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How to add and manage widgets on Windows 11

No third-party widgets available yet, so you'll have to make do with Microsoft's bits and pieces.
By
February 17, 2022

Windows 11 has a few new features, and one of them is Widgets. A rather delayed arrival in comparison to most other operating systems, Windows 11 widgets have a rather limited approach. Regardless, if you like having quick access to information on your desktop, you can try out Windows 11 widgets. Here’s how you can add and manage widgets on Windows 11.

Get it now: Your complete guide to installing Windows 11

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The options to manage, add, remove, and resize widgets in Windows 11 can be found in the Widgets pane itself. You can open it by clicking on the widgets button on the taskbar or pressing Windows key + W simultaneously, and customize the widgets as per your liking.


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How to get desktop widgets on Windows 11

Windows 11 widgets button
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Windows 11 widgets are enabled by default, and as of now, there is no way to completely disable them. To summon the widgets pane, you can click on the Widget button on the taskbar (pictured above.) Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut by pressing Windows Key + W simultaneously. If you have a touchscreen device running Windows 11, you can also summon the Widgets pane by simply swiping in from the left side of the screen.

If you can’t see the widgets button, you can enable it by heading over to Windows settings–>Personalization–>Taskbar and toggling the button next to Widgets. Note that this toggle doesn’t disable Widgets, but just removes the Widgets button from the taskbar. You can still summon the Widgets pane with the keyboard shortcut or the touchscreen swipe even if the button on the taskbar is disabled.

Windows 11 taskbar settings Widgets
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Read more: How to uninstall apps on Windows 11

How to manage your Windows 11 start menu widgets

For now, Windows 11 has first-party widgets from Microsoft. These include Weather, Stocks, Sports, Photos (via OneDrive), Family Safety, Traffic, Tips, To-Do, Outlook Calendar, Gaming (eSports), Entertainment, and News Feed. These are basically the Microsoft Edge feeds, but on your desktop. To manage and curate your Windows 11 widgets, follow these steps.

Summon the Widgets pane by pressing the widgets button, Windows key + W, or swiping in from the left (touchscreen only.)

Click on the three-dot menu button at the top right side of the widget you want to customize. Click on Customize in the menu that pops up, and pick your settings.

Windows 11 customize widget
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

To customize all the widget data at once, locate the Add widgets button and click on it. It’s usually located right above the News Feed in the Widgets pane.

Windows 11 add widgets button
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

A pop-up window will appear with the personalization screen. Click on the Personalize your interests button in the bottom-left corner of the window.

Windows 11 widgets personalize screen
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

The personalization screen will open up in a new tab in Microsoft Edge. You can personalize all your widget interests here, with options available across every area of interest.

Windows 11 widgets settings
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Get started: How to customize the Windows 11 Start menu

How to add widgets

Now that you know how to curate the data that shows up on your widgets, let’s move on to how you can add widgets to your pane.

Open the Widgets pane by pressing the widgets button, Windows key + W, or swiping in from the left (touchscreen only.) Click on the Add widgets button right present above the News Feed.

Windows 11 add widgets button
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

A Widget settings window will pop up. There will be a list of available widgets under the Add widgets section.

Windows 11 widgets personalize screen
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click on the plus sign next to the widgets you want to add to your pane.

More: How to use Snap Layouts on Windows 11

How to move widgets

The added widgets show up in the order you add them, stacked alongside the already existing default widgets. You can move them as you need to.

Open the Widgets pane. You can do this by pressing the widgets button, hitting Windows key + W at once, or swiping in from the left (touchscreen only.) Hover your mouse cursor over the upper side of the widget you want to move. The cursor will turn into a palm cursor.

Windows 11 widgets move
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Click and hold the widget you want to move with the cursor. Move the cursor to the location where you want to place the widget. Release the cursor.

More: How to uninstall apps on Windows 11

How to resize or remove widgets

Unfortunately, the method to remove widgets isn’t one-click like the method to add them. The options to remove and resize a widget are packed into a single menu.

Press the widgets button, Windows key + W together, or swipe in from the left (touchscreen only) to summon the widgets pane. At the top of the widget, there will be a menu button with three horizontal dots on the right. Click on it.

Windows 11 widgets move and resize menu
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

To resize a widget, click on the size you want. Options are Small, Medium, and Large, but they may be limited to fewer options depending upon the widget in question. To remove a widget, click on the Remove widget button.


Read more: How to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10