I am not able to install Desktop Sidebar
If you are getting messages like "Not a valid Win32 application", "7-ZIP unspecified error" when running installer please download installer once again.
Installer is corrupted probably due to errors during transmission.
I am not able to upgrade Desktop Sidebar to the latest build
Usually it is caused by corrupted installer database. Please un-install old version manually or use Installer CleanUp Utility.
How can I install plugin or skin?
Download plugin or skin file and save it on disk with DSPACKAGE extension then double click on this file in Windows Explorer. Plugin or skin should be installed automatically.
Where I can find the .NET Framework?
Some plugins require Microsot .NET Framework. It can be installed from Windows Update or you can download and install it manually from
.NET Framework v1.1 or from
.NET Framework v2.0
Stock Panel doesn't work
Please download and install the latest build from download page.
How do I delete a Panel?
Right mouse click on the panel you want to remove and select Remove Panel.
How do I change order of my panels?
Enable the Panel Title by Right Clicking on the panel and selecting Show Panel
Click and Drag the panel title to your desired position.
Note: The Lock option needs to be disabled from your sidebar. To do so, Right
mouse click on the sidebar and check that the Lock option is unchecked.
How do I change the height of a panel?
Turn OFF Autofit by right mouse clicking on the panel and selecting Autofit
Click and Drag the bottom of the panel to your desired height.
How do I change the appearance of Desktop Sidebar? (Using Skins)
Right mouse click on Desktop Sidebar and select Options.
Click the Appearance Tab.
Select your desired Skin from the Skin: drop down list.
Note: There are many skins that have been developed by Desktop Sidebar users.
You can find and download many of these from the
Skinning Forum. If you have download a skin to your Desktop Sidebar
directory and it doesn't show in the list restart Desktop Sidebar and check
How do I change a panel's settings?
Right mouse click on the panel you want to edit and select Panel Properties.
Once you are finished changing the panel's settings click OK to save the
How do I reset my Desktop Sidebar settings?
There are two methods to do this:
Start Desktop Sidebar in Safe Mode
Select Desktop Sidebar (Safe Mode) from Desktop Sidebar folder in the Start
A window will popup asking if you want to Reset Desktop Sidebar's settings;
Allow Desktop Sidebar to start any programs that you want on your sidebar
Restart Desktop Sidebar and add/remove the panels as you please
Manually remove the settings file
The file is in a hidden folder, so you need to unhide hidden folders. To do
this Open Windows Explorer and select Folder Options from the Tools menu.
Select the View tab and select Show Hidden Files and/or Folders.
Once you have hidden folders showing go to following directory: C:\Documents
and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Desktop Sidebar\
Delete the file sidebar104.settings
The settings will be reset the next time you start Desktop Sidebar
I have MSN Messenger, and Desktop Sidebar won't show the information in
To use the MSN Messenger with this panel you will need the latest version of
Windows Messenger and the
MSN Messenger for the Messenger Panel to work properly.
To use the MSN Messenger you NEED to set a couple of options in the Windows
Open the Windows Messenger.
Click on Tools and selection Options and choose the Preferences Tab.
Disable the Run the Windows Messenger when Windows starts option.
Enable the Allow Windows Messenger to run in the background.
How do I add a RSS feed to the Newsroom Panel
Right mouse click on the Newsroom Panel and select Panel Properties.
Click on the Add button and select Enter rss newsfeed url.
Enter the RSS URL in the text field and click OK.
Click OK in the Panel Properties.
How can I display newsfeeds from HTML page?
Make sure you have Desktop Sidebar integrated with Internet Explorer.
While on the website that you want to add click the XML Button, or select
Subscribe in Desktop Sidebar from the Tools menu.
In the new window select the Preview tab to see a preview of the website
Highlight and Copy one of the headlines on the page.
Paste the headline in the Sample Headline: text field and click the Find
If found, select the HTML code surrounding the Headline (example below) in the
Source window and click the Create Expression button.
class=reg>Iraq Leaders Create Tribunal for Saddam
If not found, Go back to the preview and select another headline to find.
The Program will automatically setup the RegEx code needed to download the
Newsfeed for you.
If you want to start or stop the headline generation at a certain point on
enter the text in the Start after text or Stop after text box respectively
When finished click OK and then Add. You should see your new newsfeed in
the Newsroom Panel.
How can I save my RSS feeds from the Newsroom Panel?
You can go to the Panel Properties to see all your feeds for the Newsroom
Panel. Look for the "Other" button and then select "Export Channels". It will
give you the option to name the file and to choose the type of file. DSC files
will allow you to save the HTML parsed feeds you have as well as the RSS feeds.
The OPML file is only meant for just RSS/XML/RDF feeds. If you have an HTML
channel in your OPML file, then it will not import correctly if needed be.
How do I integrate Desktop Sidebar with Internet Explorer?
Right mouse click on the Newsroom Panel and Click on Panel Properties.
Click the Integration tab and check Integrate with Internet Explorer.
When enabled there should be an Orange XML button available in the toolbar of
Internet Explorer and a Subscribe in Desktop Sidebar option under Tools on the
How can I use the Command Line Panel to search for a phrase on Google?
Type '?' before the text that you want to search for.
How do I display specific folder in Toolbar Panel?
Right Click on the Toolbar Panel and select Panel Properties
Click the Radio Button next to Folder
Either manually enter the Folder Path or click on the button next to the text
field and Browse for your Folder
Edit you View preferences to enable/disable Show text, Show large icons, Show
folders, and/or Display folder as menu
How do I change the Notes Folder used in the Outlook Notes Panel?
Right mouse click on the Notes Panel and select Panel Properties.
Click on the "..." button to browse the Outlook folders available and select
the Notes Folder you wish you use.
How do I remove the Sound Notification when a New Email Arrives?
Right mouse click on the Mail Checker Panel and select Panel Properties.
Click on the Rules Tab
Deselect the Play a sound when new mail arrives Rule.
How do I add my Yahoo email account to the Mail Checker Panel?
Yahoo now charges for access via POP3 to your email. In order for you to be
able to check your email through POP3, you need to know the mail server name,
the username, and the password.
There are some 3rd party tools that can help you access those web-based email
Why did my Sidebar disappear?!
The most common cause is because the user has enabled Auto-hide and the sidebar
has retracted to the side off the screen.
Move your mouse pointer to the edges of the screen to allow Desktop Sidebar to
pop back up.
How can I copy my settings to another computer?
You will need to copy a file named sidebar104.settings to the other computer,
below are the steps to do this.
Unhide all hidden files/folders by Opening Windows Explorer and selecting
Folder Options from the Tools menu.
Under the View tab and select Show Hidden Files and/or Folders.
Go to following directory: C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application
Copy the file sidebar104.settings and place it in the corresponding folder on
the second computer
Can I run Multiple Instances of Desktop Sidebar?
Yes. You can run multiple instances of Desktop Sidebar, each instance will keep
it's own settings allowing you to set them up individually to your needs.
Open up any simple text editor like notepad. Enter the lines below or copy and
cd Program Files\desktop sidebar\
dsidebar.exe -config "Desktop Sidebar 2"
The "Desktop Sidebar 2" tells windows to run a instance of Desktop Sidebar with
the name "Desktop Sidebar 2". This can be done as "Desktop Sidebar 3" or
anything you like, just remeber that changing the name of it will get rid of
all your settings for that instance, unless you rename it the same.
Click file > Save As > Browse to the root of your C: Drive. > Enter
Sidebar.bat as the Filename > Choose All Files as the File type > Click
Locate the file and right click it > Chose Send To > Desktop (Create
Shortcut). Now you can run the second instance of DS anytime you want to by
clicking the shortcut.
Making Second Instance Run at Boot.
Copy and paste the shortcut in the 'Startup' folder in your Start Menu. Next
time you boot the second instance of Desktop Sidebar should boot with windows,
you should then be able to configure it to your needs.
There are also many different ways to code a .bat file to run DS. Use the best
one that works for you.
I want to learn how to skin, where do I start?
How do I make my own panels?
Check our DevGuide Pages.
Please make **** Plugin.
Such requests can be made in the
New Features Request Forum. Keep in mind that Desktop Sidebar is
officially in beta. The current goal is to get its main functionality complete
above everything else.
I have a PCTV card, can it be integrated into Desktop Sidebar?
This is one of the more popular requests. However, you should be aware of a
couple of things first.
Most of the PCTV applications that are bundled with the cards/units are often
If such an application was developed, it would be with an application that all
PCTV cards will work with. Dscaler
is the front runner, but that doesn't mean that one will be made anytime soon.
At this time, there is no plugin for Windows Media Player that will allow it to
access the video from a capture card.
How can I add a separator panel?
You can put some space between panels with an Empty Stack Group Panel. Simply
add a Stack Panel and make sure that the Autofit and Expand Options are
enabled. The panel will dynamically resize to fill any empty space on your
sidebar and push all panels below it to the bottom of the sidebar.
How can I change my Clock's Image?
Open the skin's XML file located in its individual skin folder in c:\Program
Files\Desktop Sidebar\skins and open the XML file in notepad. NOTE: The
skin's XML file will have the same name as the skin's folder.
In notepad look for the following code:
<appearance name="standard" fillStyle="bitmap" fillImage="clock.png"
Change clock.png (or whatever the current filename is) to the filename of your
new clock image.
Save the edited XML file.
Restart your sidebar and enjoy your new clock image!