Windows SideShow: frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Windows SideShow-compatible devices and gadgets.

Devices

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How do I know if my device, such as a mobile phone, PDA, or TV, will work with Windows SideShow?

Look for the Windows SideShow logo on your device or refer to the device manufacturer's documentation. For more information, go to the Windows SideShow website.

Should I set a PIN to lock my device?

Creating a personal identification number (PIN) is a good way to protect your information. For more information, see Make a Windows SideShow-compatible device more secure.

How many devices can I install?

There is no limit to the number of devices that you can install to use with Windows SideShow.

Why don't all of my devices appear in Control Panel?

There are several possibilities:

  • Some device names might be out of view. Resize the Control Panel window or use a scrollbar to see the device name.

  • The device might not have been installed properly. To learn more, check the information that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website.

Why does the screen on my device dim?

To save power, the backlight on your device may turn off before your screen turns off. Depending on the device, you may be able to change this setting. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open Windows Sideshow by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Windows SideShow.

  2. In the left pane, click the name of the device that you want to change settings for.

  3. Clear the Turn off the backlight automatically check box, and then click OK.

How current is the information on my device?

The information on your device is as current as the information on your computer. Information is updated on your device whenever your computer is turned on and awake. For more information, see Keep information current on a Windows SideShow-compatible device.

Is information updated on my device when my computer is sleeping?

No. To keep information current while your computer is sleeping, Windows must wake your computer periodically to update information on your device. After a few minutes, your computer returns to sleep. To set your computer to wake automatically at set intervals, see Keep information current on a Windows SideShow-compatible device.

Why isn't Windows automatically waking my computer to update information on my device?

There are several possibilities:

Why do I need to confirm my credentials to set up Windows Vista to wake my computer automatically?

Windows Vista requires that you confirm your credentials when you change certain settings, even if your account has administrator credentials. For more information, see User accounts: recommended links.

Can I use my device when my computer is turned off?

Some devices will work when your computer is turned off. To learn more, check the information that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website.

Can I change my device settings when my device is disconnected?

No. To change device settings, your device must be connected to your computer. The type of connection, such as universal serial bus (USB), Bluetooth adapter, or wireless network, depends on your device. If you're having problems connecting your device, see Troubleshoot problems with a Windows SideShow-compatible device.

Can I turn off notifications for gadgets on my device?

Yes. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open Windows Sideshow by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Windows SideShow.

  2. In the left pane, click the name of the device that you want to change settings for.

  3. Under Gadgets, clear the Show notifications for gadgets on this device check box, and then click OK.

Note

  • This check box does not appear if the device doesn’t offer notifications.

Is data stored on my device?

It depends on the device. On some devices, data is stored unless you remove it. You can remove data automatically when you log off from your computer. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open Windows Sideshow by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Windows SideShow.

  2. Click the name of the device that you want to change settings for.

  3. Under Security and Privacy, select the Delete information on the device when I log off from Windows check box, and then click OK.

How is information shared between my computer and my device?

Information from your computer is always downloaded to your device, never from your device to your computer.

How can I uninstall a Windows SideShow-compatible device from my computer?

You can uninstall a device in Windows SideShow in Control Panel. For more information, see Install or uninstall a Windows SideShow-compatible device.

Note

  • If you reinstall a device, Windows automatically detects that it is a Windows SideShow-compatible device and it appears in Control Panel.

Gadgets

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How many gadgets can I turn on?

There is no limit to the number of gadgets that you can turn on. However, your device has a fixed amount of space to store information, and this space is shared by all of the gadgets. The more gadgets that you add, the less space there is for each gadget. To increase the amount of space for a gadget, turn off some of your other gadgets. For more information, see Turn a gadget on or off for a Windows SideShow-compatible device.

Why are some gadgets not compatible with my device?

Some gadgets are made for a specific Windows SideShow-compatible device and might not be compatible with the device that you're using. To learn more, check the information that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website.

Can I change my gadget settings?

Yes. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open Windows Sideshow by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Windows SideShow.

  2. Click the name of the gadget that you want to change settings for.

    If more than one device is installed, first select the name of the device that you want to change gadget settings for.

  3. Adjust the settings for the gadget, and then click OK.

Note

  • If settings for a gadget are unavailable, the gadget name doesn't appear on the settings page.

Can I change gadget settings separately for each device?

No. Each gadget setting applies to all Windows SideShow-compatible devices that are installed on your computer.

Can I change the order in which gadgets appear on my device?

Yes, you can change the order of most gadgets for each device. Only gadgets that are turned on and that appear in Control Panel can be reordered. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open Windows Sideshow by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Windows SideShow.

  2. Click Change the order in which gadgets appear.

    If more than one device is installed, select the name of the device that you want to reorder gadgets for.

  3. In the list, click the gadget name, and then use an arrow button to move the gadget up or down in the list.

  4. When you have finished, click OK.

Why don't my gadgets appear on my device in the order that I specified in Control Panel?

Not all devices support reordering. To learn more, check the information that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website.

Why don’t all of my gadgets appear in Control Panel?

Some gadgets are specific to your device, and are installed by your hardware manufacturer. If these device-specific gadgets don't appear in Control Panel, you can change the gadget settings directly on the device. To learn more, check the information that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website.