Microsoft allows you to disable Widgets in Windows 11 by using Group Policy. For editions of Windows 11, such as Home, Group Policy is not available. But here is a bit of good news - you can also turn off Widgets with a Registry Tweak instead.
The Widgets feature in Windows 11 is a new method to organize and display actual information like news, weather, and stocks. For the same purpose, Windows 10 has News and Interests in the taskbar. But Widgets is a different story.
It is a customizable platform that supports third-party data provides. Independent developers can build custom widgets to extend capabilities of the feature. By default, Windows 11 only includes widgets made by Microsoft.
The user can access widgets by clicking a special button in the taskbar, or by pressing the Win + W keyboard shortcut. If you need, you can prevent all users from opening the Widgets pane. For that, Microsoft has added a special group policy to Windows 11. Users of Windows 11 Home can apply a Registry tweak for the same. Let's start directly with the second option, as it actually works in all editions of the OS.
Disable Widgets in Windows 11
To disable widgets, do the following.
- Right-click the Start button in the taskbar, and select Run from the menu.
regeditinto the Run box and hit the Enter key.
- Go to the following key:
- Now, right-click the Microsoft key and select New > Subkey from the menu.
- Rename the newly created key as Dsh.
- Finally, right-click the Dsh key, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Name the new value as AllowNewsAndInterests, and leave its value data as 0.
- Restart Windows 11.
You are done. This will disable everything related to Widgets, including the taskbar button and the option in the Settings app. The Win + W shortcut will do nothing.
Undoing the tweak is pretty easy. All you need to do is to remove the AllowNewsAndInterests value you have created, and restart the PC.
To save your time, you can download ready-to-use Registry files.
Download Registry files
Download the ZIP archive with two REG files using this link, and extract it to any location convenient to you.
To disable Widgets, open the
Disable_widgets_feature.reg file. Once you see the UAC prompt, confirm it and restart Windows.
The undo tweak is the
Enable_widgets_feature.reg file. Use it to undo the restriction for all users.
If you are running Windows 11 Pro, Education, or Enterprise edition, you will be able to use the Local Group Policy Editor app. It will allow you to disable the Widgets feature with a useful GUI. Here we go.
Turn off Widgets in Local Group Policy Editor
- Press Win + R on the keyboard, type
gpedit.mscand hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor app.
- Navigate to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Widgets folder.
- Double-click the Allow widgets policy on the right.
- Set it to Disabled and click on Apply and OK buttons.
Done! The widgets feature is now disabled. You can cancel the policy at any moment of time to setting it back to Not configured.
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