Windows

The top 10 Windows 7 desktop gadgets

All CPU Meter

Note: Windows 7 gadgets are no longer supported by Microsoft. You may be able to acquire these gadgets from third-parties, but do not expect any support from Microsoft.

Windows 7 gadgets offer added functionality and convenience in a variety of ways. Here are a few you may want to add to your desktop.

Note: This gallery is also available as an entry in our 10 Things blog and as a PDF download.

The gadget I used to monitor my dual-core computer running Vista wasn't available in a quad-core version, so I switched to All CPU Meter. It supports up to eight cores (so I have room to grow). All CPU Meter isn't as complex as some, but the simplicity works in its favor. It monitors your memory usage as well as CPUs, and it packs a lot of information into a small space. I also like that you can change the background color to match your preferences.

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

53 comments
HCream
HCream

This article shouldn't be posted. Microsoft had issued a security advisory (2719662) back in July, 2012. It stated that vulnerabilities in Gadgets could allow remote code execution.

edg901-techrep
edg901-techrep

I tried to get the CPU app, and Microsoft has removed it!!

fkowal
fkowal

Those of you wondering if Gadgets work in win8? YES. however MS did not enable the function in windows 8 and if you read the MS information it was because of the potential for viruses. HOWEVER Gadgets work fine in WIN 8, I have them running just like in WIN 7. How do you ask? GO HERE http://8gadgetpack.bplaced.net/

tannersc
tannersc

Links would have been nice for these gadgets.

mveh
mveh

I just wasted time reading this article which was originally published in June of 2010 and included in the newsletter that I received on May 31, 2013. None of these gadgets are available since the release of Windows 8 so why did you post this?

Dabfg
Dabfg

The direct links for CPU meter. Network meter and Hard drive meter is http://addgadgets.com/ And the link for Clip board manager is http://www.janzeman.com/ClipboardManager/ The reason I use these is great for cpu utilisation and memory utilisation and the Network manager and hard drive manager are good for checking your system for bandwidth hijacking and seeing if programs are glooming your connection. So well worth checking out.

firstaborean
firstaborean

On my Windows 7 Desktop, I use just two Gadgets, Drives Meter and Network Meter. The former gives me information on hard-drive activity, better than the simple drive light that used to be visible on cases, and the latter takes on the task that was so well done by DU Meter. It can be auto-ranging, the default, or have a fixed scale. Both Meters are very customizable, very useful. They both are from addgadgets.com.

MikeBytes
MikeBytes

In fact when you follow the links from the PDF they take you to a Windows website and the gadgets do not exist as far as I can fine.

FarmBoyd
FarmBoyd

The hot links take you to an Apps website; told Microsoft not longer supports the gadget gallery. How can one get these gadgets??

rgeiken
rgeiken

I have about 9 gadgets on my desktop, 6 of which can be seen during normal operation. The other 3 are off to the left side and covered up by the launched programs. I have the CPU Usage, 10 top processes, Calender, Weather, Time and Network Meter. The all serve a valuable to purpose to quickly allow me to see what is going on within my computer. The ones off just to the left show the Wi-Fi availability, Disc information and an Earthquake monitor. To not have these monitors showing me the information that they are receiving is like "flying blind". It is like cars of a few decades ago that only provide "Idiot lights" versus the higher end cars of recent years that will provide gauges to inform you on your cars condition. They are especially important when there are things wrong with your cars operation. "No News is Good News" does not hold true for today's modern devices be it a car or a computer. This is true of many other parts of the modern economy we live in.

jerlank
jerlank

In their infinite wisdom, Windows have killed off their gadgets. The links on the top 10 page do not work anymore. And some of us are stuck with Win7.

N4AOF
N4AOF

Why do the idiots at Tech Republic keep reposting the same garbage over and over just to have something to put in their barrage of newsletters???? This article was garbage two years ago when it was published the first time. It was worse garbage a year ago when they reposted it despite the fact that Microsoft had already stopped supporting gadgets for Win7. Now they keep republishing this gadget garbage every couple of months and like most garbage it just stinks more as it ages.

adj1
adj1

This seems to me a virtually useless presentation, since when I try to find out what these things are, half the time it doesn't tell me but just goes to another meaningless thumbnail. I seem to be not the only person here who has learnt to comunicate with words - maybe with support from pictures, but ,,,,,,

jtwad
jtwad

win 7 does not support new gadgets or so the website says...........tried to load a gadget from vista....won't work

plaw
plaw

Does Windows 7 has a gadget launcher like the App Launcher? It certainly will save desktop space.

sightsandsounds
sightsandsounds

I think Im back in time,, Im in may 2012, at least I hope I am,,LOL Ill have to see if these apps are still around. I Like Them !

vanierstein
vanierstein

Dead Link @ Microsoft.......TechRepublic triumphs again with dead or obsolete gadgets.........Comments,Links,anyone????????????? I,for one,would actually like to try this gadget....But I haven't given it my last no-holds-barred effort to find it yet,either-a cursory search yields NOTHING so far....

pbug56
pbug56

So many authors had gadgets posted on the Microsoft web site; when MS decided that gadgets were no longer important, many very good ones disappeared. One of my favorites was a simple wifi gadget showing signal strength, connection name, and if appropriate 'SECURE'. Now all you can find are a few featured ones. Tech Republic could do us a real service by assembling as many good gadgets as they can and making them available here.

fredrick
fredrick

MS no longer lists it as a gadget since MS jettisoned Live gadgets. Is it really available?

hamwart
hamwart

Pretty much all non-essential junk.

Cynyster
Cynyster

These are the gadgets I use most and are usually made 80% transparent(thats 20% opacity) 1) CPU http://addgadget.com/all_cpu_meter/ 2) Network http://addgadget.com/network_meter/ 3) Drive Meter http://sascha.katzner.de/driveactivity.html (this does not seem to work with dynamic drives) 4) ProWeather (M$ likes to hide this one) http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=b14d68bb-71ee-40cd-8cf5-c95b63503d00&bt=1&pl=1 5) N-Converter http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=af208de2-73dc-4a3b-8c0a-44103e87d5c2&bt=1&pl=1 6) TimeInfo http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=8765a949-e205-41dd-a94d-90d6c67be510&bt=1&pl=1 7) O&O DiskStat (in case drive meter doesn't work but temps only show if sidebar is run as admin) http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=47365d43-dbeb-465c-aeeb-066c3b311e4e&bt=1&pl=1 I have found many of the gadgets tend to cause system instability but these 7 seem OK to me.

lrumley
lrumley

Where can I get this interesting gadget

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

Why would you need an analogue clock when you have a clock on the Task Bar?

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

This is my config. It's basic but fun to configure. Oh what a time waster: cat .conkyrc # Conky, a system monitor, based on torsmo # # Any original torsmo code is licensed under the BSD license # # All code written since the fork of torsmo is licensed under the GPL # # Please see COPYING for details # # Copyright (c) 2004, Hannu Saransaari and Lauri Hakkarainen # Copyright (c) 2005-2007 Brenden Matthews, Philip Kovacs, et. al. (see AUTHORS) # All rights reserved. # # This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify # it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by # the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or # (at your option) any later version. # # This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, # but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of # MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the # GNU General Public License for more details. # You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License # along with this program. If not, see . # # $Id: conky.conf 1193 2008-06-21 20:37:58Z ngarofil $ alignment bottom_left background no border_width 1 cpu_avg_samples 2 default_color white default_outline_color white default_shade_color white draw_borders no draw_graph_borders yes draw_outline no draw_shades no font 6x10 gap_x 5 gap_y 60 minimum_size 5 5 net_avg_samples 2 no_buffers yes out_to_console no #own_window yes own_window no own_window_class Conky own_window_type normal stippled_borders 0 update_interval 3.0 uppercase no use_spacer no show_graph_scale no show_graph_range no #this is my addition to keep conky from flapping. Please see /etx/X11/xorg.conf #as well. double_buffer yes own_window yes own_window_type normal own_wondow_hints below,sticky,underdecorated,skip_taskbar TEXT ${scroll 16 $nodename - $sysname $kernel on $machine | } $hr ${color grey}Uptime:$color $uptime ${color grey}Frequency (in MHz):$color $freq ${color grey}Frequency (in GHz):$color $freq_g ${color grey}RAM Usage:$color $mem/$memmax - $memperc% ${membar 4} ${color grey}Swap Usage:$color $swap/$swapmax - $swapperc% ${swapbar 4} ${color grey}CPU Usage:$color $cpu% ${cpubar 4} ${color grey}Processes:$color $processes ${color grey}Running:$color $running_processes $hr ${color grey}File systems: / $color${fs_free /}/${fs_size /} ${fs_bar 6 /} /home $alignc ${fs_used /home} / ${fs_size /home} $alignr ${fs_free_perc /home}%${fs_bar /home} / $alignc ${fs_used /} / ${fs_size /} $alignr ${fs_free_perc /}%${fs_bar /} /home/adam/Desktop $alignc ${fs_used /home/adam/Desktop} / ${fs_size /home/adam/Desktop} $alignr ${fs_free_perc /home/adam/Desktop}%${fs_bar /home/adam/Desktop} ${color grey}Networking: Up:$color ${upspeed eth0} k/s${color grey} - Down:$color ${downspeed eth0} k/s $hr ${color grey}Name PID CPU% MEM% ${color lightgrey} ${top name 1} ${top pid 1} ${top cpu 1} ${top mem 1} ${color lightgrey} ${top name 2} ${top pid 2} ${top cpu 2} ${top mem 2} ${color lightgrey} ${top name 3} ${top pid 3} ${top cpu 3} ${top mem 3} ${color lightgrey} ${top name 4} ${top pid 4} ${top cpu 4} ${top mem 4} #adding a CPU graph ${cpugraph}

ctrogers
ctrogers

From the same guys that made the CPU usage meter, there are also a network meter and a wifi meter. The network meter also shows your external IP for those behind NAT routers. edit: Here is a link to their gadgets: http://addgadget.com/

Oldmanmike
Oldmanmike

Tried a few searches, can't seem to locate.

dduffy
dduffy

Anything that occurs on FaceBook belongs to FaceBook. Do you really want the guy who referrs to users as DF's to be able to capitalize on your communications go ahead!

HCESCTech
HCESCTech

It amazes that people waste space on their desktop with a clock gadget when there is a clock in the System Tray.

KrazyKat
KrazyKat

At least some of these (Clipboard Manager, App Launcher) are supported in Vista, though there's no mention of Windows 7.

andrew.glenda
andrew.glenda

Some nice ones there, thanks. Had the CPU meter but added clipboard, magic folder and Quick launch

oconnellkj
oconnellkj

Links would have been nice for these gadgets...

GSG
GSG moderator

This is a 3 year old article. Microsoft doesn't support these anymore as it's focusing on Windows 8.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

When you have programs open and are using your computer as apposed to just looking at the Pretty Pictures? I suppose having your Desktop Open with just the Desktop & Gadgets showing is great when you are at home/office connected to the LAN but the 3/4G Modem Required for your NB when you are out of the Home/Office just to maintain the Data Feed gets slightly expensive very quickly. ;) Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

It was posted on June 2 2010 well at least the first comment posted to this thread was posted then. So exactly how is a 2.5 year old Blog even close to being considered current. As for stopping people searching the site and then posting to Zombies sorry that's not going to stop after all People are People and most do not look at the dates. ;) Col

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet moderator

the original article is almost 2 years old. Can you say "zombie"? Or do you expect the original author to drop back by on some periodic basis to "update links" and such?

firstaborean
firstaborean

You might look into Free Clipboard Viewer, a good utility, not a Gadget, for managing the clipboard. It stores clips for easy loading onto the clipboard without needing to reopen the applications that generated them. http://freeclipboardviewer.com/

fidz63
fidz63

many users prefer an analogue display for a quick glance - relative time, not absolute

smason
smason

I'm not sure what Facebook, and Mini TV have to do with Network Administration. Other than the CPU usage, I think the rest are of little use to any experienced network admin...

slam5
slam5

That's because you have to move the mouse pointer down there if you have auto-hide. or if you need to keep track of multiple time zone. or if you want a bigger clock bc of vision problem..

michaels
michaels

..Or a quick launch bar when you can just pin apps to the taskbar...

squashjunkie
squashjunkie

Would of course be helpful to expand your list of gadgets to those people who live outside of the US. Incorporating a traffic gagdet that only works in North America, is not a popular choice.

USMCDbA
USMCDbA

I did not have to "search the site" to get this article, Tech-Republic sent it to me in the "Windows & Office" newsletter on 27 May 2013 with a headline date of 24MAY2013. As I read through it I thought the info was old ...then reading the comments I saw the dates they were posted. I have dumped my TECH-Republic subscriptions because of this. This is the third instance of old out-dated information beng plopped into my email with the presumption of being new & current. I would rather they sent out a BLANK newsletter than try to pass off old trash that is REALLY out dated. If there is no news, why not just say there is no news or try to actually find news or try to update the old news.

Kwurk
Kwurk

No You can't I'm afraid

Slayer_
Slayer_

For easy checking of the time in other parts of the world.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

decided that with the release of Windows 8, they were not going to readily provide any extras for Windows 7.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

The Blog was first posted in Jun 2010?