MetroSidebar is a small-sized software utility designed to bring back to your desktop those colorful widgets of Windows Sidebar featured in Vista.
It enables you to access some common Windows tools and locations, as well as to create shortcuts to custom apps and files.
Installing this app is fast and easy. Worth mentioning is that it adds a new entry for itself to the Windows startup, and that it needs .NET Framework to run. System reboot is necessary to complete the setup.
Colorful desktop sidebar with multipurpose tiles
The sidebar is placed on the right side of your desktop and can be set to remain visible while you're working with other apps, or to automatically hide when it's not the active tool.
MetroSidebar comes bundled with a wide range of straightforward apps, and most of them are available online at the developer's store. However, there are several local ones that should be to your liking too. These include a digital clock, the Bing search engine, weather forecast, system clock, battery meter and power buttons, and can be placed on the sidebar as tiles.
Create shortcuts for custom apps and files
A launcher provides shortcuts to some common Windows locations, such as Control Panel or My Computer. However, MetroSidebar gives you the possibility to edit their properties, replace them with new apps, or add new programs to launch or files to open.
Change settings and customize the layout
Various customization options are at your disposal, allowing you to remove MetroSidebar from Windows startup, lock the sidebar's position, hide it, or keep it on top of other windows. Moreover, you can customize colors and the opacity of each individual tile as well as the entire desktop launcher, and arrange the tiles in any order you want in the sidebar.
Evaluation and conclusion
MetroSidebar runs on low system resources and, due to its auto-hide function, it doesn't interfere with your daily computer activity. On the other hand, the program doesn't sport more interesting customization options for seasoned users. For example, it's not possible to create shortcuts to websites or select a different search engine than Bing. Nevertheless, you can test the app for yourself to see whether it meets your requirements or not.
For more information, make sure to check out our in-depth review for MetroSidebar 1.
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