Question

When I try to open the Windows Sidebar in my Windows Vista system, I get the following error, and the Sidebar does not open:

Windows Sidebar is managed by your system administrator.

Answer

If your system is connected to a domain, the network administrator may have enforced the Turn off Windows Side bar Policy.

(For standalone systems) If you are using an edition of Windows Vista (Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions) which includes the Group Policy Editor, follow these steps to remove the Turn off Windows Side bar Policy:

  • Click Start, type gpedit.msc in the Search box, and press ENTER
  • Navigate to the following branch:

Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Sidebar

  • Double-click Turn off Windows Sidebar
  • Set it as Not Configured
  • Repeat the same in the following branch:

User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Sidebar

  • Close the Group Policy Editor window.

Important: If it's already set to Not Configured, set it to Enabled and click Apply. Then repeat the steps and revert the setting back to Not Configured. This removes the registry based policy if set already.

Registry edit

Click Start, type regedit.exe and press ENTER

Navigate to the following branch:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Windows \ Sidebar

In the right-pane, delete the value named TurnOffSidebar (if found)

Repeat the same in the following branch:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Windows \ Sidebar

Exit Registry Editor.