Mouse-Over In Windows 7

Make Gadgets Visible Only On Mouse-Over In Windows 7

Desktop gadgets, love them or hate them. Some can be pretty useful in specific contexts while others are plain dispensable. Who for instance needs a clock gadget if a clock is displayed all the time in the Windows 7 Taskbar.
Gadgets are displayed on the desktop all the time. It is possible to hide them by right-clicking the desktop and selecting View > Show Desktop Gadgets to switch between visible and hidden mode.
windows 7 gadgets
windows 7 gadgets
It is furthermore possible to change the opacity of individual desktop gadgets. Allowed values range from 20% to 100%. The gadget is always displayed with a 100% opacity regardless of its custom value if the mouse is moved into its window.
gadget 20 percent opacity
gadget 20 percent opacity
The guys over at Windows 7 News have now found a way to make individual desktop gadgets invisible on the desktop.
The process involves some basic hacking of system files and terminating a system process. Users who feel uncomfortable doing that should stay away from the change.
The process is divided into five steps:
  • Set the gadget’s opacity to a distinct value.
  • Kill the Windows Sidebar task.
  • Open the settings configuration file.
  • Change its opacity to 1%.
  • Start the Windows Sidebar task.
Steps 1 and 2 are easily done. Just set the opacity of a gadget that you want to make invisible to 20%. The value should be different from other values to make identification easier. The sidebar.exe process needs to be killed to be able to make the changes in step 3 and 4.
Please note that all gadgets are removed from the desktop once the process has been terminated.
Locate the settings file, it is usually located in C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Settings.ini.
Open the document and search for the text PrivateSetting_GadgetOpacity=”{20}”. Replace 20 with the opacity value of the gadget that you want to make invisible. Change the value to 1 and save the file.
Now restart the sidebar.exe process and watch the magic happening.
Pretty cool, eh? It is possible to change the opacity of all gadgets that should be made invisible in one go to optimize the process.