Top 10 features and changes users want in Windows 11 Widgets

    Taras Buria


    2:12pm EDT August 15, 2022

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    In this article, we’ve gathered the most common feedback and ideas/complaints Windows 11 users have about Windows Widget—a new taskbar feature that Microsoft uses to provide customers with useful news and all kinds of recommended content. As it turns out, Windows 11 users have some strong opinions about Widgets.

    You can get more feedback about Windows Widgets in the Feedback Hub app below Feedback > Desktop Environment > Widgets Category. We recommend that you vote for posts to which you agree using direct links. Plus, check out our other top 10 articles on Microsoft Store, OneNote, Teams, OneDrive, GitHub, and Outlook.

    1. Remove News from Widget area – over 9800 upvotes.
      The number of votes this proposal received proves that users want Windows Widgets to be useful toolboxes first, not tabloid feeds. Mixing articles with widgets defeats the sole purpose of informational panes that can be viewed without requiring the corresponding application to be opened. Instead of quickly getting the information they need, users need to waste time looking for the necessary gadgets lying somewhere in the news feed.
    2. Add more stock widgets, such as a clock, Sticky Notes or a calculator – 1700+ upvotes.
      Microsoft is pushing Windows 11 to be a user-first, productivity-first operating system, but for now, the Windows Widget is more of a gateway for Microsoft to push more of its own content instead of productivity gadgets. You have Want more widgets? This is a display “widget” Advertisement games from Game Pass.
    3. Added support for third-party add-ons – 1700+ upvotes.
      Fortunately, Windows 11 users will soon get their wish. Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that it would soon allow developers to create custom widgets for Windows 11. Unfortunately, no information about third-party widgets has been announced since.
    4. Disable background activity Windows Widgets – over 1600 upvotes.
      The ability to get weather forecasts in the taskbar—now much more accurate—is not free. You pay with CPU and RAM usage, which can become noticeable on lower-end hardware. Interestingly, the News and Interests feature in Windows 10 has an option to restrict background activity.
    5. Open widgets in respective apps, not Edge – 980+ upvotes.
      This is self explanatory. Users who want the weather widget open the default Weather app, not Microsoft Edge (bypassing the default browser), and the MSN website has an additional news feed below the forecast. Tips: You can make Windows 11 respect your default browser choice when clicking on an extension using a third-party application called MSEdgeRedirect.
    6. Allows users to pin separate widgets directly to the desktop (aka Windows Gadgets) – 940+ approves.
      Placing favorite widgets directly on the desktop makes it easier to use the feature without taking extra steps, just like in Windows Vista and 7 with its Gadgets. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s official response is “this is not something we currently support.”
    7. Added support for multiple accounts – over 530 upvotes.
      The calendar widget in Windows 11 doesn’t support events from non-Microsoft accounts, let alone support multiple accounts, such as personal and work or personal and school. Again, a significant productivity downgrade (compared to Windows 10) in a productivity-focused operating system.
    8. Prevent Windows Widget from opening on hover – 450+ upvotes.
      The option to disable on hover is another feature that Windows lost in the transition from 10 to 11. It may not be a problem if you use the centered taskbar, but with aligned icons to the left (the OG variant that many users still prefer), the accidental opening becomes hard to ignore.
    9. Added support for custom RSS feeds – 200+ upvotes.
      While you can personalize news preferences, Windows Widgets does not support custom RSS feeds. Implementing RSS support can make Windows Widget a place users want to open and use because it contains of them content, not something Microsoft thinks you might like.
    10. Bug fixes and poor reliability – much donate.
      There are many reports of users having to deal with broken widgets and high resource consumption.

    What do you think of these feedback pieces? What would you like to see Microsoft add/change/improve in Windows Widgets? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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