The Sidebar Windows Desktop

Drawing the line between useful on-screen information and space to work or play is a constant theme with our featured desktops. Some of them have widgets everywhere, others are open and clean. This week’s, from Lifehacker reader lionskingly, draws the line perfectly and reminds us of the days when sidebars and widgets were the norm.

The nice thing about this desktop is that even if you dislike widgets on your desktop, you can fire up your apps and work with all of the space on the right and enjoy the shortcuts, quicklinks and other tools available in the sidebar on the left. Want a similar setup for your Windows desktop? Here’s what you will need.

  • Any wallpaper you choose — the one here is lionskingly’s own photo
  • The Rainmeter system configuration and management utility for Windows
  • The Omnimo skin for Rainmeter to create the time/date display, new email count, shortcut to launch Windows Explorer, and the image slideshow tile at the bottom of the sidebar
  • The All-In-One Player for Rainmeter for the media playback widget in the sidebar
  • The Ecqlipse 2 Icon Pack to replace the default system icons
  • The Tweak UI to remove the shortcut arrows

That’s all there is to it. It’s a functional custom sidebar that won’t get in the way if you have apps open and you’re working or gaming, but it still gives you quick access to useful controls. If you’re having trouble getting Rainmeter to behave, check out our guide to Rainmeter for tips.

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