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. Part of Windows Vista, it served as a container for mini-programs called “gadgets”.

Even though Microsoft has discontinued it in later versions of Windows, with a little creativity and workarounds, you can get it back quickly. In this guide, we’ll break down the exact method for adding a sidebar to Windows. So let’s get started right away.

How to add a sidebar to the Windows desktop

Since Microsoft has officially retired the sidebar in later versions of Windows, the only way to get one now 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 out there. So which one do you choose? Here, we’ll just suggest two apps that do the job pretty well and seem pretty light at the same time. These are by no means the best or the only ones you should use; they are simply the ones we have found that do the job without problems.

1. Pack of 8 gadgets

8GadgetsPack is a simple minimalist app that makes using a sidebar on your Windows PC a breeze. To get started with 8GadgetsPack, simply go to the official website and grab the installer from there.

Installing the 8gadgetpack app

Once 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 gadgets … from the main menu, and as soon as you do that, a sidebar will be added to the right corner of your desktop. You will also have the main menu which allows you to choose from a number of gadgets that you can add to the sidebar.

2. Metro sidebar

MetroSidebar is another free app that will add the 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 bright, retro look.


To get started, first grab the MetroSidebar installer and then install it on Windows. As soon as you have finished the installation, you will be prompted to reboot quickly to complete the installation. Save all your work and click on Yes to complete the installation.

After rebooting, you will need to start the tool manually. Head to 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 panes to the sidebar by clicking sidebar button. Just click More button to add the card.

Adding and using sidebars on Windows 10 or Windows 11

Microsoft has made sidebars a thing of the past. But if you are a passionate enthusiast, you don’t have to settle for it. Using third-party applications provided by a number of sources, you can easily insert a sidebar for Windows. In fact, this freedom to customize things is what makes us go back to Windows in the first place. Like the sidebars, there are still a lot of things you can customize through Windows; Whether it’s customizing icons on Windows or tweaking taskbar settings, Windows helps you do it all.

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