It is now possible to remove and uninstall Widgets from Windows 11. Widgets is a new feature of the OS that brings latest news, weather forecast, stocks, and similar information to your Desktop with a click. You can consider them as an improved version of the News and Interest taskbar panel, which is available in Windows 10.
Unlike News and Interests, widgets in Windows 11 are fully customizable. Moreover, Microsoft will eventually allow third-party developers to create custom widgets. But at the moment of this writing, the set of widgets is limited to a number of items made by Microsoft.
You can open Windows 11 widgets by clicking a dedicated button on the taskbar, or with the Win + W shortcut. Even if you hide the widgets taskbar button in Windows 11, the hotkey remains working. The Widgets process will remain running in the background.
What you can't do is to resize the panel. Widgets will always be displayed on the left side of the screen. Also, widgets require you to use a Microsoft Account. They don't work with a local account.
Some users find widgets useless. They would like to get rid of widgets permanently. However, Microsoft doesn't provide such an option in the user interface of Windows 11. So, here's a workaround to remove Widgets from Windows 11 and uninstall them.
Remove Widgets from Windows 11
- Right-click the Start button or press Win+X and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
- If required, switch it to the Command Prompt or PowerShell profile. It defaults to PowerShell if you don't change its settings.
- Type the following command and press the Enter key:
winget uninstall "windows web experience pack".
- If asked, accept the Microsoft's Store terms and conditions by entering the Y letter.
- Winget will now remove the MicrosoftWindows.Client.WebExperience package, which implements Widgets in Windows 11.
You are done.
That's how you remove and uninstall Widgets in Windows 11.
How it works
Starting in Windows 11, Microsoft ships
winget preinstalled with the OS. It recent version allow removing preinstalled apps, even those that can't be removed using the Settings app. The "winget list" command will show you the list of what you can remove with winget. We have here a detailed post here covering this new feature.
If you change your mind and need to restore widgets after removing them from the OS, it is also easy. You just need to get the removed package back from the Microsoft Store.
Restore Widgets in Windows 11
- Open your web browser and point to the following link: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9MSSGKG348SP.
- You will see the Windows Web Experience Pack app. Click "Get".
- Once the Microsoft Store app opens, install the package.
- Open the Settings app (Win + I), and navigate to Personalization > Taskbar.
- Turn off and then turn on back the "Widgets" taskbar button. This will reload Widgets button.
- Click the Widgets taskbar button to make them run and usable again.
You are done.
Finally, you can get rid of Widgets without removing them. You can simply disable them with a Group Policy setting.
Disable Widgets in Group Policy
- Press Win + R and type
gpedit.mscinto the Run dialog.
- In the Local Group Policy Editor, expand the left pane to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Widgets.
- On the right, double-click the Allow Widgets option.
- Select Disabled to remove the Windows 11 widgets without uninstalling. Click Apply and OK.
Widgets will now become disabled for all users.
To re-enable them, set the above mentioned Allow Widgets Policy option to "Not configured". This will restore Widgets.
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