With Windows 8.1, Windows users not only got a brand new flat UI design but also lost desktop gadgets that they had in Windows 7. Desktop gadgets are those handy apps like clock, calendar, unit converter, battery meter, weather app, feed headlines and more. If you miss those little ornaments on your desktop, here’s how to get desktop gadgets (back) on Windows 8.1.
You will need to install a program which will give you a handful of desktop gadgets that are not exactly the same but similar to those that came pre-installed on Windows 7. The program also allows you to download and install .gadget files from third party sources.
Recommended Reading: 20 Useful Microsoft Windows 8.1 Tips & Tricks
Get Windows 8 Desktop Gadgets
Head to 8gadgetpack.net to download the latest installer. Run it, and you will see a few gadgets on your desktop.
Don’t worry about the transparent sidebar that you see, the sidebar is also a gadget that allows you to have the desktop gadgets stay above your opened or full sized windows. It can be removed just like any other desktop gadget.
Adding A Desktop Gadget
You can add a desktop gadget the same way you used to add it in Windows 7, by right clicking anywhere on the desktop and selecting Gadgets.
Another window will open and from there you’ll be able to pick from a handful of classic Windows 7 gadgets.
Each gadget has their own unique option that you can access when you right click on it and select Options.
Installing And Uninstalling Third Party Gadgets
As mentioned, you can find and download old .gadget files from third-party sources to add to your WIndows 8.1. Once you have found a .gadget file you like, just double click the .gadget file to install it. Once installed, it’ll show up on your desktop.
When installing form third-party sources, please only install files from sources that you trust to avoid installing malware into your computer.
To uninstall any gadget, just open the gadget list, right click on a gadget and select Uninstall.