Starting in Windows 11 build 25227, Microsoft has announced a change to the Widgets flyout. It will now have a toolbar with a number of extra buttons that allows the user to refresh widgets, access maps, news and other Microsoft's popular services, and more. The button set may vary. Also, it is available to a small select group of Insiders, so not really many see this change. Here's how to activate it.
While Microsoft is actively working on Widgets, there is still a room for improvements. The company has recently added the ability to disable them from opening on hover with a simple Settings page. There are also notifications and badges you can see in the taskbar every time a wifget shows something important.
However, the announced third-party widget support is still at early stage. The documentation is available for developers, but there is no single mini-app to add to the set of widgets built by Microsoft. They are still yet to come.
As of now, Microsoft has improved the Widgets flyout with toolbar with advanced controls and buttons. They add extra value and convenience to pane, e.g. you can quickly refresh its feeds, or access other online services like maps.
Access to the widgets pane is currently limited to a small group of users. If you don't see this novelty, do the following to enable Widgets options. The method reviewed below works in
Enable Widgets Toolbar in Windows 11
- Open this page on GitHub in your browser and download ViveTool.
- Extract it to the c:\vivetool folder.
- Press Win + X and select Terminal (Admin).
- Now, type the following command, and press Enter:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40772499. Run it in a PowerShell (Ctrl + Shift + 1) or Command Prompt (Ctrl + Shift + 2) tab.
- Restart your device for the changes to take effect.
That's it. You will now the the new toolbar in Widgets on Windows 11.
Enabling experimental features with ViveTool always comes with a grain of risk. Microsoft usually hides features that aren't complete or not stable enough. If you have any side effect or unexpected behavior after enabling the Widget toolbar, you can always disable it with the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:40772499
Don't forget to run it as Administrator, and restart Windows 11 after running it.
This works in Windows 11 Build 25227 (Dev) and 25217 (Beta). You can find what build of Windows 11 you are running by pressing Win + R and typing
winver in the Run box.
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