A guide to using widgets in Windows 11

Windows was the last major operating system without widget support. Microsoft used live tiles to offer real-time information in the Windows Start menu. The company gave us an insight into the widget support with the news and weather widget in the system tray. However, everything became crystal clear when Microsoft rolled out widgets support in the Announcement of Windows 11 . Here’s how to access, use, and master the widgets in Windows 11.

The previous live tiling feature has gone for good and widgets have finally arrived on the Windows operating system. Microsoft didn’t add a widget panel just to highlight a feature in Windows 11. The widgets in Windows 11 are thoughtfully implemented and they are definitely better than the ones Apple offers on macOS.

Where are widgets in Windows 11?

Unlike macOS, Microsoft added a widgets shortcut to the new taskbar in Windows 11. So after you’ve properly updated to Windows 11, you’ll notice the Widgets button next to the Task View.

Click on that and Windows 11 will greet you with a dedicated widget area that slides down from the left. The widget panel takes up almost half of the display area and provides you with a better overview of the latest information through widgets.

What widgets are available in Windows 11?

As of now, widget support is available on a handful of Microsoft apps such as Microsoft To-Do, OneDrive, Calendar, weather, traffic and tips.

Microsoft has promised to offer developers the APIs they need to integrate their apps through widgets. As a result, we can expect widgets from. to see WhatsApp, Telegram, Spotify, Evernote and more soon.

Add widgets

Microsoft also integrates the MSN news area into the widget panel. The worst part is that message tabs open in Microsoft Edge Browser instead of the browser of your choice.

How to add or remove widgets in Windows 11

By default, Microsoft has added a handful of widgets to the widget panel. However, you can always customize it to your liking.

Step 1: Open the widget panel from the system tray.

Step 2: Scroll down and select Add Widgets.

Add widgets

Step 3: Select the ones you want to add and click the ‘x’ sign above to add close the menu.

Add widgets

You can see these newly added widgets in the panel.

To remove a widget, simply click on the three-dot menu in the widget and select the Remove widget option from the context menu.

How to change widget size in Windows 11

Microsoft offers three sizes of widgets that developers can implement – Small, Medium, and Large. After that, it’s up to the developers how they want to use the widget with their app.

Step 1: Open the widget panel from the system tray.

Step 2: In a widget, click the three-dot menu in the upper right corner.

Change widget size

Step 3: Choose from the Small, Medium or Large option and you will see the OS widget size change instantly.

How to change the widget position in Windows 11

Depending on your preferences, you might want to keep certain widgets on top and less useful ones on the bottom. You can easily change the current widget position in Windows 11.

Open the widget panel and move the mouse pointer over the top part of the widget. You will notice that the mouse display changes from a pointer to a small hand. Click the mouse or trackpad and the widget is now movable.

Place the widget where you want it and repeat the process for other widgets to arrange them.

News widgets

News widgets are nothing more than a list of top stories and news articles provided by Microsoft News. Microsoft has included some nice details to make it more personal for you.

To the example, you can like a news article that you respond to. You can also save it for reading later using the Save for Later button.

Message response in Windows 11

Users can click the three-dot menu next to a message and share the article, block publication, hide the story and personalize the entire reading experience with the thumbs up / down option.

Personalize messages in widgets

How to disable widgets in Windows 11

Microsoft has integrated the widgets link directly into the taskbar. If it gets in the way of your workflow unnecessarily, you can turn it off through the settings menu. That’s how it’s done.

Step 1: Hover your mouse pointer over the taskbar and right click on it.

Step 2: Open the settings menu on the taskbar.

Select the system tray settings

Step 3: Disable widgets in the menu items of the taskbar.

Disable widgets in Windows 11

The widgets icon is not displayed in the system tray. However, you can reactivate it from the same menu.

Use widgets like a pro in Windows 11

Widget is one of the best features Microsoft borrowed from macOS. The implementation is promising. With Microsoft’s aggressive approach with the new Windows Store in Windows 11, we can expect more developers to use the widget feature to target more users.

Which app would you like to use with widgets in Windows 11? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Next Up:

Is your computer showing the error message “This PC cannot run Windows 11”? Read the post below to learn why this is the case and how to fix it.

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