Windows

10 plus must have Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets

Desktop Gadget interface

Desktop Gadgets in Microsoft Windows 7 are more sophisticated and more useful than in previous versions of the operating system. Here are 10+ gadgets that should be in your desktop management portfolio.

Note: Earlier Deb Shinder gave us her Top 10 Windows 7 desktop gadgets and while there are some similarities between our lists, there are also some significant differences.

To get to the Windows Desktop Gadgets installation application, search Gadgets in the Start menu search box. You will be presented with a list of gadgets already installed onto your system. Click the details button to reveal more information about each gadget.

Images by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic. The gallery was originally published in July 2010.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

79 comments
completelift
completelift

10 plus must have Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets: Galley load dismal not worth going through. Please find a new format. Windows 7 viewing issues with your picture galleries only

culley544
culley544

The only gadget I like is the Calander, the rest serve very little purpose. I have a clock at the bottom, no need for another one.

rmazzeo
rmazzeo

...try looking for some of these on the MS gadget site - please read that page - gadget development is no longer supported, & a few of the ones I used to use (weather, wireless info, etc.), no longer work at all. The desktop gadget is pretty much gone, except for a few, most of which are useless. How about if we stop promoting obsolete stuff here on ZDNet?

lee_h_shannon
lee_h_shannon

Hi TechRepublic, Please sort out your web site - it's a real pain to have re-load it every time I want to look at, for instance, the next gadget in your top ten list. Yours, Lee

charleswdavis6670
charleswdavis6670

Can't we get some original articles? I get tired author's opinions (news?) that are published as the "Top 10" "10 Must have..." "10 Best..." "10 Worst..." "100 best products..." "30 Sites you should use now..." I haven't been to 30 different web sites in years. "The gallery was originally published in July 2010." Helps the author to enjoy the Holidays I suppose. Happy New Year!

jamesyost
jamesyost

Link to Greg's Gadgets is not working, Please fix

apaintz
apaintz

I'm not sure what presious resourses they might be robbing your Processors of but mine indicates about a 4% drain with all my used widgets running. However, to Log on the I-net here, spike maxed out both PCores!

jar422
jar422

Did Windows 7 forget to put in Clipboard as XP has?

bm_darden
bm_darden

I could not find the links to many of the gadgets mentioned in this article and the person writing should have verified that the gadgets where still on Microsoft's website because I could not find the MIni TV on their site. I agree with a lot of the readers a complete waste of time to right an article and not bother to post links to the gadgets so that they could be used by the readers.

airish
airish

From the only remaining Microsoft 'Gadget' page: "Because we want to focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows, Microsoft no longer supports uploading new gadgets. But that doesn't mean you can't still get gadgets. The most popular and highest-rated gadgets are still available on this page." MS no longer seems to support gadget development from Win7 or Vista in any form. There may be developers out there but they are hard to find.

hdride
hdride

I have found out that Microsoft doesn't sopport "gadgets" anymore nor wants anything to do with them. They left only a few to choose from for those that felt the need to have something on their desktop. I do like a Stock ticker but with all the security patches I'm sure they have a role is messing that up, it works when it wants to. It very hard to find anything worth while so I gave up and removed the junk.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...or have been pulled ("We???re sorry, but the page you requested could not be found" linked from on slide #21). Why would that be?

djxmatthews
djxmatthews

Most IT Administrators I know of disable gadgets 1) to improve system performance 2) to eliminate a means of users to adding crapware

touchdown_twc
touchdown_twc

I use all the ones that tell me about my system but, my favorite is the USGS gadget that tells me about earthquakes all around the world.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Now I [b]can't[/b] live without that one!!! When it stops, all progress comes to a screeching halt till I found out what is up. Fortunately, that is not often, anymore. It is almost a complete replacement for AWS Weatherbug, and has radar that zooms in to your local county!!!! I also employ another one for personal weather stations, that I look up online also. The gadget gives me instant feedback on current conditions, from my own weather-station. AWS was included with my PC, but does not work, as my security programs will not let it communicate with its servers. That is just as well! ;\

Zenith545
Zenith545

Must have?? That's a marketing gimmick. If you think these are "must haves" then you also own an Apple Ipad and Iphone 4.......LOL.

Jaqui
Jaqui

or they wouldn't require any specific platform.

alandakin
alandakin

I would have liked to see links to the gadgets recommended - I have tried to find the iTunes one without success.

Specklesdad
Specklesdad

I really like the cheep Gas finder, it monitors all the Gas prices in My area. And if I need Gas and I'm close I will stop and fill up.

esalkin
esalkin

Looks like you need a gadget to unclutter your gadgets!

GB9130
GB9130

How about replacing the slide show format with a useful article containing a single page (click) with ALL the names and links to downloads?

sunnetmedia
sunnetmedia

Expanded ipconfig gadgets was cool thax

mmarable2004
mmarable2004

I'm sorry, but that article was terrible. It was nothing but screen shots of various gadgets. A real disappointment. With a title of "10 plus must have Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets" I had hoped for something of substance.

terrydunlap79015
terrydunlap79015

Just something else Microsoft came up with to be eye candy, but eats up memory and processor, causing the system to run less than optimum. I won't be installing this junk any time soon.

KeithTT
KeithTT

I shall look forward to NOT having this junk on my system.

donaldgagnon1
donaldgagnon1

The most interesting thing in this article is the term 'MUST HAVE'!! Who decreed them as 'Must Haves"?? And far more importantly, WHY?? Other than the cpu meter, there is not a one that makes my work with Win 7 anymore productive or efficient. Just more wasted stuff running in the background and eating up resources for no good reason. Maybe folks who just use computers for social networking and browsing might find them 'neat', but for serious processing they are mostly useless resource grabbers.

JCitizen
JCitizen

platform, but I'm not sure if it is on that site, or Weather Underground; the regular weather gadget from that organization is available on the Microsoft add gadget site.

twinjenz
twinjenz

Are these gadgets some form of Microsoft Spyware.? Not many are useful. Pity there isnt a third party vendor out there which might produce some more useful gadgets.

K.Grass
K.Grass

That really would be a useful gadget, too funny man!

BigJohnLg
BigJohnLg

LOL Helluva good idea!! A gadget to kill all gadgets.

tjsobieski
tjsobieski

I HATE these slide show thingies, especially when the title says ""must have" and a suggestion is a picture puzzle. Keeeerist! must be New Years Day Hangover at TR

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

We are working on a better presentation platform for photo galleries - we definitely need an update.

AllanMitch
AllanMitch

I agree. Presenting this type of information in a slide show is a real hog or resources and bandwidth. I live in a bandwidth constrained locality and I don't have time to click and wait for each picture. Very disappointing.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

But it is just a photo gallery - not an in depth blog post.

n4aof
n4aof

I suggest that YOU go to the link you posted and try to find the 10 gadgets your article listed. It looks like a big part of the problem is that the article was apparently written in mid-2010. I suppose they published it then because there are comments that old, but Tech Republic included that same article in one of its emails in late-2011 by which time many of your gadgets had been abandoned by Microsoft.

rmazzeo
rmazzeo

...just like the gadgets have been laid to rest...there are only 30 now, most of which are useless or duplicates. Not to mention, the ones I used are no longer available or working at all. Let's move on to something new & not include this 1.5 year old obsolete column in my newsletter anymore...thanks!

GB9130
GB9130

Early in my IT career (45 years), I learned that my number 1 priority was to make OTHERS more productive. We even created a group called Productivity Solutions, where a small team evaluated and implemented software that would make our developers job easier and quicker. One of the key methods, was simply providing clear, concise communication. Sorry, Mark. Your article with a single link to 4145 gadgets does not qualify. GB

roykirk
roykirk

Can't tell which of the many Media Player gadgets is the one you highlighted. I'm sure that it's hard to find others that you mentioned as well, except, perhaps, for the TechRepublic ones. Can you link directly to each gadget in some way? Thanks.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Now that one was a hoot! I hated clip-it so bad I shot it full of holes over and over again! It got rid of a LOT of frustration on the job! Don't worry, my boss knew I was doing it, I told him so. He liked the application so well, he distributed it to all the clients. Production actually increased, because no one had to put up with that pesky clip-it character.

n4aof
n4aof

After several years with Tech Republic, I _know_ that you can do better. Yes, some people complained about the terrible presentation method (Tech Republic slide shows are always a bit difficult) but the more significant point is that the article itself was way beneath your usual standards. I doubt anyone found more than one or possibly two gadgets they would even count as useful -- certainly nothing that qualified as "Must Have." Even disregarding the choice of which gadgets to include, the article had VERY little value. No real description of each so-called "Must Have" gadget and especially no link to go get the gadget if you actually wanted it. Several of your "must have" gadgets are simply not available anywhere at all.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

is that it takes a while to load each image. I usually don't get past the first three or four shots before I give up. Geez, I didn't even get past the first four in the 'Sexy Comicon' gallery.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

images posted directly on the page with the comments about each image below the image no clicks involved just scrolling

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

And it certainly isn't worth the hassle of dragging through the terrible gallery app you use!

drewcollier
drewcollier

You baited and switched us. I, too, thought I would find something of value here. Instead, we get a gallery of the most useless MS gadgets. Really, picture puzzle is a must have? And before you ask me to do better, I am not a writer for TechRepublic. I didn't volunteer this drivel, and you lose your right to point the finger back at your readers by the mere fact that you posted this under the guise of being some authority on the subject. If we already knew the must have gadgets, we wouldn't be reading the article...er, slideshow.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...I too thought it was recent from the fact that it was highlighted in that email last month. Sometimes a person just reads the content and takes it at face value - TR seems to be suffering from a lack of editorial control, or something, what with the oddly random emails showing up old columns, frequent and irritating typos, and inability to jump to the recent posts in these comments. Before the last revamp of this website, all posts were displayed, and those made in the last 24 hours were flagged with a "new" banner or tag in the corner. Now that it's been prettied up, you have to go into your profile somewhere and set up your preferences to display all posts (which still only shows a maximum no - I think 50 - per page) and there is no way to highlight the newer ones. So when an email arrives telling you there have been new posts to xyz column you have to do a manual search - per page - for each of the new posts listed; otherwise you have to re-read each post until you spot one that you haven't seen before. Seems TR's goal here is to annoy readers as much as possible.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

So, let's understand correctly, to kill Clippie, all you had to do was - find website - download - install - spend x minutes shooting holes in him. At which point he was still there, but wounded. OR - right-click - "Hide" Nah, why do it the easy way when there's an app for that