If you’ve used Windows Vista for any length of time, you probably already know that using the Win + Space key combination will bring the Sidebar and all the gadgets to the front… but how do you send it back behind your open windows?

This was the question reader Kyle asked me earlier tonight, and after some research I discovered that there wasn’t one… so I wrote a utility with this functionality, assigned to the Ctrl+Win + Space key combination.

So you first used the Win + Space key to bring the sidebar and detached gadgets to the foreground:

Now you can use Ctrl+Win + Space to send the sidebar and all detached gadgets back behind the previous foreground window.


Download and unzip the file, then copy the VistaSidebarHider.exe application into a directory you’d like to keep it in.


Type the following into the Windows Explorer address bar, which is a shortcut to quickly open your Startup folder.



Create a shortcut in that folder to the VistaSidebarHider.exe application.

Running the Application

Just double-click it.


Use Ctrl+Win + Space to send the sidebar and gadgets to the back.

Shutting Down the Application

You’ll have to use Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager, and then select the process in the list and click on End Process.

Be sure to leave any feedback or complaints in the comments.

Download VistaSidebarHider Utility

Lowell Heddings Lowell Heddings
Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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