Fix Window’s Gadgets That Stop Working

Sometimes, if your computer is shut off unexpectedly your Windows 7 Gadgets may stop displaying information correctly. Below you will find different ways that you can correct this issue. I’ll put some of the common ways to fix it and then I’ll save the best for last.

Method 1.

Step 1 – Launch Task Manager (taskmgr.exe or Ctrl+Atl+Delete>Start Task Manager>Processes), select the sidebar.exe process and terminate it if it’s running

Step 2 – Windows Key+R and in the Run Box type “%LOCALAPPDATA%Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\”

Step 3 – For safe keeping, make a copy of Settings.ini

Step 4 – Double-click Settings.ini to open it in Notepad (or Notepad++ <- my favorite editor).

Step 5 – Configuration settings for the last installed desktop gadget is usually located at the end of the INI file. Using the PrivateSetting_GadgetName line as the hint, locate the corresponding [Section #], select all lines underneath and delete it. Then simply select all lines underneath and delete it.Leave no spaces between rows by deleting any blank spaces.

Then, move to the top of the INI file, and delete the Section# line that references the offending gadget. As you’ve removed the entries in [Section 5], also delete the following line:

Step 6 – Right-click on the Desktop, and click Gadgets. This starts the Sidebar.exe process and shows the gadgets listed in the Settings.ini file.

Other Idea – If you don’t want to go through having to do all of that work to the .ini file you can just rename your Settings.ini file (this will cause your Sidebar application to think all settings are lost and it will rebuild a fresh one).


Method 2.

Step 1 – Download the gadget reset batch file by clicking here.

Step 2 – Click on Save (if prompted), and save the .bat file to your desktop.

Step 3 – Right click on the downloaded .bat file and click on Run as administrator.

Step 4 – You will see a command prompt flash open and close as the .bat file runs.

Step 5 – When finished, restart the computer to apply.


Method 3.

For those who prefer to turn UAC off (like myself) and still use Windows 7 gadgets on their desktops, here is a simple registry fix to resolve the problem of Windows 7 Gadgets not working when UAC is turned off. This is the method that has historically worked for me.

Step 1 – Windows Key+R and in the Run Box type “regedit.exe”

Step 2 – Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Sidebar \ Settings.

Now, if “Settings” doesn’t exists you can right-click and create the folder called “Settings”.

Step 3 – Right Click on the right pan of the registry editor and Create A New DWORD (of 32 Bit Value). Name it “AllowElevatedProcess” and set its value as “1”.

Step 4 – Close the registry


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