Widgets are an interesting feature in Windows 11, allowing users to check information that matters to them via a dedicated menu on the taskbar. Even so, widgets may sometimes fail to function properly. If you’re also facing such an issue, this article explores eight fixes to address Windows 11 widget troubles.
If you’re looking to add widgets to your website, start with these embeddable weather widgets.
What Are Widgets?
If you ever used Windows 10 before, you’re probably familiar with Live Tiles on the start menu, which used to feature info such as the weather, news, and images. Widgets in Windows 11 offer a similar functionality: displaying dynamic content from your favorite apps on your PC, but they’re no longer cluttering your start menu. Instead, they have their own space that can be summoned by pressing Windows + W.
You can pin, unpin, resize, arrange and customize widgets according to your interests. If you wish to learn more about their function, check out how to use widgets in Windows 11.
Troubleshooting Windows 11 Widgets
We have a few quick fixes you can try if widgets are not working as they should on your PC.
1. Disable and Re-enable Widgets
If you can’t see the widgets menu icon in your taskbar (the blue and white square), disabling and re-enabling widgets can sometimes fix this issue.
- Right-click any empty space on your Taskbar and click on the “Taskbar settings” option.
- Toggle off the “Widgets” button, then toggle it back on to see whether the widgets are working.
2. Reboot Widgets
If your widgets are not loading or you see a blank space where the widgets should be, restarting the widgets process from Task Manager may solve this issue.
- Click Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the “Task manager” on your PC. Select the “Processes” tab if it is not selected.
- Find the process for widgets and click on the “End task” button to end the process.
- Try opening the widgets panel and see if it loads.
3. Restart File Explorer
Windows File Explorer is closely linked with the UI library that controls all visual elements on your PC, which also include widgets. Restarting File Explorer may fix any issue with the widgets not working.
- Go to the Task Manager on your PC and select the “Processes” tab.
- Right click on the “Windows Explore” process, then click on the “Restart” option.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to use the native app to manage files anymore, check out a few worthy File Explorer alternatives.
4. Check Graphic Driver
A faulty display driver may be another reason your widgets are misbehaving. Disable the graphic driver on your PC to see whether it fixes the issue.
- Click Windows + R, type
devmgmt.msc, and press the “OK” button to open Device Manager.
- Find the “Display adapters” item and double-click to expand it.
- Right-click on your display driver and select the “Disable device” option.
- If your widgets are now working, then you’re dealing with a faulty driver. To fix it, click on the “Enable device” option.
- Click “Update driver.” You will have two options. Pick the “Search automatically for drivers” option and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have downloaded the driver from the vendor’s site, choose the second option.
- Visit the widget panel again to ensure that it’s still working after the update.
5. Sign In to Your Microsoft Account
The widget board will not work if you’re logged in with a local account, as widgets like calendar, weather, news, and others take data from the Microsoft account. Signing in to your Microsoft account can fix the widgets not working issue.
- Press Windows + I to go into the Settings menu.
- Click on “Accounts” in the left sidebar.
- Go to the “Your info” tab.
- Click on the “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead” link and follow the on-screen instructions to use your Microsoft account.
6. Make Edge Your Default Browser
Widgets and Microsoft’s browser are closely integrated, so the issues you’re experiencing may appear because Edge is not configured as your default browser. You can change that by following these steps:
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Click on the “Apps” tab on the left, then select “Default apps” on the right.
- Scroll down the app list to “Microsoft Edge” and click on it.
- Click on the “Set default” button.
- Also mark Microsoft Edge as the default option for “Set default file types or link types” to open various files.
7. Repair Microsoft Edge WebView2
Microsoft Edge WebView2 allows Windows 11 to display web content in the native apps using Microsoft Edge as a rendering engine. Corrupt Microsoft Edge WebView2 can also cause widgets to misbehave. If the above fixes haven’t worked, you should repair Microsoft Edge WebView2 first, then restart your system and open the widgets panel.
- Press Windows + R, type
control, and press “OK” to open Control Panel.
- Click on the “Uninstall a program” link under “Programs.”
- Scroll down through the list of programs until you reach “Microsoft Edge WebView2.” Right-click on it, then click the “Change” option.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to repair Microsoft Edge WebView2.
8. Update Windows
It is important to keep your PC updated to make sure that it works optimally. New updates can fix bugs and issues that may be causing widgets to malfunction, so check whether there is an update waiting to be installed.
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Scroll down the left sidebar to the “Windows Update” option and click on it.
- Click on the “Check for updates” button on the right. If there is an update, follow the on-screen instructions to install it, then restart your PC and check whether the widgets are working.
Tip: you can pause Windows updates if you don’t want them interrupting your work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do widgets drain the battery?
Yes, widgets can drain the battery on your Windows 11 PC. The amount of power widgets consume depends on the type of widgets they are and how often they get updated. You should only keep essential widgets that you regularly use and consider fixing battery drain issues if the battery is not giving the expected backup.
Do widgets run in the background?
Yes. Even if you disable widgets in “Taskbar settings,” widgets will keep running in the background. You can summon the widget board by clicking Windows + W. If you want to completely stop widgets from running, consider uninstalling them or disabling them in the Registry Editor.
Should I uninstall widgets?
Widgets are closely integrated in Windows 11, so uninstalling them may make your PC unstable. But if you must uninstall widgets, creating a system restore point is a good idea to deal with any possible untoward situation. Run PowerShell as administrator, paste the
winget uninstall "Windows web experience Pack" command, and hit Enter to uninstall widgets.
All screenshots by Sandeep Babu.
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