Desktop gadgets and sidebar for Windows 10

Many people including myself still love the desktop gadgets that were introduced in Windows Vista. They were removed completely in Windows 8 which made many people unhappy. Microsoft wants to push live tiles as their replacement and therefore they claim Gadgets as insecure, just like they push Store apps over Desktop apps. If you cannot imagine the Desktop without your favorite gadgets, here is how to get them back again in Windows 10. Just follow this short tutorial.


gadgets in Windows 10

  1. Visit GadgetsRevived and get the installer from the following page: Download the Sidebar.
  2. Follow the setup wizard, it will take you through a few simple steps.
  3. Close the setup wizard, and right click the desktop. The Gadgets item will be there.
  4. Add your favorite gadgets or download more from the GadgetsRevived desktop gadget gallery.

You are done. Enjoy.
Windows 10 gadgets in control panel

Known issues

  • Due to changes made to Desktop Window Manager and Aero in Windows 10, the main Gadgets window looks a bit weird:
    Windows 10 add gadgets to desktop
    Half the portion of the 'Add gadgets' window is dimmed, however, everything else works properly.
  • For users with custom DPI settings, some gadgets may look broken. Here is a workaround: Gadgets displaying broken in Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 with IE11. It is applicable to Windows 10 as well.

That's it. Maybe Microsoft will realize that removing Gadgets was not good idea, similar to the removal of the Start Menu and officially reinstates them.

43 thoughts on “Desktop gadgets and sidebar for Windows 10

  1. anon

    Windows 10 will have Live Tiles on the desktop later on, therefore replacing the old Desktop Gadgets altogether and without the security flaws.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 40

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Well, I hope your are right. It will be awesome.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

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    2. v

      Well, can the live tiles planned for the desktop have transparent areas? Can they have a pop-out window? Can they evaluate privileged javascript (at least being able to connect to sites to fetch and send data)? If so, why not just call them gadgets and call it a day? If not, stop pretending like they are any use at all.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      Reply
      1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

        The “planned” info in anon’s comment never was true. It was a kind of cheap “rumors”.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        Reply
    3. hadenoughuc

      Live means they can watch your every move 27/7 and shove more unwanted ads at you

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      Reply
  2. Channel 2012

    I never really used the gadgets, but I hate when Microsoft disables features “just because”. I’m sure a lot of people probably made good use of them just like I was a huge fan of the glass effects, which were pointlessly disabled as well. For half of the features in Windows 8 and Windows 10, you’ve gotta say, “nice try at being hipster and creative there Microsoft, but we liked the way it looked in Vista and 7 better”.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 4

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    1. JTDIVER

      I like the Gadgets, I use the DOW, CALENDAR, CLOCK AND WEATHER. I wish the weather had severe weather alerts. I live in a tornado pron are of Oklahoma and alerts on desk top would be nice. I would also say that like most people I resist change or an attack on my comfort zone, but I must say that there are a lot of things I like about Windows 8, for instance right clicking the window in the left lower corner and having many commands to choose from, I wish I could customize it to add others. I hate the auto full-screen feature and wish I could turn it off!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

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  3. Lolitto

    I think the best sidebar for Windows 10 is MetroSidebar, http://metrosidebar.com

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 33

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    1. Len

      That site is SPAM. Forces you to install some “Shopoholics” coupon bar from India or exit installation. I exited. Thanks for the warning.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

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  4. Janice R Crews

    I hope you put the desktop gadgets like they used to be in the Windows 10. I got screwed with the worthless Windows 8 package. I can’t function without my clock, calendar, and weather on my desktop. Please rectify
    your mistake.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      The package from the link provided in the article works properly even in the latest Windows 10 TP release.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  5. Dave

    How to compare this poor gadgets with Android widgets? I think this is a joke

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

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  6. Tony

    Awesome. This is NOT malware or spam. And it very simple to install on Windows 10.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

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  7. Trayvis

    Gadgets are especially useful on a second monitor. I stayed on 7 mostly due to not feeling 8.1 would be a worthwhile upgrade for me, but the missing gadgets clinched it. I can see RAM use, core temps, gpu temps, utilization of GPU and CPU, and even while gaming on my main monitor. Why wouldn’t I want this?! DX12 makes 10 a must, but give us something. Android style widgets would be the bees knees. Hopefully the live tiles will happen. I also miss the glass Aero. Most desktops have all this 3d grunt sitting idle, why not have some eye candy on your desktop?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

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  8. Trayvis

    Oh, and back when I had a 2500K I loved watching the Intel Gadget (CPU shaped) show the turbo boost ramp up. I’ll probably never have the money to install an after market turbo on my car, but the gadget was free. Just like media center back in ’05, Microsoft sometimes gets there early,nails it, then just walks away. SMH

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

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  9. Jerry

    Just upgraded to Windows10 and ran the DesktopGadgetInstaller and my gadgets that I had running before the upgrade popped back up on my desktop – that was a nice bonus as it was a easy fix to get my gadgets back on.
    Thank-you very much!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  10. Jim

    How do I restore or get the Gadget monitor from System Mechanic?

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

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  11. Carlos

    Thanks, I really loved to try this, really miss this gadgets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  12. John

    After getting my Win10 upgrade yesterday, I was soon surprised to find no desktop gadgets available. So I too downloaded and installed “Desktop Gadgets and Sidebar for Windows 10”. My first reaction was, “Yay!”, my gadgets are back. But then, immediately disappointed to find that the “Weather Gadget” remains non-functional. It is continues to display the “Cannot connect to service” error – just as it did in Win7. It cannot even update to my location when provided – it just says – location not found. So, nothing has changed from the Win10 version. This was a key fix I was hoping for with Win10. What a shame…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Try to unblock “sidebar.exe” in Windows Firewall.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  13. John

    Oops! I meant, “…from Win7 version”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

    Reply
  14. SpaceMonkey

    i had the same issue with the weather gadget. A quick google search and I found an updated version that still works. Looks exactly like the original stock gadget. http://win7gadgets.com/weather/weather_1.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

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  15. George

    You may like also to consider the Gadgetarian at
    http://windowslivegadgets.com/gallery/317/enable-sidebar-gadgets-windows-8-metro/
    Gadgetarian does not add any new abilities to the Windows system, it just enables the native gadget functions, now unfortunately hidden. This way you can keep using all of your old desktop gadgets or add new ones, without compromising the integrity of the OS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  16. Szakus

    Works great.
    Using Windows 10

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Happy to read this.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  17. Maria

    I am using some of the desktop gadgets in windows 10 and i find them very usefull and nice. Great article admin here on your website.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  18. Chris

    The recent major update to Win10 (on or before 19-Nov-15) has DISABLED sidebar after I got it working before using this post! It is not in the Windows Firewall restrictions, and I added both the 32- and 64-bit versions to the Allow list, with no success. Any suggestions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. PsyMan

      Same here Chris, as soon as I had it working again it was shut down with the November update, gadgets in the context menu but simply does nothing, the gadgetarian 64bit version re-enabled it for me though as per Georges reply above. Now working fine again and my existing gadgets were still there to drop back on my other monitor. :D

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  19. Open Sourcerer

    I’m furious over MS’ removal of the Sidebar.exe–in particular–from its “family of support”! And it’s the main reason why I no longer desire any future MS products!…PERIOD! My next computer purchase will be for a Purism Librem 15 (high end!)!…pending, Intel’s release of its BIOS for the PL15! Failing that, I’ll pursue the Novena (high end!)! Hell!…I’d obtain a Gluglug PC, before buying a MS-based PC! Screw these proprietary-based systems! Richard Stallman is right!…Windows is for suckers! But I include ALL Closedsource OSs under this just cited expression!

    In reflecting on why MS would decide to screw everyone, I came up with some obvious–and I believe, rational–conclusions!

    One of the PCs I’m currently using (a 10″ Acer One Notebook), has 19 sidebar.exe slide show windows, on a black background, on my “desktop (incidentally, what a ridiculous name for a display screen configuration, that–obviously–has nothing to do with the notion of a ‘Desktop computer’!…and, inasmuch, as my notebook is rarely on some desktop!)”! In toying with these slide show windows, I soon realized (and based on the “physics” of the 10″ screen of the Acer One) that the “ss windows” would “lock” into/ within specific parameters/ locations of the Acer screen (i.e., which/ that enabled the enlargement, and retraction of respective “ss windows”, without interference with adjoining “ss windows”!…otherwise, the wrong placement of a “ss window”, would mean–upon retraction–a window would collapse onto another adjoining window, instead of restracting to ITS OWN specific demarcated zone)! Having figured this out…and with the Paint Program (what I call the “Ain’t Program”!…as it morphs what “I” paint, into something else!)…I layed down 18 light blue-grey rectangles matching precisely the dimensions, and–importantly–demarcated zones of the “ss windows”!…PLUS, one pixel width, encompassing each respective window (so that any variable accidental shift of the window, wouldn’t end in a failure to accurately retract–and otherwise relocate–the screen into the right zone!…in other words, I could find the grey rectangle, and adjust the window’s positioning accordingly!) (One horizontally elongated rectangle–for whatever reasons…and however!…can accommodate two images side-by-said, without interference!) After completing this “Art project”, I saved this as a “background HOME DISPLAY (as OPPOSED, to ‘Desktop Display”!)!…and, which I’ve been using ever since! As for all other programs, I use START!…and something–incidentally–that MS, also desired to screw us out of!

    And now…for the Good stuff!

    I’m presently working on a screen play (recreationally!…and in addition, to a number of important linguistic applications!)…and I’m using these “ss windows” as a collection of storeyboarding screens, for displaying various scenes associated with the story I’m working on! Each window can link to any number of individual folders…which, in turn, can link to any number of pics within respective folders! And coupled with the ability to arrange pics in an alphabetical AND/ OR numerical sequence, one has the ability to arrange an entire scene (or series of scences…given the ability to arrange folders, and pics, within a respective window!) on screen, and run this as a slide show! Add music, with one’s VLC player…yea, order one’s pics within a given window, to sync with the pics being displayed!…one has the basis of a cool storeyboarding App (save, for the problem, that the minimum time allotment between “pic slides”, is a LENGTHY 5 seconds!…and thus, limiting one’s ability to–VIRTUALLY–animate the slide show!)! But, soon after my project was ended, I discovered that I couldn’t lobby MS for “tweaks” to their Gadget (e.g., the time frame between pics!)!…as MS would no longer be supporting their creation! And, with the nonsensical suggestion, that the App–somehow–posed a “security threat”! But I–for one–came to other conclusions!

    Could it be–I thought–that Motion Picture IT Specialists, realized the potential of this Windows Gadget feature!…and, its THREAT to the movie industry!…and, with the assistance of MS, decided to have its “plug” pulled! Inasmuch, as everyone–and their pet cat–could now storeyboard like the big boys (and girls!)!…and yea, fashion–with tools like the GIF Exploder–near complete scenes, from “de-composed” GIFs! And, as this simple feature would soon conflict with MS’ already “challenged” MovieMaker App (that doesn’t readily lend to efficient and effective storeyboarding!…and storeyboarding, being the prerequisite tool for efficient and effective moviemaking!), could it be, that MS already had the grounds, for eliminating this ENEMY OF THE STATE!

    Now…one could look to a number of other related problems, as a partial “rationale” for giving up the ghost on this Gadget feature! For example, under the slide shows’ “tools”, there’s a square for a “check mark” if one desires to “shuffle”!…simply put, it was brought to my attention recently, that MANY may have taken this to mean, “SLIDE (as in ‘slideshow’)”! Oops! I can imagine the messages sent in! It would’ve been helpful if the option was named, “random images”!…so that users wouldn’t be checking this, and then expecting an alphabetic–or personally orchestrated–arrangement of pics! Another bad word choice! Or…to offer up a further example…was MS unwilling–or unable–to assist those who were having difficulties in arranging images within respective Pic folders, for display within respective slide show windows on their respective HOME SCREENS! And because the complaints were mounting for this one simple feature alone, decided to abandon the entire Gadget creation!…for fear of dragging the whole of MS under, through excessive demand! Who knows?…maybe some of this, was a part of their thinking! All I know–for sure!–is that users, were stiffed!…and told, to “take it on the chin”! Well!…screw YOU, MS! You’re not the only OS player in the sea!…and neither is Apple!…and, many other, proprietary pains in the Apps!

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

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  20. Mark

    When I performed an update of Windows 10, Desktop Gadgets stopped working. Now, I cannot uninstall the program.

    I would like to uninstall and then reinstall the program.

    Can you tell me how uninstall this program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Control Panel – Programs and Features – Uninstall a program.
      You can uninstall it as usual.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      Reply
  21. S Sutherland

    I have tried and tried to get Desktop Gadgets on Windows 10 but cannot get anything to work
    can anyone tell me how to get these in a simple way as I am not very Computer literate.
    Thank you. I had them on Windows 7 but cannot get them now. I am using Internet Explorer as my default
    does that make a difference? I am not using MS Edge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  22. benh ung thu

    thank you for share!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      don’t mention it :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  23. Rhonda

    I have installed the gadgets on Win 10 however in addition to my lovely timezone clocks (so glad to have them back) however I now have in the gadget bar an icon of background programs which is most annoying. How can I get rid of it.. Rhonda

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Can you show a screenshot of the issue?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  24. stechy

    For me Windows 10 Aniversary Update (1607) broke completly the sidebar; I cannot start the process anymore. If this will not be fixed I will have to finally migrate to rainmeter. to bad…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It works here:
      Sidabar Gadgets in Windows 10 Anniversary Update
      Try to re-install it?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  25. jarek

    Same, here. After Windows 10 Anniversary Update mosts of gadgets stops working.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Which exactly gadgets stop working?
      At least built-in gadgets work in Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
      Sidabar Gadgets in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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      1. jarek

        Eg. MultiMeter from http://sfkilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24
        It seems that gadgets have some problems with storing config settings. When I’m changing properties everything looks good in preview but as soon as I press OK button gadget crush. You should also observerve some glitch on default “calendar” gadget (the orange one on your screenshot). It is set to Daily View by default. Press doubleclick to switch it to Month View. Then restart your PC. Calendar will be set to Daily View instead of Mont View.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Did all you said.
          Before reboot:
          Sidabar Gadgets in Windows 10 Anniversary Update 2
          After reboot:
          Sidabar Gadgets in Windows 10 Anniversary Update 3
          Can’t reproduce it.
          As of MultiMeter, it does not work here too.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          Reply
  26. kenan

    thanks very much .. love u who ever did this :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply

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