How to Run Vista Sidebar in 32-bit Mode on 64-bit Vista

I’ve been running 64-bit Vista for some time now and for the most part it has been a very good experience.  Today I was attempting to install a 3rd party sidebar gadget recommended to me by a friend, only to discover the gadget required Flash.  And since Flash does not currently support 64-bit browsers (nor does Silverlight) the gadget’s simple, but handy, help message directed me to a set of instructions on how to configure my system to run the 32-bit version of the Vista sidebar.  As more and more people shift to 64-bit, I thought this useful piece of information may come in handy in the future.

Here are the steps for 64-bit Vista users (only):

1. Right-click the Windows Sidebar and select Properties.
2. Un-check the "Start Sidebar when Windows starts" option and hit OK.
3. Click the green Windows Start Button in the lower left of your screen.
4. Click "All Programs"
5. Scroll down until you see the "Startup" folder
6. Right-click the "Startup" folder and select "Explore"
7. In the window that pops up, right-click the empty white space and select New->Shortcut
8. Copy the following text, including quotes:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe"
9. Paste that copied text into the Shortcut's "Location" field.
10. Click "Next."
11. Click "Finish."
12. Restart Windows Vista 64

Until a 64-bit version of Flash, and for that matter Silverlight, ships for 64-bit Windows, I suspect this issue may present itself time and again to end-users.  Hopefully this simple workaround will help you to easily resolve your problem.

Comments (10)

  1. Jim in Keller says:

    Thank you very much for the tip!  It works perfectly, and now I can set it to whatever time zone and have in 24hr time.  

    It is a great help to me.

  2. angeleyez says:

    i can’t find a startup in my all programs.

  3. angeleyez says:

    i can’t find a startup folder in my all programs.

  4. It’s not there..

    – Start | Run | regedit

    – Stick the quoted path in HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRunSidebar


  5. Oh, and I did these other things too:

    – Didn’t put the quotes

    – Included the /AutoRun

    – Ctrl-Shift-Esc and killed the sidebar.exe processes, then copied my path from the Sidebar reg key and pasted into Start | Run instead of rebooting..


  6. Bruno says:

    Thank you very much, good sir. Your advice worked like a charm. I can see all my old gagdets again in all their glory.

  7. Anthony says:

    So yeah i went to the follow theese steps says i can do it for windows vista OR 7 how can i do it for 7?

  8. newguy says:

    dumb question. Step 1, what does it mean right click windows sidebar? there is no sidebar.

    I can’t get into the sidebar settings.

    running windows 7

  9. newguy says:

    dumb question. Step 1, what does it mean right click the sidebar? there is no sidebar, so how do i disable it from starting with windows?

    running windows 7

  10. I was having trouble getting Pandora to run on 64-bit Windows 7 and came across this posting  Doesn’t work perfectly, but it does explain how to automatically launch the 32-bit Sidebar instead of the 64-bit one automatically every time you log in.

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