What are widgets?

Widgets are small windows that display dynamic info on your Windows desktop. They appear on the widgets board, where you can add, remove, arrange, resize, and customize them to reflect your interests and the way you work. Widgets help you stay on top of what’s important to you by bringing together personalized content from your favorite apps and services so you can have the latest info at a glance throughout your day. So say goodbye to constantly switching between apps and devices and websites—now you can stay connected to the things you care about without losing focus on your most important tasks.

Note: This feature is not available in Windows 11 SE. Learn more

Screenshot of the widgets board on the the Windows 11 desktop.

Each widget is powered by a different app or service. To see what is powering a widget, select More Options () in the upper-right corner of the widget, and look for the “Powered by” message at the bottom of the menu. Each individual widget is an extension of its corresponding app or service and is controlled by the settings for that app or service. Which means the way to change your privacy settings for a widget is to change them for the app or service that powers that widget.

Screenshot of the More Options menu in the Weather widget.

Note: Some apps or services that power your widgets might tailor content based on location estimation using the IP address of your internet connection. Widgets that are powered by these apps or services do not rely on the Windows location service. IP addresses are used to connect your device to the websites, apps, and services you use and will typically resolve to an imprecise geographic location. Microsoft apps and services will estimate the general location of your device to provide you with the most contextually relevant experience. This location is generally at a city level and has very limited precision.

What data does Microsoft collect?

The data collected by the widgets board is determined by the diagnostic data settings you choose in the Windows Settings app. For example, Windows collects the widget name and info about how you interact with the widget board. Learn more about diagnostic data in Windows

Individual widgets might also collect data. To learn more about what data is collected by a widget, see the information provided for the app or service that powers the widget.

Using the widgets board

Your widgets board consists of two sections: your widgets and your news feed. Your widgets are all located at the top of the widgets board. The news feed can be found below your widgets. The following sections describe how to use the widgets board.

Signing in and out

  • To use the widgets board, you need to be signed in to your Microsoft account, your work account, or your school account.

  • All widgets will be personalized by using the same account. It’s not currently possible to switch between different accounts when using the widgets board, but you can switch to a different account in Windows, which will then allow you to view widgets for that account.

  • To sign out of the widgets board and all widgets, select your profile picture in the upper-right corner of the widgets board, and then, on the Widgets Settings screen, select Sign out in the upper-right corner next to your profile picture. You won’t be able to use the widgets board until you sign in again.

Show or hide the widgets board

Here are a few easy ways to switch between showing and hiding the widgets board:

  • Select the Widgets icon on the taskbar.

  • Press the Windows logo key  + W.

  • Click or tap anywhere outside the widgets board.

Working with widgets

Add widgets

Select the Add widgets button at the bottom of widgets board and follow the instructions to add widgets.

Screenshot of the Add Widgets controls in the Customize your dashboard dialog box.

Note: The ability to add more than one instance of a widget to your widgets board is currently unavailable.

Remove a widget

To remove a widget from the widgets board, select More Options () in the upper-right corner and select Remove widget.

Removing a widget signs you out of its associated app or service.

Move a widget

To move a widget to another spot on your board, click the widget header and drag the widget to the new location.

Resize a widget

To make a widget larger or smaller, select More Options () in the upper-right corner and select Small, Medium, or Large.

Note: Some widgets might only offer one or two sizes.

Customize a widget

To edit a widget, select More Options () in the upper-right corner and select Customize widget.

Editing a widget gives you access to customization options like changing the city for your weather widget or updating the watchlist for your stocks widget.

Interacting with widgets

  • You can interact with some widgets for quick tasks like checking off an item in To Do list, or viewing calendar events on a particular day.

  • You can open a widget’s app or website by selecting the title bar in the upper-left corner of the widget.

Working with your news feed

Personalize your news feed

Your news feed will become more personalized over time. To get started, tell us what you care about by selecting Manage your news and interests in the Widget settings dialog box. This will open the My Interests page in Microsoft Edge.

Screenshot of the My Interests page in Microsoft Edge.

From the My Interests page, you can:

  • Use the search box to find topics or publishers you want to follow.

  • Browse topics by category and select the ones that interest you.

  • View and manage the interests and publishers you're following.

Fine-tune your news feed

If you need help choosing which publishers and content you prefer, select Tune your feed on the left side of the My Interests page to be guided through the steps to set up your news feed.

Note: The ability to follow publishers and tune your feed is currently only available for English speakers in the US.

You can also fine-tune your feed from within an individual news story. Here’s how: 

  • Select the Hide this story (X) button in the upper-right corner of the article to remove the article. You can then provide feedback that you are not interested in the story, you don't like the source, or that you want to report an issue.

  • Select the See more () button in the lower-right corner of a news story and choose either More stories like this or Fewer stories like this to see more or what you care about or less of what you don't. You can also choose to hide stories from the story's publisher.

    Screen shot of the See more menu in a news story.  

View and manage your publishers and interests

  • To view and manage the publishers and interests you follow, select the Followed interests and Followed Publishers sections in the left side of the My Interests page.

  • To view and manage your hidden publishers, select Hidden Publishers on the left side of the My Interests page.

View updated content on your news feed 

Updated content will appear in your news feed when there is new content to show that meets your personalization settings. Your news feed learns about you over time, so you might not always see changes right away.

Signing in to Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge with the same Microsoft account will help ensure your news feed personalization is available across Widgets, apps, and devices. 

Frequently asked questions

If you created your Microsoft account using an email address that is not from Microsoft, that email address can’t be used to display calendar events. To see calendar events in the widget, you’ll need to create an Outlook.com account so you can use the Outlook.com email address with the Calendar widget.

The To Do widget might not be supported in your environment, or if you are part of a network that belongs to a school or organization, your admin might have made it unavailable.

Contact your admin for more info.

The language and the content that you see on your widgets board is determined by your Windows display language and Country or region settings. To view and change these settings, go to Settings > Time & language > Language & region. Content will appear in your Display Language. If applicable, the widgets and news feed will show content from your Country or region. 

Notes: 

  • You will be required to restart your computer or sign in again before your language changes will take effect.

  • If content isn’t available in your specific language or region, you might see content from another language or region that corresponds most closely to your selected settings.

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