You can get genuine Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets for Windows 11 with a couple of clicks. By downloading the sidebar installer, you will have them back in the latest OS from Microsoft. While Microsoft claims them insecure and outdated, desktop gadgets still have plenty of fans.
Back in Windows 8 days, Microsoft was shipping desktop gadgets along with Windows 8 Developer Preview. But this has changed.
The Redmond software giant is now considering Live Tiles in Windows 10 and 8, and "Widgets" in Windows 11 as a robust, secure replacements for the legacy gadgets feature. So, starting in Windows 8, the operating system no longer includes them.
If you are not familiar with Desktop Gadgets, this fancy feature was first introduced in Windows Vista. In that version of Windows, gadgets were linked to a special area called "Sidebar". The Sidebar was a line at the right edge of the screen where gadgets where stacked one above another in form of a column. You could drag a gadget to the Desktop, to make it expand itself and show extra options.
In Windows 7, Microsoft has updated the sidebar and made it a transparent area that takes the whole Desktop area where gadgets could be placed. There were a button for each of the widgets to expand or shrink it in size and show/hide its advanced features.
Finally in Windows 8, Microsoft has removed them. Here was born a new project - Gadgets Revived for all users who miss them. Gadgets Revived restores the desktop gadgets feature in Windows 11 with ease, and also provides a gallery of widgets.
Download Desktop Gadgets for Windows 11
- Navigate to this page to download the package.
- In the downloaded zip archive, double-click the file
DesktopGadgetsRevived-2.0.exeto run it.
- Select your preferred language for the installer. Note: The Setup program will detect the installed language(s) of your OS and install them automatically.
- Review the detected configuration and click Install.
- Voila, you have familiar Desktop gadgets on your Desktop!
The package includes all the stock gadgets, i.e. Calendar, Weather, CPU Meter, Currency, RSS Feeds, Picture Puzzle, and Slideshow. Additionally, you can get extra gadgets from the apps's website.
Using Desktop Gadgets in Windows 11
The installer will integrate gadgets with all system components. You will have the Gadgets entry in the Desktop right-click menu. However, to see it, first click on Show more options, as Windows 11 displays the shorten menus by default.
Also, you will be able to show/hide gadgets from the View submenu.
But that's not all!
The gadgets will be available in the classic Control Panel. They will have their own icon under Personalization and appearance, along with quick tasks.
You can also use search to quickly find them in the Control Panel, and even the third-party Start menu replacements like Open Shell or StartIsBack. In the search, it will also show quick tasks.
The gadget package supports uninstalling it like any other app you have in Windows 11.
Uninstall Desktop Gadgets
If you changed your mind and decided to get rid of the gadgets on your desktop, it is very easy to uninstall them. For that, open the Settings app using the Start menu or the Win + I shortcut, and go to Apps & features > Apps.
In the list of installed apps, find the Windows Desktop Gadgets app, and select Uninstall for it as shown in the screenshot below.
Finally, confirm your intention to remove the app.
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