What is sidebar.exe

I’ve seen a lot of feedback about the sidebar.exe process running on Windows. I thought it might be beneficial to add some more information about it.

What is sidebar.exe - It’s a genuine Microsoft process / application seen in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is not dangerous, a virus or malware orientated.

In Windows Vista: It is responsible for displaying gadgets in a bar, usually docked down one side of the screen or screens, hence the term sidebar.

In Windows 7: Like in Windows Vista, while named the same, gadgets run outside of the “bar” and float on the desktop. Gadgets can also be independently docked to the side of a screen or moved around.

Gadgets can have their opacity / transparency adjusted individually (in Windows 7). They can also be set to appear on top – but don’t always depending on the other applications running at the time.

Is it safe - Yes, the process is safe. It is however known to use large amounts of memory at times (especially when using gadgets that interact or feed from the internet). This may slow your computer but it is no way dangerous. To clear memory:

  • Log off and on again
  • Restart the computer
  • Kill the process and start again from the Start menu.

For more information on the large memory consumption of this process, see my other post on the Windows sidebar.exe Memory Leak.

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