Windows widgets, also known as Windows Gadgets, is a mini-applications that ran on the Windows desktop. They provided quick access to information and functionality, such as weather forecasts, stock quotes, sports scores, news, and more. Windows gadgets were introduced in Windows Vista and were available in Windows 7, but were discontinued in Windows 8 and later versions of Windows. Now, Windows Widgets are natively available in Windows 11. And there are even reports that Microsoft will soon allow users to install third-party widgets.
Back in Windows Vista, the widgets could be placed anywhere on the desktop, now all widgets live in a single place called the Widgets panel or Widget board. If you are still on the fence about this feature, you can hide it, disable and re-enable it as and when you deem it necessary, or completely get rid of it if you hate it so much.
In this guide, we’ll share a couple of different ways to hide, disable, or remove the Widgets from your Windows 11 computer.
Hide Widgets on Windows 11
If you are tired of accidentally opening the Widget board, you can easily hide it. Windows provides the option to temporarily hide widgets to reduce distractions instead of completely disabling or removing them. This can be done through the Widget settings as well as the Windows settings.
Hide Widgets on hover on Windows 11
Whenever you hover over the weather icon in the Windows 11 Taskbar, the Widget board will fly out automatically showing you the latest news, feeds, weather, etc. It can be very distracting every time you move your cursor to the taskbar corner.
If you want to hide the Widget board from opening as you hover over the weather icon but keep the weather button in case you want to manually open the board, here’s how:
First, click the weather icon in the taskbar or press Win+W to open the Widgets board.
In the Widget board, click the profile icon in the top-right corner.
Now, turn off the ‘Open Widgets board on hover’ toggle.
You can also turn off widget notification badges on the taskbar by disabling the ‘Show notification badges’ toggle. If you don’t want to see any rotating content updates from Widgets on the taskbar, turn off the ‘Show announcements’ toggle as well.
Hide Widgets from Taskbar using Settings
The above method doesn’t completely hide the Widget from your desktop, you can still open the Widget board by clicking the weather icon or the widget icon on the taskbar. To entirely hide the widget from the taskbar, follow these steps:
First, right-click on the empty area in Taskbar and select the ‘Taskbar Settings’ option. Alternatively, open the Settings app, go to the ‘Personalization’ tab, and select the ‘Taskbar’ option on the right.
On the Taskbar settings page, turn Off the ‘Widget’ option under the Taskbar Items section.
The Widget will immediately disappear from the taskbar but it will still be running in the background. You will still be able to open and close the Widget board at any time by using the Windows+W shortcut.
But widgets consume system resources while they are running and will continue to consume resources even when hidden. To minimize resource consumption, it is advisable to disable Widgets instead, if you have no use for them.
Disable Widgets on Windows 11
There are a few different ways you can disable widgets in Windows 11 – using Group Policy Editor, Registry Editor, or CMD/PowerShell. For a single user, you can make a few changes in Registry Editor to disable widgets in Windows 11.
Disable Widgets on Windows 11 using Registry Editor
Follow these instructions to disable widgets via Windows Registry:
To open Windows Registry, press Win+R, then in the Run box, type regedit and press Enter. Alternatively, you can search for Windows Registry in the Windows Search bar and open it.
Note: Before you make changes to Registry, you should back up your registry editor on your computer.
If the User Account Control prompt asks for permission, click ‘Yes’.
To back up the registry, click the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Export’.
Enter a name for the backup file and select ‘All’ from the Export range. Then, choose a safe location (like a backup drive or a USB drive)and click ‘Save’ to save the backup file.
Now, there are two methods to disable Widgets using Registry Editor.
After backing up the Registry Editor, navigate to the below location or paste the following command in the address bar and hit Enter:
With the ‘Microsoft’ key (folder) selected on the left pane, right-click on an empty area in the right-side panel, select ‘New’, and then the ‘Key’ option.
Then, rename the new key as
After that, right-click an empty area again with ‘Dsh’ selected and select ‘New’ and then the ‘DWORD (32-bit)’ Value option.
Next, name the newly created DWORD as AllowNewsAndInterests and double-click on it to edit its value.
Then, make sure its value is set to
0 in the Value data field and click ‘OK’.
After that, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer to apply the changes. Once your system restarts, the Widgets panel should now have been disabled on your computer.
Another way to disable the Widget on Windows 11 is by editing the ‘TaskbarDa’ entry in the Registry Editor.
In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location or paste the below path in the address field:
Next, locate the ‘TaskbarDa’ registry DWORD from the right-side panel.
If the TaskbarDa DWORD is not available inside the Advanced key, you need to create one. To do that, right-click on the ‘Advanced’ key from the left panel, go to ‘New’, and select ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’. Then, name the newly created DWORD as ‘TaskbarDa’.
After that, double-click on the TaskbarDa and assign
0 as the value, and click ‘OK’.
Then, close the Registry Editor and restart your PC to apply the changes.
To re-enable the widget feature, follow the same steps and change the value of ‘TaskbarDa’ from ‘0’ to ‘1’.
Disable Widgets Using the Group Policy Editor
For centrally managed environments or all users’ accounts, you can use Group Policy Editor to disable Widgets on Windows 11. However, this method is only available to users running Windows 11 Pro or higher. Follow these steps to turn off Widgets using Group Policy Editor:
Open the Start menu, search for ‘Edit Group Policy, and select ‘Edit Group Policy’ control panel to launch Group Policy Editor. Or type
gpedit.msc in the Run command and press Enter.
Once the Group Policy Editor opens, navigate to the following location using the left panel:
Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Widgets
In the right-side pane, double-click on the ‘Allow widgets’ policy.
Then, select the ‘Disabled’ option, click ‘Apply’, and then ‘OK’.
Now close the Group Policy Editor and restart your PC. Once the system restarts, the Widgets will stop showing on your taskbar. If you want the widgets back, navigate back to the ‘Allow widgets’ policy and set it to ‘Not Configured’.
Disable Widget using CMD/ Powershell Method
Another way you can disable Widgets on Windows 11 is by using Command Prompt or PowerShell.
First, open ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘Windows PowerShell’ with administrative privileges. Search for ‘Cmd’ or ‘PowerShell’ and click on ‘Run as Administrator’ on the right.
In the Command Prompt, type the following command and hit Enter:
REG ADD "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /f /v TaskbarDa /t REG_DWORD /d 0
Then, restart your computer. After the restart, the Widget will be disabled on your computer.
To re-enable the Widget board, run the following command:
REG ADD "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /f /v TaskbarDa /t REG_DWORD /d 1
Uninstall Widgets on Windows 11
If you want to completely uninstall the Widget feature, you can do that by removing the Windows web experience package which will also remove the widgets option from the Taskbar settings page.
Launch ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘Windows PowerShell’ with administrative privileges. Alternatively, you can right-click the Start menu and select ‘Terminal (Admin)’.
Click ‘Yes’ to User Account Control if prompted. Now, type or copy and paste this command and press Enter.
winget uninstall "Windows web experience Pack"
If the Winget tool asks you to accept the source terms, type ‘Y’ and hit Enter.
Winget tool will uninstall the ‘MicrosoftWindows.Client.WebExperience_cw5n1h2txyewy’ package which is the package name of the widget feature.
Now, the widget feature will be completely removed from the computer (including from the taskbar and settings).
Reinstall or Restore Widgets in Windows 11
If you use the above method to remove the Widget, it will be gone for good. To restore the Widget feature on Windows 11, you have to reinstall the Microsoft Web Experience Pack using a web browser.
First, visit the site with the given link and click the ‘Get in Store app’. You won’t be able to find this app on the Microsoft Store app by searching for it because it’s a hidden feature.
Then, click on the ‘Open Microsoft Store’ button on the prompt box at the top.
It will take you to the Store app where you can click ‘Get’ to download and install it.
Based on your requirements, i.e., whether only want to hide widgets, disable them, or completely uninstall them from your system, you can choose the corresponding method from above and proceed with it.