Add desktop widgets and Sidebar to Windows 11

Image about Add desktop widgets and Sidebar to Windows 11

Windows 11 is available for testers with Start Menu and Centered Taskbar and Widgets. If you’re disappointed that OS doesn’t allow you to enable and run Windows 10 start menu that has live tiles and didn’t like the Widgets menu, you can add desktop widgets with live tiles support that used to exist in Windows Vista/8 and sidebar to Windows 11.
Windows 11 desktop with widgets on sidebar

Widgets in Windows 11

First and foremost if you’re using a Windows 11 preview build, you can launch Widgets from Taskbar.

Ensure Widgets was enabled by going to Personalization >Taskbar. Right-click on the taskbar and select “Taskbar Settings” to reach there.

Widgets menu comes with Search, Weather, News, Photos, and Watchlist.

You can add other widgets such as Calendar, Traffic, To Do, Esports from Widget Settings.

Unlike the older Windows versions, you can’t pin Windows 11 widgets to desktop in the latest Windows OS, but you can do that with a third-party program called MetroSidebar.

Add desktop widgets and Sidebar to Windows 11 with MetroSidebar

MetroSidebar was designed for Windows 8.

It lets you quickly access the Clock, Weather forecast, Bing Search, Pictures, Alarm, and Windows search.
Windows 11 sidebar with search and alarm widgets

The program allows changing live tile background Color. It also offers Settings to configure keep Sidebar widgets to

  • appear always on top
  • start with Windows
  • place on desktop
  • Dock
  • auto-hide

MetroSidebar is a third-party program that adds Widgets with live tiles to Sidebar on Windows 11 desktop.

MetroSidebar running on Windows 11


Microsoft has discontinued sidebar and gadgets on Windows 7 and other versions, citing they’re vulnerable. You can still add desktop gadgets to Windows by using 8gadgetPack.

The developer of 8GadgetPack confirmed his program not compatible with Windows 11 where no such information is available right now about MetroSidebar.

Do note, the program mentioned in the article may not be compatible, but it worked for us.

Let us know what do you think about using Widgets from the sidebar on the desktop in Windows 11 in the comments below.

More on Windows 11:

Enable Snap Layouts for Firefox on Windows 11

Microsoft Edge on Windows 11 gets its first UI changes

Enable Update install Estimate time in Windows 11 Start Menu