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How to Disable Widgets in Windows 11 with Group Policy and in Registry

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.

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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.

Windows 11 Widgets

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.

  1. Right-click the Start button in the taskbar, and select Run from the menu.Select Run from the menu to open Run Dialog
  2. Type regedit into the Run box and hit the Enter key.Type Regedit In The Run Box
  3. Go to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft.
  4. Now, right-click the Microsoft key and select New > Subkey from the menu.Create New Key
  5. Rename the newly created key as Dsh.Name The New Key As Dsh
  6. Finally, right-click the Dsh key, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.Create New Dword Value
  7. Name the new value as AllowNewsAndInterests, and leave its value data as 0.Disable Widgets In Windows 11 In The Registry
  8. 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

  1. Press Win + R on the keyboard, type gpedit.msc and hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor app.Windows 11 Open Gpedit
  2. Navigate to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Widgets​ folder.
  3. Double-click the Allow widgets policy on the right.Double-click Allow Widgets To Disable Them In Windows 11
  4. Set it to Disabled and click on Apply and OK buttons.Disable Widgets In Windows 11 With Group Policy

Done! The widgets feature is now disabled. You can cancel the policy at any moment of time to setting it back to Not configured.

That's it!

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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