Windows Gadget: Running Flash and Silverlight Gadgets

If you have a 64-bit operating system and you have ever tried to install a Windows Gadget implemented with Silverlight of Flash, you will quickly realize that the gadget will not run. It turns out that the issue lies in the fact that there is not a 64-bit version of either Silverlight or Flash but the default Windows Sidebar application that loads on start up is a 64-bit application. Thus, the gadget and the Sidebar won’t play nicely together. To fix this issue, all you need to do is have the 32-bit version of Windows Sidebar startup with Windows loads. To do this follow the instructions below:

Windows Vista

  1. Click the Start orb.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Right click on the Startup folder and click Open or Explore.
  4. In the window that appears, right click and select New -> Shortcut.
  5. In the Create Shortcut window, copy and paste the following text, including the quotes, into the Location text box: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe”
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click Finish.

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start orb.
  2. Type regedit and press enter.
  3. Navigate to the following registry entry: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell
  4. Right click on the Gadgets registry folder and click Permissions…
  5. In the permissions window, click on the Advanced button.
  6. Click on the Owner tab.
  7. Find your login in the Change owner to list view and select it.
  8. Click Ok.
  9. In the Permissions for Gadget window, click the Add… button.
  10. Enter your login name for the computer and click OK.
  11. Back in the Permissions for Gadget window, make sure your login name is selected in the Group or user names list and check the Allow check box for the Full Control permission.
  12. Click Ok.
  13. Repeat steps 4 through 12 for the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadget\command registry folder.
  14. Double click the following registry keys in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadget registry folder and change the Value data field to the specified value:
    Icon: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe,-100
    MUIVerb: @%ProgramFiles86%\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe,-11100
  15. Double click the following registry keys in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Gadget\command registry folder and change the Value data field to the specified value:
    (Default): C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe /showGadgets
  16. Close the registry and restart your computer.

This should make the 32-bit version of Windows Sidebar start when you right click your desktop and select Gadgets and thus allow Silverlight and Flash gadgets to work correctly.

9 Responses to “Windows Gadget: Running Flash and Silverlight Gadgets”

  1. Matt Says:

    Have Win7 x64 and still cannot get to work. I have checked and verified the steps were done complete and accurate

    • Nick Olsen Says:

      What specifically is wrong? Do you see an image that says you need to install Microsoft Silverlight? Does nothing show up? Is it just not pulling the information down? If you give me a bit more information as to what is going on, I would be glad to help you figure it out.


      • Marco bejar Says:

        I did the steeps like you said but still is showing Install SilverLight thing.
        I will appreciate your help.


      • Nick Olsen Says:

        Which set of instructions did you follow? The ones for Windows 7 or Windows XP?

        Do the following
        1. Open the Task Manager (Right click on the task bar and click Start Task Manager)
        2. Click the Processes tab
        3. Do you see a process with an Image name sidebar.exe or sidebar.exe *32?

  2. Mike Says:

    I have followed your instructions (Windows 7) and verified the registry entry changes, but after rebooting the 64-bit version of sidebar.exe is still running according to Task Manager. I had to uninstall version 4 of Silverlight before installing version 3 (the version to which the gadget links). After all this, the gadget is still prompting me to install Silverlight. Suggestions?

    • Nick Olsen Says:

      The gadget should run on both Silverlight 3 and 4. It was just developed prior to the release of Silverlight 4 and thus links to version 3. I couldn’t tell you what is wrong without being able to look at your system. The supplied procedure has worked on my computer and many others. The only thing I could suggest is to recheck the changes to the registry and if they are correct, try searching for another solution. This is the only one I have found to work but maybe there is another. Sorry!

  3. Dennis Says:

    Hi Nick,

    I like your binary clock.

    I followed your directions to enable Sidebar*32 but still had no clock (Win 7 64).

    Did a search on sidebar*32. Found the article below. I now have a nice binary clock gadget.


    • Nick Olsen Says:

      Great! Thanks for the info. I was unaware of this solution and hopefully it will help those that found the above solutions ineffective. Thanks again!

  4. WordPress Statistics v1.0.4 › Diary of a fatman – run fatboy run! Says:

    […] 7 und man braucht Silverlight dafür – für Windows 64Bit Systeme gibt es auch gleich eine Anleitung, da es dort immer wieder Silverlight Probleme mit der Windows Sidebar gibt.Ursprünglich ist das […]

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