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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

Published onDecember 21, 2023

Windows 11 introduces several new features, and one of them is the Widgets feature. Despite their rather delayed arrival compared to most other operating systems, Windows 11 widgets have a somewhat limited approach. Nevertheless, if you enjoy 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.

QUICK ANSWER 

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.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to get desktop widgets on Windows 11

Windows 11 widgets button

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 following these steps:

  • Go to Windows settings.
  • At the left pane, select Personalization.
  • At the right pane, click Taskbar.
  • Toggle 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.

How to manage your Windows 11 start menu widgets

For now, Windows 11 has first-party widgets from Microsoft. These include Family Safety, Focus session, Game Pass, Calendar, Phtos, Sports, Tips, To Do, Traffic, Watchlist, Weather, and News Feed. These are basically the Microsoft Edge feeds but on your desktop. However, you can manage and customize the widgets to best suit your personal preference.

How to add widgets

  • Open the Widgets pane by pressing the widgets button, Windows key + W, or swiping in from the left (touchscreen only.)
  • Click the plus icon ( ) located next to Widgets.
  • A Widget settings window will pop up. There will be a list of available widgets under the Pin widgets section.
  • From the list at the left side, select the widget you want to add.
  • At the right side, click the Pin button to add the widget to your pane.

How to remove widgets

  • Press the widgets button, Windows key + W together, or swipe in from the left (touchscreen only) to summon the widgets pane.
  • Click the three horizontal dots button at the top right corner of the widget you want to remove. The options menu will appear.
  • Select Hide this widget. The widget will be removed from the widget pane, but you can always add it again anytime.

How to resize and customize wigets

  • Summon the Widgets pane by pressing the widgets button, Windows key + W, or swiping in from the left (touchscreen only.)
  • Click the three-dots menu button at the top right of the widget you want to customize.
  • 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 customize the widget settings, select Customize.

How to move widgets

  • 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.
  • 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. Then, release the cursor.
windows 11 widgets move

How to customize the News Feed widgets

  • Summon the Widgets pane by pressing the widgets button, Windows key + W, or swiping in from the left (touchscreen only.)
  • Click your profile icon at the top right corner of the widgets pane. A Widget settings window will pop up.
  • Under the Personalized Feed section, select Manage interests.
  • 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. Click the plus icon on the topic you’re interested to.