How to fix corrupt Windows Gadget (Sidebar.exe)

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Comments: 36 Comments
Published on: December 28, 2010

Recently, my Windows 7 gadgets became corrupt. It was not displaying properly. Some were black and others completely disappeared. There are several fixes out there but this is how I fixed mine.

Try this only if you’re comfortable using regedit.

  1. Start Windows Task Manager by right clicking dock bar at the bottom and select Star Windows Task Manager. The same can be accomplished by doing Ctrl-Alt-Del.
  2. Find Sidebar.exe. Highlight then click End Process.
  3. Click the windows start button. Under the search type: regedit. This will launch the Registry Editor.
  4. Navigate to this key:  [HKEY_CURRENT_USER]\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\
  5. Delete the key
  6. Restart Windows sidebar.exe which is located in Program Files\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe

That should restore your Windows Gadget.

36 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. H says:

    This saved me. I couldn’t find it anywhere else…thanks so much!!!

  2. abdulahad says:

    i appreciate your work as i have been looking to the cure to this problem i am graet ful tahnks

  3. Xagor Xagor says:

    I’ve been getting a lot of hits for this fix since published and I know it had helped many of you. I would really appreciate some sort of feedback. A simple thank you is good enough. =)

  4. Steve says:

    Thanks for the How To! This fixed my issues. I like your site too!

  5. howl says:

    You really saved my day.spent hours on fixing the sidebar.==’….thx very very much..

  6. arif says:

    thanks a lot for your advice.it works.

  7. rayjensen says:

    thank you!!! looking everywhere for this fix! now i can listen to i/net radio again!!

  8. mark says:

    thank you so much! i’ve been looking for this fix for 2 weeks now. this saves me from a lot of pain. thanks!

  9. qaz says:

    please help me and tell which one to delete i followed all the instructions in the last step when i opened (zones) there were folders under it which have other folder under it named as
    ;l
    ;0
    ;1
    ;2
    ;3
    ;4
    which have also no. of keys tell me please which one to delete i very very irritated from my corrupted gadgets,,..

  10. QAZ says:

    i followed your instrucyions and restored my gadgets but after sometime when i restarted my computer my gadgets again corrupted please help me out,,..

    • Xagor Xagor says:

      Make sure you delete the entire “Zones” key. Right click on “Zones” from the registry and select delete.

      • QAZ says:

        i worked but aftersomecwhen i again switched on my computer it gadgets get again corrupted and i have to delete zone keys again pls help me i’m very very irritated from it

        • Xagor Xagor says:

          Sounds like another software or program is corrupting the gadgets on re-start. You might want to check your startup programs that windows loads when it boots up. If you do not know how to do that let me know, then I would disable anything that you do not use or do not recognize. Also, if you had installed a software prior to the gadgets being corrupted, uninstall it and see if it gets corrupted again. Lastly, always run a virus scan or anti-malware scanner to ensure you are not infected with rogue programs. Good luck.

  11. QAZ says:

    i scanned my pc with eset secuirity it shows that my pc has 28 inflatrations after sacan i followed your instructions and restored my gadgets luckily my gadgets stayed in next log on but after another log on gadgets again corruplted what do you think about system restore and tell me what data i can loss,,..

  12. QAZ says:

    yes i downloaded mistakenely a keygen from a warez site igot installed like a normal software but i didnt find it anywhere and neither im able to find it in the list of installed programs,,..

  13. QAZ says:

    i forget to mention that some of my pc programs are not functioning slightly unusual the mousepad of my laptop doesnt respond when i try to slide down the page on my web browser or on my pc the touch line printed on moused of laptop to slide the page down do you think it is a driver malfunction

    • Xagor Xagor says:

      You can attempt to do a system restore. You would lose any programs you installed after the restore point. However, it does not guarantee that whatever rogue program that got installed in your computer would get deleted as well. I suggest re-running your scans after you do a system restore.

      As far as your touchpad on your computer, sounds like a driver issue. You might want to re-install the driver that came with your laptop. However, the system restore might fix that issue as well. Good Luck!

  14. QAZ says:

    i want to perform a system retsore please tell me what kind of data i will lose like c drive which contains windows or another drive tell me about the data loss,,..

    • Xagor Xagor says:

      You would lose any programs you’ve installed and all changes to the system after the restore point. No data should be affected. You can read more here.

  15. Robin Monteiro says:

    Wonderful is not the word!!
    Brilliant!!

  16. denz says:

    tnx it works

    • Xagor Xagor says:

      Glad it works for you. Thanks for the feedback.

      • denz says:

        r u a programmer..??

        • Xagor Xagor says:

          Nope. Wish I am =)

          • denz says:

            but how do you know that?? hmm but tnx 4 it ,I solve my computer problem.. do you have a facebook account if you don’t mind can i add u??? if its ok 2 u!

          • Xagor Xagor says:

            I’ve been working with computers (hardware/software) for many years. Even though it’s not my profession, in all my job, I’m either directly or indirectly in charge of IT. I do know how to troubleshoot and most of the time figure things out. It also helps that I was a Computer Science major in college prior to switching to my current field.

            Sorry, I’m not into the “social network” thing. In fact, I stated my stance on the subject on the front page of my blog. I have a lot of privacy concerns. Although Google+ looks promising. Anyone want to send me an invite? lol

  17. denz says:

    ah.ok but thanks again….

  18. Ray says:

    Thanks! This fixed my problem!

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