Auto Shutdown Windows 7 Gadgets

Windows Sidebar

Introduction

Windows Sidebar is a long, vertical bar that is displayed on the side of Windows Vista and Windows 7 desktops. It contains mini-programs called gadgets, which offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. It’s a great feature, born of the best of intentions, but unfortunately malware and exploit writers are leveraging gadgets running in Windows Sidebar to potentially take complete control of a user’s computer. This is why Microsoft has retired the feature in newer releases of Windows and recommends that Windows Vista and Windows 7 customers who are concerned about vulnerable or malicious gadgets disable the feature as soon as possible.

Disabling Windows Sidebar and Gadgets

This article will provide beginning and advanced users with several different options for disabling Windows Sidebar and gadgets. This article addresses the following options:

  • Disable Windows Sidebar and gadgets using an automated Fix it solution
  • Disable Windows Sidebar and gadgets using the system registry
  • Disable Windows Sidebar and gadgets using Group Policy

User Accounts window screenshotBefore You Begin

Choose the option for disabling Windows Sidebar and gadgets that best suits your computing environment and level of expertise. If you are implementing the procedure on your personal machine or fewer than two computers, then the Fix it solution is probably the best option for you. However, if you are familiar with working with the registry editor, then the system registry procedure is an option as well. Lastly, if you are a system administrator and Group Policy is enabled on your network, then the Group Policy procedure will allow you to implement the procedure on multiple systems across your network.

Required Credentials

Most of the procedures in this document require an administrative account. A regular user will not be able to perform these tasks.

To determine your user account type on Windows Vista or Windows 7, click Start and then click your user account picture to open the User Accounts window. Your user account type is listed below your user name.

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