How do I fix crashed windows

How to Fix Your Vista Sidebar Crashed or Stuck

If you are installing a lot of different Vista gadgets, you may have encountered a situation where your Vista sidebar will stop working properly, or it may even crash or (more often) just hang. You can reset the sidebar to its default settings with a simple tweak that we explain here.

This optimization is as simple as backing up and renaming a file. When the sidebar is restarted, the default settings will be restored.

Note: If you restore the default settings, you will need to add your gadgets back to the sidebar. Hardly a problem if your sidebar stops working.

Close the sidebar

You want to make sure the sidebar is completely closed before doing anything else. Just because you can't see the sidebar doesn't mean it's not running in the background.

First, right-click the sidebar icon in the system tray and then select Exit. (Background image found here)

You should receive a message asking if you really want to close the program.

Next, you want to check Task Manager to make sure there are no sidebar.exe processes that shouldn't be running. If it does, just right click on it and select "End Process".

Reset the sidebar to the default settings

Open a Windows Explorer window and paste the following into the address bar:

% localappdata% microsoftWindows Sidebar

This will open the sidebar gadgets folder, which should contain a file called Settings.ini.

You want to rename this file to a different file, or at least make a backup copy of the file in a different location. This file contains your current sidebar configuration.

As soon as you restart the sidebar from the start menu, you will notice that a new Settings.ini is created immediately.

If you are still having problems with a gadget, you can open the gadget folder shown above and see a list of all the gadgets that the user has installed:

You can delete any of these folders if you want (always back up your files first).

With any luck, you should now have a working sidebar.