UPDATE: Microsoft no longer offers downloadable gadgets on their website, due to security concerns. However, you can still use the gadgets that are included in Windows 7.
Windows 7 and Vista have a really cool feature for customizing your desktop called gadgets. Gadgets are programs that stay open and running on your desktop so you can see information such as weather or news headlines at a glance. In addition to convenience, they also offer a great way to personalize your computer.
Adding gadgets is easy. To get to the Gadget Gallery in Windows 7*, right-click on the desktop and click “Gadgets.” Try dragging some of them to your desktop. Here are a few of the built-in gadgets that you might like to try:
- Clock – A customizable clock that can be set to any time zone
- Weather – Gives up-to-date weather information for your area
- Slide show – Plays a slide show of your images
- Feed Headlines – Displays the latest news headlines
Is there a limit to how many gadgets you can put on your desktop? Well, like any program, a gadget uses some of your computer’s processing power, so if you put too many on your desktop, your computer might slow down significantly. But a few gadgets probably won’t cause a noticeable difference, and you can always take some of them off if needed.
* To get to the Gadget Gallery in Vista, click the plus sign (+) at the top of the Sidebar. To add a gadget, double-click it. Then you can drag it from the Sidebar onto the desktop.