How to bring back your stock Vista sidebar gadgets

 I long ago deleted the stock RSS gadget in Vista since I wasn’t using it.  Just the other day I decided I wanted it back for a special application.  All is not lost.  Those gadgets are stored in Program Files, presumably just to prevent people like me from doing permanent damage.  I found the following step in the online help articles to recover the gadget.

Note: If you uninstall gadgets that came with Windows, you can restore them to the Gadget Gallery by following these steps:

a. Open Windows Sidebar properties by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Windows Sidebar Properties.

b. Click Restore gadgets installed with Windows.

Windows Vista Help: Customize Windows Sidebar

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Comments (17)

  1. It is only grayed out for me after I click it, or if I return to the UI after the gadgets have already been restored.  If you click the plus sign at the top of the sidebar, do you see the gadgets on the next screen?

  2. Anonymous says:

    "Restore gadgets installed with Windows" is grayed out in my Maintenance tab. Now what?

  3. Tom Staal says:

    Thanks a lot!!! This was my first hit when googling the web to find a solution to get back my stock gadget! I have uninstalled it by accident…


    Tom Staal

    The Netherlands

  4. wendy says:

    My "restore…." button is grayed out as well.  How do I make it so I can click it??

  5. John Pendensky says:

    My restore icons button is also grayed out i cannot click on it and when i go to current icons it’s empty? what to i do so that i can click on the restore icons tab?

  6. sunny says:

    If you can’t get your taskbar back:

    1. Look at the bottom right of the taskbar where all the icons of the running programs are located.

    2. Right-click "Windows Sidebar".

    3. Click "Properties".

    4. Check "Sidebar is always on top of other windows".

    (After the sidebar opens)

    5. Uncheck "Sidebar is always on top of other windows".

    That’s it! Your sideback should be back to normal!

  7. tomax7 says:

    …thank you! thank you! thank you!

    What a retarded way.  I went all over Microsoft’s site looking to download the Stock widg…err gadget and got everything else, except the original one.

    You’d think they’d have on the add gadget window an option to select which icons to resore/add.

  8. Karsten says:

    I found out that you can restore the sirebar by deleting the settings.ini file in your user folder.

    However my problem is, that when I click on "Add gadget…" in the menu or on the little + on top – nothing happens. Absolutely nothing.

    Anyone knows why?

  9. my gadgets are there but are not open; there is no wrench icon beside them says:

    I have done something to deleter the gadgets.  For example, I have a round circle where the clock should be with a red hand at 12; the weather is just a white rectangle with an "i" in corner.

  10. meema says:

    Thank you! Before I found your solution, I found a whole bunch of useless answers to the problem.  THANKS AGAIN!

  11. Jane says:

    Thanks this was so helpful! 🙂

  12. basic15 says:

    The solution above about always on top did not work for me,  vista sp2

  13. Magalie says:

    Thanks this was very helpful. Your explanations were so clear.

  14. What the heck says:

    I've read all the above, tried everything and still nothing works. What is so difficult about this. Pretty dumb Microsoft programming, or do they delight is making things so stupidly difficult

  15. Joe says:

    WOW……that worked perfectly. Its back……Thanks Michael Greene

  16. tasos,athens says:

    No matter how long and how many times I have tried to have my Vista calendar gadget restored,I failed. As for the "Restore gadgets installed with Windows",button,it is shown greyed on my laptop,with no access to click it..
    Any further help or idea would appreciated.(e-mail:

  17. Cauchon, Pamela says:

    Right in the middle of composing an e-mail, my computer opened a small window indicating the side bar had stopped working. When I concluded my email indeed it was gone I have tried the helps area on my computer and some online conversations to find a possible
    solution to no avail. I checked My Norton Anti-virus and it stated " IP address has disappeared from adapter Microsoft 6 to 4 Adapter #13 (IP address 2002: 462 a):6fd::462):61fd). What does that mean?