows, with a little creativity and workarounds, you can get it back quickly. In this guide, we’ll dive into the exact method to add a sidebar to your Windows. So let’s get started right away.

How to Add a Sidebar to Your Windows Desktop

Since Microsoft officially retired the sidebar in later versions of Windows, the only way to get one is through third-party software. All you have to do is install the software, launch it and it will create the sidebar for you.

Now, there are a plethora of sidebar apps. So which one do you choose? Here, we’re only going to suggest two apps that do the job well enough and feel pretty lightweight at the same time. They are by no means the best or the only ones you should use; these are just the ones we found that do the job without any issues.

1. 8GadgetsPack

8GadgetsPack is a simple, minimalist app that makes it easy to use a sidebar on your Windows PC. To get started with 8GadgetsPack, just go to the official website and get the installer from there.

When the download is complete, install and launch the app. When you first open the app, you will see the main menu like this:

8gadgetpack app menu

Click on Add gadget… in the main menu, and as soon as you do that, a sidebar will be added in the right corner of your desktop. You will also get the main menu which lets you choose from a host of gadgets that you can add to the sidebar.

2. MetroSidebar

MetroSidebar is another free app that will add sidebar to your Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. As the name suggests, the app adds a sidebar to your PC, giving it a shiny and retro look.


To get started, first get the MetroSidebar installer and then install it on your Windows. As soon as you are done with the installation, you will be prompted for a quick reboot to complete the installation. Save all your work and click Yes to complete the installation.

After restarting, you will need to launch the tool manually. Head to the The start menu search bar, type “metrosidebar” and select the best match. The tool will be launched. Here’s what it will look like…


You can add new tiles to your sidebar by clicking on the sidebar button. Just click on the More button to add the tile.

Add and use sidebars on Windows 10 or Windows 11

Microsoft has made sidebars a thing of the past. But if you’re a passionate enthusiast, you don’t have to settle. By using third-party applications provided by a multitude of sources, you can easily create a sidebar for your Windows. In fact, this freedom to customize things is what keeps us coming back to Windows in the first place. Like sidebars, there are still plenty of things you can customize through your Windows; From customizing your Windows icons to changing taskbar settings, Windows helps you do it all.

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