It’s been five months since Windows 11 launched, and one of its most disappointing features shows no sign of improving: Widgets.
Widgets are activated by clicking the blue and white icon that is automatically installed on the Taskbar or by pressing the Windows key + W. When pressed, half the screen will be displayed by an invisible information feed. Use: weather forecast, sports scores, thumbnails from your photo gallery and news stories.
Widgets could be much better if Microsoft opened them up to third-party apps and let you customize what appeared in that pane. Instead, you get to choose from a number of Microsoft’s own apps and services, with Microsoft’s use of Widgets being more than just a screen marketing opportunity.
For example, Microsoft not only fills the news feed with stories from its own MSN feed, but if you click on a story to read more, it opens in the Microsoft Edge browser – regardless Which default browser do you choose? That’s just one of the many ways Microsoft is trying to support Edge on Windows 11 users.
The leak shows that Microsoft is preparing to offer third-party widgets:
However, we have yet to see any official confirmation from Microsoft. Indeed, a recent update posted to Windows Insiders shows that Microsoft is now planning to do more than shuffle outdoor seating with Widgets, with the company announcing an experiment to “combine the widgets and news feed experiences as a dynamic composite feed containing both widgets and news assets”.
In other words, news items are being promoted further down in the Utilities pane, as attractive graphics show:
Be still my beating heart.
How to remove Windows 11 Widgets
Until and unless Microsoft finally supports third-party Widgets, the feature will be removed from my PC. If you also want to remove the Widget, here is how.
- Right-click on any empty space on the Taskbar (the bar at the bottom of the screen)
- Open Taskbar Settings from the popup that appears
- Click Extensions to Disable, as shown below
You can always turn them back on if they become useful, but don’t hold your breath.